21 December 2011

Filthy Habit

I was awake in the middle of the night again. And you know how you think strange thoughts when it's 2:00 AM and you can't sleep? Well, last night I got to thinking about bad habits. Specifically, my bad habits. And I tried to console myself with the fact that at least, I don't smoke (tobacco, that is. What's coming out of my ears at times, that's a different topic).

I've never smoked. Neither have any of my family members, or most of my friends. In fact, I don't know of one close friend I have at this moment who's given to pipe weed. And don't you know, that makes me feel oh-so-smug. I mean, who needs that filthy habit? It stinks, cigarette smoke does, and it's horribly unhealthy, everyone knows that.

Smoking is one of those habits that has the lovely effect of allowing those of us who don't do it to feel really superior to those that do. I walk or drive by smokers, and I feel virtuous. There are, for example, the teenagers who stand by the street in front of the local high school - they're not allowed to smoke on school property, so they put one toe over the line onto the sidewalk, and practise their bad habit there. Now, my children would never do such a thing.

That's what I realised at 2:00 AM last night, that the way I feel about smoking is utterly saturated with that feeling of superiority. I like to think that because I don't smoke, that makes me better than you who does. And THAT, my friend, is a filthy habit. It stinks.

It's quite a lot like that story of the man who sits in the back of the church with his head in his hands, going "God, I'm such scum!" And at the front of the building, another person has planted their rear in the pew, saying "Thank God I'm not a loser like that guy back there! He probably smokes, too; I'd never do that." I don't think I need to spell it out for you which one of the two the storyteller thought was the healthier person.

And now, entirely apropos of nothing, here's today's picture, which is my cat Cleopatra. She really is a superior creature, indeed, but then all cats are.

Life, the Universe, and Superiority. I think it's time to kick some filthy habits.


  1. A good reminder for me as well.

    Cleopatra looks just like a cat I had but I wasn't as imaginative with her name, Blackie.

    I hope you have a great Christmas.

  2. Well, we just call her Cleo. And she's neurotic as well as superior.

    Happy Christmas to you, too!

  3. Cleopatra looks like the female equivalent to our cat, Rosco. Gorgeous. And I loved your post. So true and so well written.

  4. Cleopatra rules. Cleopatra also scratches and bites.

  5. Don't forget the hissing. It's that neurosis common to superior females. We tell her several times a day that she's a silly animal, but it doesn't seem to have sunk in yet.

    Andrea, perhaps she's Rosco's offspring, or that of Bonnie's Blackie. We got her from the SPCA as a kitten.

    And I can tell you quite definitely that neither of our cats smokes, so they have every right to feel superior.