Welcome To Flavour Country (Originally Published February 3rd, 2011)

Greetings faithful readers! I apologize for the lack of blogisodes lately. There was a lot going on in the Mitch household but nothing worth blogging about. As well sometimes it’s good to take a break from writing to come back with some fresh ideas. Did the break from writing help? Nope. I still don’t really have any ideas, so I decided I’m just going to riff and see where we end up.

This past Monday at work was one of the worst days I’ve had in a long time. It was the junior high equivalent of Wedgie323getting wedgied then nut punched by the class bully so hard that you end up throwing up in front of the girl you have a massive crush on but are too afraid to talk to. Yes, it was that bad. I won’t bore you with the details of why it was so bad but that evening a strange thing happened. I wanted a cigarette. I haven’t smoked in years. I quit about 6 years ago, and fell off the wagon 20 or 30 times in the meantime but for all intents and purposes I no longer took trips to “flavour country.” Yet for some reason I would have literally killed with my bare hands to get a hold of a smooth, refreshing, relaxing filter tipped Marlboro….oh yeah that’s the stuff…wait, what the hell am I doing? Quitting smoking was one of the worst things I ever had to do in my life.

What was the hardest part about quitting smoking? The cravings? The headaches? The crabbiness? The sinus infection? The short temper? Not even close. The hardest part was I absolutely loved to smoke. Ever try to quit something you love to do? It’s not just hard; its damn near impossible. When I did smoke you could lecture me on the health effects, the monetary cost, the stink, the bad breath, the loss of smell and a taste and so on. I didn’t care I knew all that stuff already. There was nothing more satisfying than that first smoke of the morning. Combine that with a coffee and it was better than baby ninja robot Jesus feeding you Hooters hot wings while getting a back massage from all the Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders at the same time while watching a laser AC/DC light show. Morning coffee and cigarette AKA “The Supermodel Breakfast.” Imagine the greatest orgasm you ever had. Not even close. Smoking to me was that damn good. 

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So what prompted me to quit finally? Reason one was Mrs. Mitch. There is no bigger pain for a smoker to be married to a non smoker or vice versa. Her incessant, ceaseless, unabated, unremitting, persistent and relentless nagging was getting to me. I fifty percent quit just to get her off my back and to stop lecturing at me. I mean, err, I love my wife and I wanted to be in optimum health to be with her for the rest of our life together, yeah, yeah, thats it. I love you, honey. Whew, little shaky there in the middle but I managed to stick the landing, but the east german judge is going to screw me on artistic points.

The other reason? At the height of my torrid love affair with the Marlboro man I was finishing my last semester of university. I had one film seminar class left to graduate. The class was on the fifth floor of a building from about 1903 which meant no elevator. After hauling my flabby out of shape smokers ass up five flights of stairs I thought I was going to die. My lungs felt like they were being ripped apart by a monkey with anger management issues and dull fingernails. I was early for class and was milling about with my classmates catching what little breath I had left. I noticed a door in the lobby figuring that must be my class. 

Finally, the door opens and out popped the bespectacled ponytailed turtleneck wearing walking cliche known as the “Film Studies T.A. (Teacher’s Assistant) If you need a visual equivalent of the  Film Studies T.A. look , dieterGoogle “Dieter” and “Saturday Night Live”, the  sad part is I had about 5 different versions of this douche-bag in my postsecondary career. The really sad part is that all of them laboured under the delusion that this pseudo-intellectual german inspired look would get them laid. 

Enough of that rant, back to original point. The door opens and the T.A. says “come on in” and swings open the door. On the other side of the door; the longest single flight of stairs I have ever seen. 80 steps straight up. Son of a bitch. The class was on the fifth floor, the annex above the fifth floor. By the time I trudged up those 80 steps and sat down at my desk I was a sweaty wheezy out of shape mess. I vowed to quit smoking there and then. 

Long story short it took me six or seven tries to finally quit smoking, and I still fall off the wagon occasionally. 

Mitch: “Don’t worry honey, we’re in Vegas, smoking on vacation doesn’t count anyways. Look I’ll buy one pack and I probably won’t smoke half of it.” 

the next day, 

Mrs. Mitch: “Its the second day and you’re on your third pack. You were laying in the hotel bed this morning lighting up as you were waking up. You suck.”

Well there you go kids, this has been Tales of Mitch in Flavour Country. 

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