Suicide On The Installment Plan

Suicide On The Installment Plan

Oxygen backpackI believed in the black eye — “I would rather fight than switch” (the advertising slogan of Tareyton cigarettes) — but I finally quit almost 9 years ago. After smoking cigarettes for 35 years and pot for 20, I’m finally starting to get something back for it. Yeah, sure, I got the bad breath, the yellow teeth and stinky clothes a long time ago, but now the really good stuff is comin’ my way.

I get to take long, leisurely showers now… Not because I have the time or inclination, of course, but because I don’t have much choice. I get out of breath just washing my hair.

Friends and family wait on me hand and foot… Not because I am so dynamic and popular, but because I can no longer do some of the things I used to take for granted.

I got to spend a little time laying around in bed with these really cool wires attached to me after a heart attack, caused by a low level of oxygen saturation in my blood.

Not ready to quit workingOne of the best things of all is the really cool back pack I get to wear every day now.

Had I got interested in hiking and jogging when I was a punk kid, I coulda had one a these things filled with my favorite beverage. Which prob’ly woulda meant I mighta quit smoking sooner to devote more interest in that healthy pastime. But noooooo, I gotta wait ’til I hafta wear one of these things — with a canister of oxygen insteada water.

On top of that, I got some horse pills an’ these inhaler things (4 different ones) I have to do 4 times a day — one is Albuterol and an AeroChamber. It’s so funny that it looks like I’m taking big ol’ hits off a dope pipe, which I haven’t done in 20 years. I can hardly wait for the first time a cop sees me do it out of the corner of his eye. Talk about déjà vu.

And the pill cutter… what th’ heck is that all about? Can’t they make a smaller pill? I gotta have this guillotine type instrument – an’ I already cut my finger once!

Yeah, man, that suicide on the installment plan is really startin’ ta pay off now. They keep tellin’ me, “quality of life”. This is real quality, I tell ya. The good news is I only have to go through it for another 2 or 3 years (according to the eviction notice I got from my doctor a couple weeks ago).

Lest you think I have sunk to my lowest ebb, I am not giving up. I am still trying to be as active as I can. I am trying to lose some weight (gained 80 pounds when I quit smoking – at 258 now) so I don’t put such a strain on my Segway, which I have to use if I wanna go more than 50′ without a car. I do love building my professional and special interest websites – The Floor Pro Community, enterpriseJM and Grump’s Place among several others.

It’s not my intention to gain your sympathy here. Some people seem to be absolutely clueless about the rights of all humans to live free of unnecessary and involuntary danger. Yeah, I lived in danger for many years, but I have the right to be free of it now. My lung disease is significantly advanced compared to a lot of other people.

There’s prob’ly millions of people who recognized (or maybe not yet) that smoking was damaging their lungs and hearts and they are able to walk around without the aid of o2, inhalers and pills. But they still suffer every time some dolt blows smoke their way thinking they have the right to.

The fact is, far too many people don’t use common sense or have the slightest consideration for others. I sure didn’t as a smoker, a dope head or a selfish and self-centered punk kid. So, it’s guys like me that suffer because we don’t want the little bit of time we have left to be shortened even 2 minutes because someone else feels like havin’ a smoke. We might need laws that tell smokers when and where they can light up. It’s either that or guys like me will just bust their heads open with the ugly end of an oxygen tank. Whata they gonna do, give me free room and board in a hospital for a few more years?

Smoke ’em if you got ’em. Just do it where the rest of us don’t have to breathe your left-overs.

Jim McClain

Born 1949 and not dead yet.

This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. Critical Critic

    Smoke ‘em if you got ‘em. Just do it where the rest of us don’t have to breathe your left-overs.

    Amen to that, although I’d like to see you hit someone with your tank!

  2. Nancy O

    Jim – you are a blessing and you don’t even know it! I’ll pray for easier breathing to you today, my friend! – and good luck on the weight – I’ve got about 80 more than I need, and in honor of you (and in gratitude for my lung capacity) I will go to my exercise class today. My cancer treatments have been over for quite awhile, and I have no more excuses for sitting around not doing something about my fitness level.

  3. Susie

    I thank you for your input on the Art Blog – I appreciate you lighting a spark under my back side to figure that out. I hope it is now more pleasing to the eye with the watermark, still working on figuring it out a bit! She does have awesome lips too!

  4. razman

    I am a smoker trying to quit and reading your notes helps me much in my decision. Thanks.

  5. Dylan Lopez

    if you want to quit smoking, then you must be a very determined person to do that-.’

    1. Jim McClain

      I believe most people who try are determined. Remaining nicotine free, though, is not a matter of determination or will power. Like any other addiction, it’s just a willingness to go one more day without. I’ve been doing that with tobacco for over 13 years now – and drugs (incl. alcohol) for over 25.

      PS: Dylan, the link to your website was broken, so I edited it out. Reply back with one that works and I’ll include it.

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