Today I was missing my buddy so I went to the cemetery to say hello and leave a few things. I know he's not there, his spirit is somewhere else, but it made me feel better. For those of you familiar with various other religions, specifically Native American, you will understand the significance of a tobacco offering.
My friend smoked, (don't start, it's not good for you) it may/may not have helped to contribute to his death. Despite having a degree in community health and disease prevention, I could never persuade him to quit. All that aside, I went and bought a pack of cigarettes in his favorite brand.
is what the convenience store clerk does to me:
"I would like a pack of Marlboro Red please."
"Smoking's bad for you. You shouldn't buy those."
(Showing great restraint and smiling) "Thank you."
"Those are pretty strong, I don't think that's what you want."
"You have no idea. They will be fine."
(He hands me a pack of Marlboro Lights) "No. Marlboro Red please."
(With a disgusted look) "I can't believe you smoke these."
Really? If you have a moral problem with selling people cancer in a stick, don't work somewhere you have to sell tobacco and alcohol. Thanks.
This is followed by a wonderful experience in the cemetery.
"You shouldn't leave cigarettes on someone's grave, children will take them and smoke them."
"I'm going to field strip 5 of them and take the rest with me."
"I think that's just terrible."
At what point did Americans find it appropriate to be so anti-tobacco that they accost people in cemeteries? I'm old enough to posess them and I'm not smoking them. I think we'll be ok. I'm also pretty sure that most underage children don't get ahold of their tobacco products from cemeteries, but I could be wrong about that.
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