THANK YOU FOR SMOKING – Confessions and Rantings of A Smoker

I am back in Manila after a week-long training. I was soooooo tired but fortunately, I got to rest last weekend with husband. Thanks to everyone who kept me company and gave me hugs. I love you all… (blows butterfly kisses)

I’m not going to do a travel entry churva. I’ve been longing to do an entry on smoking and when I found a book entitled “Thank You for Smoking” by Christopher Buckley (now a major motion picture) in one of Cebu’s book sale shops, I finally decided to do the entry…in true “Bridget Jones is a Man” style, of course…

(stands up in the middle and speaks) Good day everyone. (everyone answers back with an enthusiastic “Good day!”) My name is Jerome and I am a heavy smoker…

Yes, my blog friends. I am not perfect. I have smoking as a vice. As I have said, I am a heavy smoker. I started to smoke at the late age of 23. I discovered that it can relieve me of my tension and stress. Ever since, I have escalated from sporadic smoking to 15-18 sticks a day. When I go on an alcohol binge with friends (which is very rare) or during events, I smoke almost 2 packs. (audience gasps) Yeah, yeah. This habit even became the cause of numerous discussions between Jher and I.

Basta in fairness to me, I am a RESPONSIBLE SMOKER. I smoke only in designated areas. I also self-regulate. When I know that someone will be affected by my smoking, I do not smoke or at the very least I walk away. When I go to establishments with my non-smoking friends, they are the priority when deciding whether to sit in the non-smoking or smoking area. I get out of my way to find the perfect seating arrangement giving consideration to meteorological conditions while in the smoking area with non-smoking friends! With all of these in mind, I feel that I have earned my right to smoke. Just like how non-smokers have the right not to smoke. That’s why I still get irked with people who, despite my efforts to smoke responsibly, still has the audacity to “instruct” me not to smoke. Here are some situations:

  • Pizza Hut. I decided to eat at a table located at the smoking area where I gave up privileges of full airconditioning, unlike the adjoining non-smoking dining area. After ordering, I lit up my first cigarette and smoked away. I was on my 2nd cigarette, when this huge man whom I assumed was the father and husband of the child and woman seated at a table in the non-smoking section stormed towards me and shouted at me, “Can’t you see that there’s a child in the establishment? Don’t you know that second-hand smoking kills? Put that out…” Umatake ang pagka-pebrero ko, inuunahan ako ng sigaw! I calmly and confidently said, “I’m sorry I cannot do that. I’m in the smoking area.” Sigaw ng lolo mo, “But we can inhale your smoke over there. Put that out.” I lost it! I shouted back at him: “Then the structural and architectural design of this establishment is not my f#&*ng problem, isn’t it? I’m in the smoking area, that’s why I’m smoking here. If there’s a problem with how Pizza Hut was established, take it up with the manager. Oh, by the way…don’t you ever, ever, ever shout at someone in public. People who do that often times get killed. (Man suddenly showed fear. Now I have the power.) So…I suggest…SIR…that you go back to your family and enjoy your lunch.” Man walks away.
  • In Cebu, we went to the Kahayag Café as recommended by my very good blogfriend, Karol. I love the place! Very artsy-fartsy. Reminded me of a bar near UP-Los Banos called ISIS. The interior is bohemian-inspired featuring different artworks and the now-famous “Lonely Woman” painting by the open-mic area. Yup! It had a stage where local artists and the audience can perform. And the prices of food and liquor are reasonable!!! Yehey! My kind of place. After my friends and I ordered, I lit a cigarette. This waiter came out of nowhere (just like in an action movie where secret service agents repel down a shattered glass ceiling) and informed me that it is a non-smoking establishment. Nanlisik ang mata ko, tinanong ko sya: “Bakit?” The waiter answered, “Because there are non-smoking patrons.” Sabi ko talaga: “Oh, that’s right! You need to take care of their lungs! But how about their liver given the fact that you are happily giving in to every customers’ alcoholic wet dream?” Waiter answered, “Basta non-smoking establishment ito.” Walk-out ang lolo mo. Syempre kami din.

I don’t get it, di ba? They want to protect their customers from lung cancer but they serve them liquor—most of whom drink like a fish. Bye-bye, liver. But love your lungs? (scratches head)

  • One more thing that I really can’t take are the “preachers”…those who tell me in an evangelical, condescending, patronizing way: “I know you have the right to smoke. But didn’t you know that by smoking, you are slowly destroying your body? (sometimes they even insert, “…the temple of God”) You should respect your body.” Oh…my…god! I just walk away. I always believed that just like anything else smoking is a choice. And I made an INFORMED CHOICE. I know the harmful and fatal effects of smoking. But I still smoke in the exercise of my right to freedom of choice. MY BODY, MY CHOICE.
  • World TB Day celebration last 2005. As a major consortium partner of the Phil. TB Initiatives for the Private Sector or PhilTIPS project, we were tasked to organize the Fun Run Against TB led by Fr. Robert Reyes, the running priest. When we reached the Makati City Hall, I decided to smoke. Fr. Robert was the keynote speaker. In his speech, he thundered: “I noticed that some of the project implementers themselves are smoking, not taking care of their lungs. How can you be credible in leading others to eradicate TB if you yourselves cannot set the example? I was formerly a smoker but when my brother died of lung cancer, I decided to stop…and sue Philip Morris!”

Whatda????? Ugh, recounting it just makes me mad. I don’t want to re-live my reactions to his statement.

  • A sanctimonious bastard-slash-environmentalist approached me in front of Wynsum Towers in Ortigas while I was smoking. He said, “Did you know that your cigarette butt contributes to 20% of the non-biodegradable trash in the Philippines?” I asked him back, “How do you travel?” (bastard seemed confused) I clarified, “I mean, how do you get here and to where ever you want to go?” He answered, “I have a car.” I thundered, “Did you know that the carbon dioxide you emit from driving your car, regardless if you use regular or unleaded gasoline, damages our ozone layer every second which contributes to global warming that leads to the increase in sea water level that can cause major floodings? O, sino ang mas may atraso sa kalikasan ngayon?” Bastard was about to retort, but decided not to and walked towards his nature-murdering car.

Bridget Jones is A Man General Remark: Responsible smoking is the key to achieve better harmony between smokers and non-smokers.

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29 Responses to THANK YOU FOR SMOKING – Confessions and Rantings of A Smoker

  1. jher says:

    hay. no comment. LOL! 😛

  2. aboutmakingmoney says:

    lol good on you for standing up to that man. Unfortunately for us smoker looks like there are less and less place for us to smoke. Currently they are trying to put in a low to turn bars and pubs into non smoking area in Australia. Maybe we can sue the Anti Smoking Campaigners for Stress and Harrasment 🙂

  3. ice says:

    heyyy ur back.. where’s my pasalubong….

  4. snglguy says:

    I so love this post, luv it, luv it, luv it! Hooray for responsible smokers everywhere!

    One time, a friend and I went to this Shabu Shabu place inside the Pan Pacific hotel, and we were in a smoking area happily smoking away amidst the smoke coming from the grills. Then this middle aged Hong Kong lady came to us and complained about our smoking, in cantonese! I don’t speak cantonese btw, only hokkien. But luckily, my friend does, and he told that that lady we were in a SMOKING AREA, and if the smoke is bothering her, why would she come to a Shabu Shabu restaurant of all places? She quickly turned around and left after that…

  5. K says:

    I totally can relate to this. I can ditch my smoking just for the sake of going out with non-smoking friends in a restaurants. Just a little courtesy can make everybody happy.

    I hope you’re thinking of quitting someday. I had a quest on this addictions and I’m going in there, “smoke one step at a time”.

  6. K says:

    Or rather, “one stick at a time”. Pass me the ashtray pls.

  7. Jenn says:

    galing mo sister! laging may poise ang iyong mga rebuttals =D i’m a non-smoker but i have long accepted the fact that there will always be smokers around me so to each his own na lang.

  8. Dylan says:

    Remind me next time to ignore you when we meet in the mall. ;-p

  9. Dinna says:

    Truly fabulous as always — (Giving Bridget a standing ovation.. ha! Now I’m beginning to write like you! LOL) I pity these people who had the audacity to cross THE Bridget we know. While I don’t smoke, I think everyone has a right to choose their poison. It’s a free country. And you’re right, as long as it’s done responsibly, we should respect how each one chooses to enjoy life.

  10. Lani says:

    My papa was a smoker and my mama is still smoking. How can they tell us not to smoke when we saw them smoking since we were kids? Yup, it’s our body, it’s our choice. I choose not to smoke eventhough I grew up in a family where smoking is tolerated. I tried smoking but didn’t like it.

    I agree, as long as you smoke responsibly then no problem with that, we can live harmoniously.

    But you know what I can’t tolerate, I always got pissed off; are those people who smoke inside a public utility vehicles. They are so irresponsible.

  11. jher says:

    I hate you all. You should be telling him to stop smoking and not just congratulating him for “smoking responsibly”.

    I’m so pissed off right now. LOL.

  12. Dinna says:

    Jher, (why am I posting a comment to Jher in Jerome’s blog?…) I can relate. I had a boyfriend for 7 years who smoked a lot. I guess you can say I vicariously smoked for 7 years, too. Kaya lang, I’ve always been the friend who’s so consintidora.. LOL.. but seriously, he’s old enough to know what he wants.. he will stop when he wants to stop. And makikinig ba naman yan kung sesermonan namin?

  13. karol says:

    haha! i loooove this post! 😀 i smoke din, and i believe i am responsible smoker naman, like you! ang taray ng lola mo! hehe..panalo sa rebuttals! 😀 anyhoo, i’m glad u liked kahayag. i forgot to tell u na no smoking nga sya (ksi i didn’t know nman na u smoke). sowee 😦 sa labas ka lang pede mag yosi. yun lang yung flaw ng place…

  14. redjeulle says:

    mare, thanks for the link. i feel your sentiment, yaan mo we’ll link arms and declare war to all inconsiderate people who shout in public. 🙂

  15. Toni says:

    Beautifully and smartly put, Bridget!

  16. KELLY CARSON says:

    I AM A HEAVY RESPONSIBLE SMOKER TOO! Life is what we choose it to be.

    I wont tell you to stop smoking, or ease down on it or whatever. Wala akong pakialam sa yo. Ah? hahahaha. It’s fun di bah?

  17. KELLY CARSON says:

    By the way, your accounts of your life with anti-smokers-slash-assholes are by far fun to read but at the same time NAKAKAINIS. Kiss kita dear! Mwah. Mataray ako, pero applause aketch sa yo dahil Lola ka sa Katarayan! Ang ganda ganda mo hija! Mahal na kita! Charux!

    Ah? Hahahahaha.

  18. Lani says:

    Sorry, Jher, but sa experience ko kahit anong sabihin sa smoker na huminto, di talaga hihinto. Kailangan sa kaniya talaga manggaling na ayaw na niya, at woopppsss*** (magic) biglang tigil iyan.

    Ang mama ko kahit anong sabihin namin, patakas pa ring naninigarilyo. Kesyo after lang daw kumain or tuwing nasa CR. And would you believe, six times siya kung kumain (although small amount lang naman) at 3-5x siyang nasa CR. O devah? Alam mo na kumbakit:)

  19. Dylan Gozum says:

    I wish I could agree with the line “My body, my choice.” Unfortunately, when you have a Mom who is dying of cancer, that line simply won’t work.

    Kahit gustuhin pa nyang mamatay na, we won’t let her go. Yun lang.

    Uy, Redjeulle is here na rin! Sumama ka na sa EB namin, sis! Di ko talaga kakayanin, pwamis.

  20. jcdaclison says:

    jher – pano ba yan, husband? hehehehe. oi, panget. i am not soliciting for allies. this entry, just like every other entry, is a celebration of freedom of choice. :-p

    ice – pasalubong? email ko sa yo picture ng turrones de mani wehehehehehe…

    snglguy – mabuhay, pare koi!

    K – i will quit in my own time, k. i have the will power to do things. its just that, i’m not yet in the zone…

    Jenn – thanks mare. good attitude towards smokers. basta tarayan mo din kapag binugahan ka ng wala sa lugar. devah?

    dylan – hooooy! kahit naman nung nasa bahay nyo ako, nagpupunta ako sa deck to smoke. away from the non-smoking household…

    dinna – thank you…(grabs Christian Lacroix ballgown by its sides and curtsies to the left and to the right) hahahahaha!

    lani – mareeeee!!! alam mo bang ako din nagagalit kapag hindi ako naninigarilyo tapos in a non-smoking situation tapos may bubuga ng usok sa kin (i.e. in transport) ay, mare. balasa ang aabutin talaga sa akin…

    karol – uy, okay lang, gang. luv ko ang kahayag kahit ganun sya. dapat lang may ubo ako pag pumunta ako dun para no smoking for me. tapos iinom ako ng sandamakmak. hahahahaha!

    redjeulle – mare, you’re welcome. kurak ka jan, ning. mag-aklas tayo sa mga nana-nalak sa public places. we are sosyal. we are not like falengkeras who make shout at the top of their lungs to other falengkeras…chos. hahahaha!

    toni – thanks, gurl. read your comments in my other entries. i thank god for knowing such a sweet and warm person…i hope you’re feeling better now, dearest…

    kelly carson – kurak ka jan, bakla. wala kang pakialam sa akin. at wala din akong pakialam sa yo. plang? at salamat sa papuri, mare. mahal na din kita. chos! hahahahaha!

  21. redjeulle says:

    mare sama ka na sa min ni dylan, kala mo naman kasi nangangagat ako. type mo ba sa saturday, balak ko kasi mag book fair eh. email email na lang. you know my email. oy dylan, i’m nice no, i don’t shout in public. all those things were said in a very calm manner. 🙂
    so coffee na tayo?

  22. missyosigirl says:

    ang taray! 🙂 i know what you mean about responsible smoking. the needs of the non-smoker come first of course. i can always go out in the cold (or the heat) with the other smokers to have my cig. hehe.

  23. atticus says:

    jerome, you know what i hate? pregnant women who go to smoking areas. watda nyeta okinana. nagdesisyong mag-anak, aanga anga. di na lang maghintay sa barkada sa malayo muna. iniiwasan mo na, lumalapit pa.

    i follow the rules, puwera biro. di ako nagyoyosi sa jeep, bus, eroplano.

    at iyang mga preachy people na iyan, buti nga tinarayan mo. alam ba nilang adik tayo? hehe. sa nicotine nga lang.

  24. Dylan Gozum says:

    Jerome, I didn’t notice na you smoke sa sun deck ko, hehehe 🙂 Remember, I used to be a smoker din.

    Redjeulle, yes. Saturday is good. Punta na tayong lahat sa 27th Manila International Book Fair at magpaka-culturati literati na tayon dun! 🙂 On Sunday, a veritable list of who’s who are coming and newly minted N.Artist Lumbera will read his works by 7pm.

    Ano, coffee na? 🙂 I’d bring my trusty camera. Ang mura na lang pala ng 1G na memory card!

  25. annabanana says:

    hello jerome!
    haaay, after days of coming abck here, ngayon lang ako sinipag mag comment…pasensya na dear, the fingers are willing to type, pero ang brain ayaw mag follow!
    i misssss you and jher so much! grabe, it was fun that nite, ei? sa uulitin ha!
    uhmm, i’m a smoker…i quit about 6 years ago, tapos picked it up again…plan to quit again…haaay, ang labo ano? anyway, saludo ako sa post mo…ang taray!

  26. I used to smoke before but only in the span of 3 months. I quit since beauty is more important than smoking. It makes you look older you know

  27. redjeulle says:

    ang ganda daw nabibili, at bibili ako ng madami! hehehe…
    seriously, yes, smoking makes you look old, sort of like tuyot. premature wrinkles are a subsequent result of smoking.
    and yet…there is a yet…may mega-moisturizer naman na naglalabasan sa tabitabs. magpahid ng damu-damukal every night para ma-fight ang evil wrinkles na yan.

  28. jher says:

    bridget – ewan.

  29. jcdaclison says:

    redjeulle – i cant wait to meet you in person. chika tayo, gurl…

    chas – that’s true, chas. but if you are ugly by nature, whether you are a smoker or a non-smoker or no matter how much beauty products are existent in the market nowadays, the fact still remains that ONE WILL ALWAYS AND FOREVER BE UGLY on the outside, of course…plang?

    jher – che! bahala ka sa buhay mo. when i smoke after…oops. wag na lang…

    TO ALL MY BLOG FRIENDS…thank you for your comments. Smoker or non-smoker, we should just go ahead and SPREAD THE LOVE….mmmmmmmmmmmwwwaaahhh to everyone!

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