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Time To Quit
Perchance the realization has finally come to chain-smoking Chollie that it might at last be time to quit.
An everted pulmonary organ, hanging slackly and blackly from one’s gasping gaping mouth, tends to make a pretty strong statement that one’s days of enjoying that nicotine high should probably be abruptly brought to an end.
But, who knows? After all, Chollie is not the sort of character that is receptive to taking a hint, no matter how emphatic that hint might be.
It was just two and a half years ago that our boy Chollie switched out his entire boudoir wardrobe to asbestos pajamas, exclusively. He evidently tired of awaking suddenly and having to stop, drop and roll, after inadvertently igniting his sleepwear with the still-burning fag hanging from his dozing lips.
A short spell later, his combined weekly take-home paychecks for the month of March went toward a bulk wholesale purchase of a gross of smoke detectors. It took more than a few days, but eventually Chollie had multiple detectors strategically installed in every conceivable niche, nook and cranny of bedroom, bathroom, den, kitchen, veranda, hall, basement, porch, garage, patio, breezeway, attic, living room, dining room, sewing room, closet, refrigerator, freezer, and pantry. Just to be on the safe side.
The self-extinguishing carpet that extends throughout the main rooms of Chollie’s ranch — in that really darling sculpted cocoa-and-cream stipple pattern — was a gift from his concerned Great Aunt Addie. (Having placed three successive husbands, one brother, and one uncle in the manicured grounds of The Adoring Angels’ Garden of Peace and Tranquility, all departed with terminal lung cancer, Addie is determined not to lose a single additional male relation to that demon tobacco.)
Upon the occasion of each of his last 18 consecutive birthdays, Chollie has blown out the candles on his birthday cake, and has then opened a gift of a brand new multi-fuel fire extinguisher from one family friend or another. Those dozen and a half large gleaming red cylinders now punctuate the walls of Chollie’s domicile at regular intervals, interspersed among smoke detectors. Just another dozen or so identical birthday gifts, and no spot in the smoky ranch will be more than an arm’s reach from a ready extinguisher.
The 4,287 pine-scented air fresheners hanging in regular rows from the popcorn-textured plaster ceilings of Chollie’s place are courtesy of Barney Bipp’s Auto Wash and the fundraising efforts of the local brownie scout troop. As part of last year’s, ‘Help Your Neighbor’ badge campaign, the girls all voted for improving Chollie’s indoor air quality (at least up to the level of an EPA-Watchlist Coke Plant).
Now, all that remains is for Chollie to dial 911, and hope that the responding paramedics have had some training in how to thread an individual’s lung back over the tongue, past the epiglottis, and down into the chest cavity. (First, however, they might want to grab a scouring pad and abrade most of those charcoaly-looking chunks off that quivering once-pinkish-white organ!)
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