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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (March 29, 1983)
Tuesday, March 29, 1983
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1983 Copley No. Semoe
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W'ro locking for somebody to rcpbco Anns Burford. . . scmsons with a good record
cn ths ermrenrncnt... v.ho krsov.'S ths repes Hztq in V.tshjngton."
Oh, to savor the sweet taste of tobacco
The maitre d' was pleasant enough as he asked, "How
many?" I replied, "Two."
"Will that be smoking or non-smoking?"
Silence. A look of utter disgust and then, "Right
this way" as he ushered us into a smoke-filled room
in which I recognized several faces through the haze.
I made a mental note to deduct 15 percent from his
tip. Making faces at a smoker is a serious offense, you
Smokers deserve much more respect than they cur
rently receive in today's health-conscious and wellness
wisliing society. Why, the risks alone that smokers stand
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up to are numerous. How many others are willing to
reduce the oxygen content of their blood, thereby re
ducing the amount of oxygen the brain receives each
minute? Smokers take the risk. They even write great
columns and accomplish monumental feats with this
reduced amount of oxygen. Ernest Hemingway and F.
Scott Fitzgerald wrote marvelous short stories and won
derful novels while sucking on cigarettes. Who knows,
perhaps this reduced amount of oxygerj inspires crea
tivity and imagination.
Let's talk about the reduced levels of physical stamina
that smokers endure. Smoking gives individuals the
opportunity to wheeze and cough when climbing more
than two flights of stairs. Smoking gives joggers the
incentive to make it to the end of the block where they
will reward themselves with the luxury of an extra
Smokers can make greater claims for accomplishing
the same physical feats as non-smokers. Everyone knows
it takes more to run a mile, survive an hour of jazzercise,
or dribble a basketball for four quarters if you smoke a
pack or more of cigarettes a day than if you do not.
Maybe the Olympics ought to be divided into categories
of smokers and non-smokers so we can see who really
deserves the gold medals.
Being a smoker entitles an individual to many personal
benefits. First of all, there is the benefit of the lingering
smell of smoke. Smokers continually have the smell on
their breath, their hands, and their clothes. No need to
spend money on aftershave or perfume since the sensual
eau de smoke permeates a smoker's entire existence.
For careless smokers, there is the benefit of additional
wardrobe purchases to replace those wearables having
burnt holes and scorch marks.
The long-term benefits of being a smoker include
having stained teeth, stained fingers (if you are compulsive
enough about it), a hacking cough and rapidly aging skin.
Yellow teeth qualify smokers to purchase special tooth
pastes, and a nasty cough is always good for waking up
in the morning. The beauty of rapidly aging skin can best
be seen in the tanning lotion, ad that demonstrates the
effects of baking your body in the sun, except the effects
of smoking are much more devastating than a few harm
less rays of ultra-violet sunlight.
More than anything else, smoking is a social defense
against other people. Puffers define the boundaries of
their personal space by the smoke they spread around
them. Smoking further provides a subtle irritation to
non-smokers whereby smokers can rid themselves of
bothersome individuals if they happen to be non-smokers.
For example, if you are sitting in the smoking section of
the cafeteria or the library and a person who particularly
grates on you happens to make themselves comfortable
at your table, you simply light up and begin demonstrat
ing your chain smoking abilities until the aforementioned
party politely dismisses themselves in the fog. (This only
works with non-smoking nimrods. When tried with
smokers, they borrow a cigarette and only make the
headache you have just developed worse.)
For 95 cents, smokers have entire industries catering
to their needs. In addition to the tobacco industry , there
is the ashtray industry and the match manufacturers,
to say nothing of the people who want you to flick their
Since each cigarette lasts five to seven minutes, depend
ing upon how often and how deeply you inhale, each
package of cigarettes provides more than two hours of
pure pleasure. That makes smoking cost about, 50 cents
an hour if you smoke non-stop, and that's a lot cheaper
than deriving pleasure from video games, movies or even
books, unless you check them out from your local library.
Furthermore, the tax income from cigarettes supports
vital programs administered by our state and federal
governments, but don't try to blame defense spending
on smokers. That's one more criticism they don't deserve".
Like eating escargot and drinking black coffee,
smoking takes getting used to - one must develop a taste
for it. Orjce you get over the initial coughing and the
burning feeling in your throat and lungs, you can sit back
and enjoy the sweet taste of tobacco.
Best-selling author Kurt Vonnegut smokes three to
four packs of cigarettes a day. He claims it is the only
sure form of suicide. Perhaps he is right. For the majority
of tobacco users, smoking is a rebellion against the society
they are surrounded by. It calls attention to the individual
at a time when individualism is not applauded as
vigorously as it should be.
Letters will be selected
for publication on the basis
of clarity, originality, time
liness and space available
in the newspaper.
Letters sent to the news
paper for publication be
come the property of the
Daily Nebraskan and cannot
will not be considered for
publication, and request, to
withhold names will be
granted only in exceptional
Submit all material to
the Daily Nebraskan, Room
34, Nebraska Union, 1400
RSt., Lincoln, Neb. 68588.
Swarming vim It u ires
in un pretty wor
Life isn't always pretty. No day passes without its
seeming quota of viciousncss and trauma. A glance at
the news confirms the impression. We can't ignore the
ugliness. Journalists won't let us. Life won't let us.
The wishful complain they are given only the bad
news. What of goodness, they ask. Seen through their
rosy optics, journalists are grotesque vultures, forever
circling above corrupt flesh.
Others, however, become resigned to the ominous
nature of news and the world it reports. Daily doses
desensitize them. They are immune.
Yet their glib acceptance of ugliness is no better than
the wishful's glib denial of it. Though both strive to main
tain ignorance, denial at least is a gesture of active resis
tance. Acceptance is passive neutrality.
My point is underscored by a March 6 news story
everyone has heard by now. A Massachusetts woman was
repeatedly raped on the pool table of a bar she had
entered only to buy cigarettes. No one moved to help
her. Most were merrily entertained. Tire live rape was no
more significant to them than mud-wrestling. The sex and
violence were merely a spectator sport, a passive pastime.
The incident struck me as remarkable, unusual, strange.
It seemed bizarre, fluky, a confluence of weird chance.
But I have since thought twice.
1 spent spring break in a city in central Florida. The
city is named Lakeland because of its many lakes. Life
can be pretty. That is the happy news.
A week ago Saturday, Roger Pitts sat drinking at one
of the lakes. It was an old phosphate pit some 30 feet
deep. Somebody bet him $5 he couldn't catch a duck.
Pitts drowned in the attempt.
He reportedly was a good swimmer. But when his body
was dredged up, nearly five hours later, the alcohol in his
blood was found to be three times the legal limit.
As one police and one fire department boat trolled
for the body, more than 100 spectators lined the banks.
As one afternoon wore on and more gathered, the tragedy
took on a carnival air.
Some, impatient for the corpse, began to heckle the
search party with obscenities. A Pinky Dinky ice cream
truck cruised the crowd, vending treats and blaring rag
One man watching the rescue effort drove his truck
into the back of a woman's car, then started to drive
away. The woman jumped from her car and tried to stop
the man by yanking at the steering wheel through the
truck's open door. Those gathered watched as she was
dragged along shouting for help.
It is common knowledge that gawkers flock to most
accidents, many disasters and some crimes. That isn't
remarkable, unusual or strange anymore. My question
is: Who are the real swarming vultures in our oftentimes
NIGHT NEWS EDITOR
Daniel M. Shattil
John G. Goecke
Doug Netz, 472-2454
Don Walton, 473-7301
Jeff Buettner .
Ward W. Triplett III
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BRASKA. ALL MATERIAL COPYRIGHT 1983 PAIL Y NEBRASKAN
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