10 May 2005

The Difficulty of Starting Smoking

Last week, I found out that I smoke. Normally, this sort of news isn't news. Normally, you know when you smoke. The rough-looking lady in the 1978 Ford pick-up--she smokes the unfiltered goodness to the tune of a pack-and-a-half a day--and no one ever has to remind her. I, on the other hand, needed a phone call to figure out that I smoke…and therefore will have quite a bit of trouble getting life insurance.

Now that I've got a wife and a two-year-old, the responsible thing to do is to pick a li'l life insurance and take care of my crew. So I've tried to do just that. Actually my wife has set the whole thing up. Made the calls. Answered the questions. Even woke up early a couple Saturdays ago, filled a cup with urine and let a nurse draw a couple vials of blood. I was feeling all right about the situation. I was feeling like a man taking care of his family.

Then I got the fateful call. "You have tested positive for nicotine." Hmmm. The (not-so) funny part is that I don't smoke. Never have. Never sparked up a Marlboro, or a stogie, or a pipe. All I can think is, "This is what I get for spending my formative years in Taft, CA--a burned out oil town 35 miles outside of Bakersfield. (yes, there are places 'outside' of Bakersfield. And, oh yeah, they are incrementally more depressing.) Seriously. All that community secondhand smoke from 1987 to 1994 must have really done some damage.

So the insurance company won't budge. A positive test is a positive test. Even if you're positive by two one-hundredths of a point. Even if you've never smoked a fleck of tobacco. Even if you have signed affidavits from everyone you've ever met. Even if you had your upstairs neighbor evicted for piping her foul cigarette smoke into your apartment.

They say the first step to recovery is admission. So here it is: I'm a smoker. A sad, uninsurable smoker who enjoys none of the narcotic effects of his preferred drug.


nobody said...

wow, that stinks. . . sorry for stating the obvious.

Kaylene said...

so, this is random, but i just wanted to say that i ran across your blog yesterday... and new as it is, i think you've got a good thing goin'. it's interesting. and although i've never seen lost, i entirely agree about alias. i've made a few posts about it myself, just not in as many well-chosen words...