The cost of cigarettes go up in California $2.00 this week. So either I’m going to finally kick this habit, or I’m going to need my customers to pitch in a bit more. Or, better yet, don’t be so damned difficult. If you didn’t stress me out so much, I wouldn’t need them in the first place.
The truth is, I’ve quit a hundred times. And I can’t wait for it to finally stick. I’ve gone from two packs a day to one pack a day to a couple a day but I’m still stuck on them. So I’m all for a cigarette tax. It’s about damned time we stopped trying to kill ourselves anyway.
But I’ll tell you one thing; there’s nothing like a quick hit of nicotine after a customer spent the last ten minutes tearing you a new asshole. I only need one. Two is excessive. But they continue to do it anyway. Over silly things. Like fries cooked medium instead of well. Or meat that’s a little too fatty.
“I can’t eat this,” he says.
“Okay, I’ll get you something else, no problem. But next time, if you want your meat lean, then order it that way. Because now I have to throw this food out.” And I raise the plate in front of him, just to make sure he gets one last, good look at everything that he’s about to waste. And I think, for the hundredth time, that America needs a little more starvation.
So you’re taxing my cigarettes. Just like my customers are taxing my mental health. That’s fine, but please, just don’t go after my liquor. That’s one thing I can’t trade in.
And say what you want about guilty pleasures. Condemn me all you want. Tell me it’s not that bad. But you weren’t on the phone with that one dude. The one who asked me to credit him the cost of his salami.
“It wasn’t good,” he said.
Well, bring it on back, and we’ll happily give you a new order.
“Bring it back?”
Yeah, just come on in, and we’ll fix that for you.
“Well, I already ate it.”
I’m sorry, sir, but I can’t give you a credit if you don’t bring us the meat.
And you may be thinking I’m being unreasonable here. And usually, I’d offer up that credit in a heartbeat. But I recognize the number. This guy does this a couple times a month.
“This is bullshit,” he says.
I’m sorry, sir, if you don’t have the product, I can’t refund you.
“You bitch. I hope that whole place goes up in flames, with you inside of it. I hope you all burn.”
And the line goes dead.
Now, you see, I’ve just been condemned to death by a maniacal, cheapskate manipulator. You know what sounds good right about now? Yeah. A cigarette. And a shot of the good stuff, to wash the bad taste of this guy from my mouth.
There are people like this in the world. People exuding so much negativity it breaks your heart. People will threaten you over 6.75 worth of salami, just because they can. And that’s just not a world I’m equipped to live in. So I dull my senses just a bit. But really, can you blame me? I’ve tried meditation, but every time I try to silence my mind, his voice comes flooding in. But the liquor makes me forget. It makes things a little easier. I’m not alleviating accountability here; I’m just saying that If so many of you weren’t such massive dicks, I wouldn’t have to turn to something just to help me get by.
I can’t blame the addicts. This is a cruel world, full of wicked people. If you want to solve addiction, don’t tax cigarettes. Money’s never solved a damned thing it’s not going to solve this either. It’ll just create more debt because money is not a renewable resource. But education is.
Instead, raise your children right. Teach them to be honest and to be good. Teach them kindness. And you’ll find that the rest of us won’t have to turn to something else, because we can turn to one another. Am I really asking too much?
There are hungry people out there. Stop wasting your food. There are thirsty children. Stop asking for a water you never planned on drinking. There are folks out there who are struggling with things you cannot begin to imagine. Think on that the next time you want to voice your entitlement. Your privilege.
Because you don’t make the rules. And karma, well, she’s the biggest bitch there is.