There is a deep shoving down down down in the throat of Americans recently. I find myself gagging and dry heaving and gasping, and I don’t even buy cigarettes. There are never-ending “Stand” commercials and “Smoking Bans” in public places and companies changing their Human Resources policies to refrain from hiring people who opt lung cancer. And while I am not a smoker, and I can clearly see the positives in all of this, I can’t help but wonder (BEEEP…channeling Carrie Bradshaw…) if it’s all going way too far.

When I was a little girl of about two whole years, my grandfather let me play with his empty cigarette soft pack. I immediately put it in my mouth because that is the obvious choice when a toddler is faced with the option of mouthing an object or just simply holding it. A piece of the plastic wrapping separated itself from the pack and I swallowed it; it blocked my airway. If my grandfather had not been addicted to nicotine, he would not have died of lung cancer, and my father would not have had to stick his entire adult, 6’2” man-hand down my baby throat to save me.

Just saying.

On the flip side, should the government be allowed to strip its citizens of their right to free will? I mean, killing unborn babies is legal but smoking in a bar isn’t? I’m bewildered. If God let’s us be assholes at our own peril, who is State Law to stop us?

And then there was that time that my brother was driving with his friend to a job renovating houses. His friend was driving, and my brother lit up…because if he didn’t have a cigarette in his hand every 25 minutes, it would surely be a sign of end times, and I would know that the apocalypse was upon us. They engaged in guy conversation, that I can only assume went something like this:

“Dude, I got so wasted last night, but did you see that one chick?”
“Yeah, Man. She was hot! Her ass was…”

You get the point.

When my brother turned to look at his friend, he noticed that he had caught the poor guy’s sleeve on fire.

“Dude! You’re on fire!” He started smacking him in the arm, his friend pulled over, got out of the truck, and beat himself until the fire was out.

I laughed when I heard this story because I could just imagine them both flailing around yelping like little girls, but really? It’s so dumb.

I am a believer in free will, but I’m also a believer in intelligence. If you know something is going to shorten your life, whether by the onset of cancer, emphysema, or fire…wouldn’t it be smart to find something else to waste your money on?

I’m obviously torn, so go nuts…let’s discuss.