Death and cigarettes

A SISTER-IN-LAW lives nearby. Most of the family reside elsewhere. Distance assists good relations.

This sister-in-law, whom I see almost every day, smokes nonstop. It’s not pretty, and it smells awful.

I smoked cigarettes, cigars and pipes for years. I was not a heavy smoker, however, and I stopped in the early 1990s using a tapering-off routine that was pretty easy.

In a supermarket checkout line today I got a good look at a cigarette rack and was amused by the packaging. It was a popular brand in Mexico called Montana.

At least a quarter of a package face displayed a dead rat. Another was a photo of an open human mouth full of cigarette butts, the implication being that you’ll stink like an ashtray, which is quite true.

Cigarette packages, last time I paid attention, simply informed buyers that they’re dangerous. Times have changed.

Candy-Skull-01b-1Of course, tobacco companies do not put photos of dead rats and mouthfuls of butts on their packages voluntarily. They are legally obligated.

My sister-in-law will tell you in all seriousness that she won’t stop smoking because doing so increases the risk of lung cancer. She says  she knows too many people who stopped smoking and immediately died of cancer.

Her twisted logic always leans her way. She smokes to maintain her good health, her stinky well-being.

Are dead rats on cigarette packs in the United States?

* * * *

Speaking of death, our Day of the Dead celebration is about a week away, and the town is putting on its best face.

Streets are being cleaned. Tree trunks are whitewashed. Curbs are splashed yellow, and road stripes are repainted. We look almost new — as new as a six-century town can look.

The Hacienda is getting cleaned up too, unrelated to the Day of the Dead. Workmen are here painting, scraping, cementing, attaching, repairing, all manner of improvements.

It’s a yearly event.

The downside is that I’m trapped here today because much of the work is inside, and going off and leaving them here alone isn’t a bright idea. I don’t know them.

An upside is that I’m killing time by typing away.

And thinking of you.

8 thoughts on “Death and cigarettes

  1. I too am home, raking leaves, stocking wood for the fireplace. Soon to be changeling cables on the motorcycle, new brake and clutch. Will be shipping the bike to Tucson this year and riding it into Mexico. I will ride back come next May. learned my lesson about riding in March, rain and wind the whole way back to Canada. Maybe this year, I will have the resolve to trundle up to your Mountain Perch and share a coffee or two, I would like that, maybe bring some REAL CANADIAN maple syrup, you would like that I think.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Bob: I have some leaves out there that need raking, but as long as the yardman continues to mow once a week, that takes care of those leaves. Glad to hear you’ll not be riding all that distance to Mexico. You’re too old for that, young feller.

      Sure, come up this way. A hot cafecito has your name on it. Bring syrup in the saddlebags.


  2. I’m also a quitter, about 25 years ago. Can’t understand why anyone would start now, knowing what we do now. Here, a pack of 20 cigarettes is $13.
    We’re preparing for Day of the Dead here as well. I’ve painted a skull pumpkin and a small Terra Cotta skeleton.


    1. Kris: So we quit smelling bad about the same time. Minds in sync.

      As for why people start smoking today, it’s young people, of course, and they think they are immortal, plus lots of them are just plain dumb.


    2. A carton of Marlboro costs $25 in Mexico at Sam’s Cub or $2.50 a pack. Like nearly everything else the price of cigarettes is much cheaper in Mexico.


  3. Cigarette packs in Chile come with pictures of various late stage cancer gore. Doesn’t seem to stop anybody. A lot of smokers there of all ages, but especially the young. We find Patzcuaro relatively smoker free.


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