855. No smokin’

855smokin

Hammond Dryden had promised his girlfriend he’d give up smoking. He’d left her at home. He was off to war.

Johnny Turkson was at the airport seeing off his wife. He ducked outside for a quick cigarette. Outside was Hammond Dryden, having his final smoke.

“You want my smokes and lighter?” asked Hammond Dryden of Johnny Turkman. “I’m off to war, and I promised my girlfriend I’d give up smoking. This is my final smoke.”

“Thanks,” said Johnny Turkman. “I’ll take them.”

A couple of months later Hammond Dryden got his head blown off. His girlfriend was probably really pleased he’d given up the dirty habit.

54 thoughts on “855. No smokin’

      1. exiledprospero

        It’s a better idea that those patches. Yes, it’s messy, but also effective. And it’s not as though decapitation is permanent or anything like that. I think people like to overreact.

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  1. Cynthia Jobin

    I gave up smoking at age 40, after twenty years of it…one of the hardest things I ever did. But I’m old enough to remember when everyone smoked and you didn’t have to go outside to do it. Now I think, that if cancer should return to plague me, I shall take up smoking again. I always enjoyed it, and think I still would. Like Mark Twain said: if you give up smoking you’ll live 10 years longer, but who wants to live ten more years without smoking?

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    1. Bruce Goodman Post author

      I’m the same – although the price of cigarettes (here in New Zealand) is astronomical (nearly $25 per packet of 20). I gave up when I moved to a house way in the country and didn’t have a car to go to the shops. I went through the garden and fireplace and smoked the previous resident’s discarded butts. When there was nothing left I gave up.

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      1. Cynthia Jobin

        Big laugh here, Bruce. I remember a few hard times of scavenging for butts. But being forced into giving up, as you were, is an “interesting” way to do it. The price of cigarettes is astronomical here, too, and it seems the poorest echelon of society is still where most of the smokers are…..

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          1. Cynthia Jobin

            Eric would fit right in, in New Hampshire—my favorite of the New England states—with their shield “Don’t Tread On Me”. The saddest thing about my move to Maine was to have to give up the license plate for my car with the NH state motto: “Live Free Or Die”.

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    2. thecontentedcrafter

      My daughter is like you Cynthia – she is still attracted to smoking and drifts into doing so again and again……… I can’t stand the smell now and know I would never go there again. But yes, once we were considered coolly attractive for our smoking habits 😀

      Liked by 3 people

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  2. thecontentedcrafter

    I suspect the girlfriend would rather have Hammond Dryden back smelling like an old ashtray than headless and smokeless!

    I gave up smoking on the Friday evening of Queen’s Birthday Weekend 1999 when I kept having what turned out to be small heart attacks with every puff. Three in all as it always takes me a while to put two and two together to come up with three……….

    Liked by 2 people

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                1. Bruce Goodman Post author

                  My taste and sense of smell never came back! 😦 I have a bit of taste but no sense of smell. (Which might account for why the dentist was so hasty and off-hand the other day when he pulled by teeth out!)

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    1. Cynthia Jobin

      Speaking of old ashtrays….I have quite an interesting collection of them, given that they used to be a feature in everyones’ home, and we used to “liberate” them from hotels and restaurants. Mine range in style from bronze slippers to Polish ceramics, to Depression Glass bowls, Waterford crystal, a giant Sixties thing for parties that used to take up the space of half a coffee table and accommodate the butts of over thirty people, mementoes from “Bird in Hand,” and “Intercourse” Pennsylvania, etc…etc….Subsequent to giving up smoking, I used them in my calligraphy studio to hold ink and paint; and the grooves intended to temporarily hold a cigarette are great for propping wet brushes…..antiques they are, but probably worth nothing but a footnote about a certain era.

      Liked by 2 people

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    1. Bruce Goodman Post author

      Several weeks after 9/11 I had to pick someone up coming in from Germany at the Charlotte NC Airport. I then smoked. I went outside and a young fellow just off to Afghanistan gave me his cigarettes and lighter… I presume he did, but I’ve always wondered if he came back…

      Liked by 1 person

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