This was the ultimate RYO tobacco for me.
Here's a rough translation of the manifesto on the back of the package:
Black Death shag is a direct protest of smokers against strongly increasing intolerance.
Black Death smokers want to preserve their rights and avoid becoming social outcasts.
Black Death smokers keep the following principles:
- Smoking is a human right and must be respected in accordance with the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights;
- The choice to smoke must be respected across all borders;
- Attacking the rights of citizens who smoke creates a precedent for further intervention in the personal freedom and behaviour of all citizens;
- The relationship between smokers and non-smokers must be based on consideration, courtesy, tolerance, reciprocal respect, and freedom of choice and not on provincial claims and ordinances.
Black Death smokers want only to continue to enjoy, in peace, their right to smoke!
This night, as per the title of this post, I'm living good. Ani wanted a playdate. Usually, I dread such things, because it means her going door to door asking if anyone wants to play with her, and Christ knows what it means to me. Am I supposed to come over and linger at the sidewalk as she does what kids do? I hate to just send my kids to a house and let them have at it.
But tonight, she wanted to play with a little boy across the street, and apparently they'd arranged beforehand their engagement. So, I go over to get her situated, and the dad is on the porch, so I'm happy to give my greetings and be on my way, but whaddya know -- he's smoking!
Usually, when I'm smoking in the driveway, I coyly attempt to hide my cigarette when a neighbour comes by, thinking they'll think I'm some monster blowing cancer into the faces of my little angels.
But this guy was smoking, and by the slight slur in his voice (perceptible only to a fellow drinker), I could tell that wasn't just Pepsi in his glass. And he immediately offers me a beer! And the beer, after a tour of their lovely home, becomes a glass of wine, and another, and indeed a wonderful night spent communing with a fellow husband, father, and neighbour.
It was fun.
And fun is what I'm supposed to be having, right? I'm supposed to be finding myself, finding something outside of my role as a husband and father, getting out and doing things. It's why I went golfing for the first time in my life last weekend. It's why I now have Saturday nights free to do whatever I want.
More importantly, it was just fun, good times. He's a great guy, his wife is a great lady, their son is a good kid, and they drink and smoke and we had good conversation and seemed to enjoy each other.
So, may all of you have as good a night as I did.
Oh, and one final note, to all the psychiatrists out there, and all those spending their timesheets and grant dollars puzzling out depression: the answer is alcohol.