Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

From the 50s and 60s to today . . .



All of My Friends

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Smoke Break

Okay. How can we complicate this . . .


My Dad went to veterinarian college in Guelph, Ontario.
Some time during the Dark Ages.
Okay, yes, he tells me that my time periods are a little off.
But I'm writing this story.
Dark Ages, it is.
Moving on . . .
Sometime during his years there, he had occasion to hitch-hike to Toronto.
It was his first time.
And it was an adventure.
Let me explain . . .
A gentleman stopped to pick him up.
A pleasant fellow.
Travelling salesman.
They visited for a while.
Then the driver decided it was time for a smoke break.
Or at least for a smoke. Why bother to actually make it a 'break'.
Better to just keep on driving.
In today's world of pre-assembled cigarettes, this wouldn't have been a problem.
But in the Dark Ages, people 'rolled their own'.
Seriously.
They got out a little piece of speciality paper.
Carefully shook a tiny bit of loose tobacco onto said paper.
Spread out said tobacco.
Rolled everything up.
Licked the edge of the paper.
And stuck it down.
Voila!
Cigarette.
Now, imagine doing all of that while hurtling at sixty miles per hour down the highway.
Talk about distracted driving . . .
The driver could easily accomplish it, though, with a little help from his hitch-hiker/new buddy.
“Here, son, could you please take the wheel?”
Dad stared at him. Was he serious?
“Please?”
Apparently, he was.
Gingerly, Dad reached over and grabbed the steering wheel.
“Good.” The man let go and proceeded to roll himself a cigarette, without compromising speed at all.
Except when Dad started to weave a little.
Then he slowed . . . slightly.
Finally, the job was done.
“Thank you,” the man said, taking a drag from his new cigarette. He once more took control of the wheel.
Dad sat back, relieved in both body and spirit.
A short time later, he was duly delivered at his destination.
Slightly smokier and a tiny bit wiser than normal, but safe.
Dad never took up smoking.
He said it was too dangerous.
Now you know why.

8 comments:

  1. It's interesting how the attitude toward smoking has changed over the years. When I was growing up, cigarette smoking was everywhere. The curling rink; the bowling alley, where I set pins--you could barely make out the bowlers; the doctor's office; dentist's office; the grocery store; the drug store. It was just considered normal. My neighbors smoke in their garage and I can smell it inside the closed confines of OUR house. I'm sure glad we don't smoke (nor do our kids)--there are enough bad habits out there as it is.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yep. in at least one way, it's a better world!!!

      Delete
  2. Oh, lovely. Too dangerous! I almost expected to read he would be rolling the cigarette and lighting it for the driver.

    My dad rolled cigarettes from his pipe tobacco when he was low and didn't feel like a trip to the store. In the car he smoked his pipe.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Having Dad roll his cigarette for him would have been safer. Marginally . . .

      Delete
  3. That brings back memories of my gran and grandad rolling up hundreds at a time...they had a little machine that they used. They would buy a tin of 'baccy', roll it all up and store the ciggies in the tin.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was always fascinated by those little machines. Our neighbours had one. I could sit there and watch the process for hours . . .

      Delete
  4. Replies
    1. See? Smoking is definitely dangerous . . . as well as hitch-hiking.

      Delete

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