Monday, October 12, 2020


The morning routine, for normal people, is to pee, pop their pills, make a cup of coffee, and head out with a pipe in their mouth for an early smoke. A friend omits the pill and pipe part, rushing off madly to the bookstore instead -- often late in the morning, because his employment supervising literate people doesn't start till nearly noon -- and my apartment mate has a big bowl of cereal in lieu of medication or tobacco, in addition to talking to, arguing with, and supplying the voices of stuffed creatures.

But NORMAL people start with prescription drugs and a pipe.

From which I postulate, while out there enjoying a bowl of delicious mostly red Virginia leaf with the merest touch of Perique, that both that friend and my apartment mate are not quite normal. A man has a blinkered view of things just around dawn, his world is still dark around the edges.

Surely Auntie With The Pistachio Icecream Hued Hat is a normal person? For those new to this programme, she's an elderly Cantonese lady whom I encounter while out there with my pipe.
I have never seen her with a briar in her mouth, but does it not make sense that she smokes first, then continues walking around a while so that the smell wears off and her nearest and dearest don't realize that she indulges? Probably a burley blend. Mild smelling, a slightly nutty taste, and enough nicotine that a large bowl is not necessary. I postulate that the survival of all those old-school burley blends is because they are more suited to the Cantonese feminine personality, instead of bib overall-wearing farmer types driving their tractor around the north forty, while shooting water rats and cane toads at the crack of dawn.

There are no varmints in this neighborhood. Quod erat demonstrandum.

Today is Columbus Day. We're celebrating the discovery of tobacco by Mediterraneans and the discovery of syphilis and smallpox by the native of Americans. A momentous occasion, slightly over four centuries ago. It marks the start of civilization, as well as the subsequent rape of most of Africa and Asia. Truly festive. Worth remembering, at least.

More acreage world-wide is devoted to the cultivation of Virginia tobacco than almost any other cash crop, proving that tobacco fills a need and is more significant even than sugar cane, which trailer-Americans rely on for their nutritional needs, and British people use to rot their teeth. Oh, and the big breweries found essential for making beer. Unless they're using corn syrup. Without Columbus, corn syrup would never have been invented.
You can thank a syphilitic Italian navigator for that.
We're celebrating that too today.

"White man, we give you corn, you give us clap!"

"It's a deal!"

Maybe that first cup of coffee isn't enough for proper synapse firing. Time for another.
Which will be followed by further smoke, a little bit later.


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