21 November 2009

Cigarettes Are To Me What Nicky Arnstein was to Fanny Brice

Stopping smoking. It has NEVER EVER been this difficult. I have a free counselor at the NYC Stop Smoking program (dial 311) , and he was trying to help.
"Hi, this is Mark. What is the problem?"
"Mark", I said, "I love smoking. I just do. Smoking is great. And all the cool kids do it."
"Terry", he said, as everyone always has, and always will,.."It is very very unhealthy.Terry, smoking is bad for you. Smoking kills."
"Yes, Mark. I think I heard that somewhere. But what do you DO?When you feel you want a cigarettte more than you CARE about that remaining 40 years you'd have otheriwse?
Mark breathed in and out stentoriously. I suddenly thought, "Oh my God! He's smoking!!"
He wasn't though. He was thinking of new ways to make me unhappy.
"Kerry..." "Kerry, did you get the Help Booklet, that had all the drawings of cigaretts on it? The Quit Book. With the, like, the drawing of a pack on it."
"Yes Mark."
"Well, did it help?"
I paused. "Well, Mark, to be honest...not."
Mark: "Mary, why not?"
Peri: "Because, Mark. I smoked it."

He wasn't sure I was kidding. Frankly, neither was I. Mark sounded like, if he'd ever smoked, it was because all the other kids were doing it. Not becuse it was cool and made you look French and outrageous. He sounded like...well, he sounded like a quitter to me, pal. Nobody likes a quitter. "I don't CARE if these Newports are making you ill. You get in there and inhale, young man!"

Anyway, as my ol'Southern pal Cracka Jay used to say about this great aunt, a former burly-Q dancer and singer who always wore a beehive, a caftan and purple eyeliner: 

"My Aun' Selma, she dint smoke fa nicotine. She smoke fa ........styyyyyle."

Well, don't smoke, kids, and don't do drugs. You'll have a long, insanely boring life, which will seem TWICE as long because you're not drinking or doing drugs,and people will mock you behind your back because you're self-righteous and pompous, but it's worth it.-Offhand, I can't remember why, though.


The Lilies Of The Field Are Trying To Tell You Something

http://tinyurl.com/ycfw5grGot sent some anonymous flowers recently.-Well, the flowers weren't anonymous (they were roses, their actual names a mystery to me, although the one on the left did look like a bit like a Charlie)but the sender was. It was nice, in a slightly creepy way. So, because of this:
I have been researching the Victorian Language of Flowers. A Victorian suitor would send his beloved flowers, each of which had a very specific meaning, in order to communicate what his true feelings were.-Perhaps a wee bit passive-aggressive, but I'd rather get a bouquet of hollyhocks than an email ANY day, thank you.
So here's a selection of the Language of Flowers circa 1885, and afterwards, my own 2009 version.

Language Of The Flowers, 1885 version

1) Camellia: I live in gratitude of your perfected loveliness

2) Chrysanthemum: I admire your cheerfulness through adversity

3) Damask Rose: I worship your brilliant complexion

4) Fuschia: The ambition of my love thus plagues myself [Note:- What??]

5) Peach/or Peach Blossom: Your qualities, like your charms, are unequalled.

6) White Rosebud: You are too young to understand love [Note:I get that one a LOT.]

(Here is the website to learn more: http://www.victorianbazaar.com/meanings.html)

And...Here is The Language of the Flowers, 2009 Version:

1) Dandelions: You're okay, considering. I guess.

2) Poppies: I love you, but not more than I love prescription medications.

3) Carnations:My God, you're beautiful. My God, I'm cheap.

4) Rare Orchids: Aren't these exquisite? I'm sleeping with your sister.

5) Daffodils: Your optimism is touching. If delusional.

6)Asters: These are asters. -No, that's it, that's the message. Sorry.

7) Peach colored sunset roses: Your skin is like a flower petal at sunrise, and I think i might be gay.

8) Red roses: I think you're swell, I think you're aces, and I think it's 1947.

To sum up? Flowers are a beautiful means of communication, but I wouldn't try to leave a note for your cleaning woman with them. "Lobelias, canterbury bells and ferns...that means VERY CLEARLY to empty the dishwasher, Magda!! For pete's sake!"