Thursday, April 16, 2009

The Tobacco Incident

I have such a diverse circle of friends and acquaintances that I rarely even pay much attention to the things that make us different. I simply accept people for who they are, regardless of how different, strange, or eclectic they may be.

If you ask me, diversity is part of the spice of life.

However, as accepting of people as I am, I really have a difficult time with abnormally stupid people.

Take for example a co-worker of mine named Jim.

I went to have sushi for lunch today with a few people from work. It’s usually just my friend Anton and I, but apparently he invited one of his peers, who in turn invited another peer—that person being Jim.

Now, I like Jim, I really do. He’s a nice kid—probably 24 or 25 years-old, physically speaking. Mentally, I’d say he’s more like 14-15 years-old. I kid you not.

He does have his moments though. He’s actually fairly amusing, in a Lloyd Christmas kind of way—for about 30 minutes. After that, he really wears on your patience. And for anyone to test my patience is quite a feat, as I usually have an abundance of it.


The problem is that the more he speaks, the more painful it becomes to listen. I can literally feel my IQ dropping like Lehman Brothers’ stock with every word that comes out of his mouth.

Take for example the conversation he initiated on the way back to work.

Anton and I get in the car, both of us in front. We grab an Arturo Fuente Cubanito, light up, and lean back in our seats as we pull out.

“I didn’t know you guys smoked cigars. At least you don’t have to worry about nicotine like you would if you smoked cigarettes.”

Anton and I look at each other simultaneously, wide-eyed with disbelief and holding back our laughter.

“Someone slap him!” said Anton.

I take mercy on Jim and advise him that, “Cigars have nicotine too, Jim.”

“Really! I thought only cigarettes had nicotine.”

I hold up the cigar as a teaching prop.

“Um, well you see how it’s basically dried tobacco wrapped in a tobacco leaf? Yeah, there’s nicotine in pretty much anything that’s derived from tobacco.”

Jim smiles, and says, “Oh, well aren’t you guys worried about lung cancer?”

Anton takes a puff, and replies, “Dude, most people don’t inhale cigars, including us.”

“Someone slap him now!” he says.

Jim replies, “I dunno man, I’m worried. I don’t want to become addicted to nicotine.”

“Why? How often do you have cigars?” I ask.

“Um, like once a year.”

At this point, the cute novelty that was Jimbo's ignorance has worn off, and the car became completely silent.

With his eyes squinting, his eyebrows raised, and a shit-eating grin on his face, Anton says:



“Don’t talk to me for at least an hour, please. Not for any reason whatsoever.”

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