It all started when upon the routine reading of one of her mailing-lists' messages Bruria Ginton, owner of QWL SPACE, noticed this from one of the Bizwomen list's funniest ladies, Helene Weinberg of OUT TO LUNCH ENTERTAINMENT.
The message said:
"The very thought of quitting cigarette smoking makes me want to reach out and light one. (Yeah, I just did...ahhhh). However, I would appreciate your thoughts on how you ex-smokers were able to quit successfully."There was something so engaging and immediately touching about that very personal request" remembers Bruria, "that, although--to save time and bandwidth--I like to respond with only one or two paragraphs, although I can hardly even believe that (before 1974 !) I used to smoke, for some reason, I wanted to respond to the message with my own little story. But then I thought: 1. An old-time smoker--however cool--would ultimately be defensive, if not in denial. Talking about quitting hardly ever worked with dear loved ones. Could my story make a dent this time? 2. Hmm...Helene does come across as a cool entertainer and a very nice person who can 'take' a crude joke." So, instead, Bruria wrote another story--slightly off-color but highly educational.
FYI- I have UNSUCESSFULLY tried the following in the past:
- Accupuncture- (Ouch! Quit for a week...)
Hypnosis- (I remember feeling very calm and relaxed- so naturally I asked the doctor for a light...)
- Cold turkey- (Or maybe that's what I ate that first day)
- Nicorette gum- (Tasted like battery acid, but I liked it. Unfortunately, I became addicted to the gum)
- Motivational tapes/books/lectures- (Pass me the ashtray, please...)
- I still have a drawer full of those nicotine PATCHES. Haven't tried those yet- (Been using them as spare bandaids.) If anyone can shed some light on not lighting up--please let me know."
On the same day, Helene received the following message:
"I was the leading smoker in my hi-school. I quit a long time ago. When I did, there were no grand plans or announcements... Recently, my only high-school girlfriend came to visit me in NYC. She--who wouldn't even try smoking when I was a young walking chimney--well, each time she was ready to lite up (and that was very often), she went out onto our back/service staircase, right in front of the red No-Smoking sign ... And she warned me not even to think of bringing up THE SUBJECT...So, as much as I really wanted to say something (perhaps I even murmured somthing), I knew it would be a losing proposition."
And the message went on:
" But let me stop to tell you a [shortened version of a long, long] story...
"This guy had a problem. Er, how can I say it? Well, he was forever breaking wind. No matter where, no matter who, he just couldn't control it, you see. But no sooner had he let one go than he would excuse himself with 'But it don't smell! It don't smell!' As the guy was a really nice fellow and good looking, everybody was willing to pretend that they hadn't noticed anything.
Then our phenomenal farter fell in love. Badly in love. And when he popped the Q (which was accompanied by one of his whizzers and his habitual "But it don't smell"), his would-be fiancee responded, 'I would love to say, "Yes, Honey." Really, I would. But first you have to promise me that you'll go see a doctor."
"Go see a doctor?" said he. "That's all?... A doctor? Piece-a-cake." I'll go first thing tomorrow.
And so he did.
He went to the doctor telling him something like, "I don't know how to say it, Doc. But my fiance says that I have this problem..."
"What problem?" asked the Doctor.
"Well, hmmm, you see...OK, so I break wind very often (simultaneously letting go a sample..."
"Aha," said the doctor
"But it don't smell," he hastened to add.
"I see," said the Doc. "Take off your clothes, get on my examination table, and I'll be back to treat your problem." The Doc then leaves the room for a few moments.
Upon coming back, the Doc finds the patient lying comfortably on his stomach. And just as the doctor shuts the door--whee!--ever so quietly, our airman lets one go--with the usual apologetic..."But it don't stink! ... OK, Doc, my behind is all ready for you." "Your behind?" responded the Doc. "There's nothing wrong with your behind. It's your schnoz that I need to operate on!"
Helene got the message and said . . .
"I loved that story! Thanks for the laugh. I needed it. [And automatically] Have a smoke free day. (Well, at least someone should!)"
Not quite sure whether the moral of the story had sunk in, but responding to the affirmative reception, Bruria responded . . .
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