Monday, January 26, 2015
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

I stopped feeding Bobo the monkey

tony wade column sig

By
From page A2 | January 28, 2013 |

I am an ex-smoker and when I get a whiff of cigarette smoke now, it is yucky 99.99 percent of the time. Still, there is that .01 percent of the time that the dormant Nicotine Welcoming Committee in my brain almost convinces me it smells like home cookin’ on a Sunday afternoon.

I had my last cigarette in January 1994. I had actually quit in August of the previous year but, in a moment of weakness, had one last one which convinced me I was done. In my particular case, it was especially stupid to be a smoker as I have been a lifelong asthmatic.

I’d take a hit off my cigarette then one off my inhaler. I smoked really light cigarettes, namely Benson & Hedges Deluxe Ultra Lights Regular. I’ve yet to meet another man who smoked my brand. Grandmas, debutantes, women who have come a long way, baby, but not a single man.

Whatever. I didn’t smoke to be the Marlboro Man. I smoked because I had to keep feeding Bobo, the nicotine monkey that lived on my back.

I started smoking to fit in when I was a seventh-grader. We moved to Fairfield in 1976 and even though we moved into then brand-new Dover Terrace North where all the kids had the shared experience of being the new kids on the block, there was still peer pressure.

On the way home from Grange Intermediate one day, Bobby and Mike McCallum taught me how to inhale a Carlton cigarette they’d pilfered from their dad. Soon I was buying my own from EZ Mart (now Major Market) for 55 cents a pack.

My mom found a pack of my Winstons and confronted me. How she was able to uncover them when I’d put them oh-so-cleverly in my top drawer where she always put my socks after doing the laundry, I have no idea.

I used the famous “I’m holding them for a friend” el-lame-o alibi. Ridiculous. Was I a safe deposit box? Did my “friend” not know about this incredible new invention called pockets? Still, I stuck by my story.

Me and the other neighborhood teen smokers would lean against a fence that faced out into a big field which is now Tolenas Park. I’m ashamed to say we would sometimes amuse ourselves by letting the younger Darden brothers, James and Daniel, take a drag and then watch them cough.

The owner of the house near the fence would sometimes come out and chase us away. Some of my friends made disparaging remarks/gestures and I might have, too, if I didn’t recognize that he was John Reed, who went to my church.

Down the street from Grange on Blossom Avenue there was an abandoned house. At lunchtime, we’d creep along the fence at the edge of school property and then make a break for it to go smoke.

One day when I started to make my break, I saw Dick Horn, the vice principal, who’d been hiding on the side of the office.

I ran and tried in vain to discard my smokes, but he caught me and retrieved them. Actually, running was stupid once he’d spotted me because I wore a jean jacket every day that my mom had sewn “T-O-N-Y” on in big gold letters on the back. Kinda would’ve narrowed it down.

Once, being a smoker actually helped me. I worked at Lucky Supermarket on North Texas Street and went there on Thanksgiving as a customer because I needed something. I saw my friend/co-worker Tami Hall crying and she told me a customer had called her the “b” word.

I waited outside and, when the guy came out, I flicked my lit ciggy at him and it bounced off his dome, shooting awesome lil’ sparks everywhere and then I cussed him out. I’m not proud of it now, but it was a cool visual and only needed dramatic background music.

No one is more self-righteous than an ex-smoker and I will not disappoint. There is more information and proof of the dangers of smoking and help available to quit than ever before. Stop feeding Bobo. Consider this column a lit smoke flicked upside your head.

Reach Fairfield writer Tony Wade at kelvinsbrother@sbcglobal.net.

Tony Wade

Tony Wade

Tony Wade is the slightly older yet infinitely more handsome brother of long-time DR columnist Kelvin Wade
LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 1 comment

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • KellyJanuary 28, 2013 - 5:28 am

    Oh my Gosh, this is the second time I've read one of your stories, and the second time I couldn't stop laughing! Did your friend not have pockets, were you a safety deposit box, and best of all-TONY sewed onto the back of your jacket-made tears run down my face. Thank you for sharing, and making me laugh. You are great at what you do!

    Reply | Report abusive comment
.

Solano News

Teen finds entrepreneurial path at young age

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A1, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Time for Relay for Life kickoff event

By Tony Wade | From Page: A2

 
Local government agencies post meeting times

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

Fairfield schedules workshop on downtown plan

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

 
Suisun Senior Center offers monthly dance

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

 
 
Wedding Faire offers one-stop browsing for couples

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3, 1 Comment | Gallery

Crab feed tradition continues this week

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

 
.

US / World

 
Millions of GMO insects could be released in Florida Keys

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

Boy shot by Los Angeles deputies treated for graze wound

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
US gas prices fell 13 cents per gallon, but expected to rise

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

2 Marines identified in deadly California helicopter crash

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
Santa Ana winds knock out power to thousands in California

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

Balloon crew launches in bid to break 2 major records

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Obama: Counterterrorism operations in Yemen not affected

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Obama to seek wilderness designation for Alaska refuge

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Navy wants to increase use of sonar-emitting buoys

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Ukraine: Phone calls prove rebels attacked city, killed 30

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Zambia: Edgar Lungu sworn in as new president

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Greek radical left wins election, threatening market turmoil

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

‘Potentially historic’ storm headed for Northeast

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Zoo offers creepy way for lovelorn to get even with exes

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
.

Opinion

Do elected officials get it?

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8, 6 Comments

 
Democracy or republic?

By Earl Heal | From Page: A8, 7 Comments

 
Editorial Cartoon: Jan. 26, 2015

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
.

Living

Community Calendar: Jan. 26, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
Today in History: Jan. 26, 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Horoscope Jan. 27, 2015

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B5

 
Horoscope Jan. 26, 2015

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A7

 
My sister is jobless and homeless and I’m not sure how to help

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A7

.

Entertainment

TVGrid Jan 26

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Complete list of winners at 21st annual SAG Awards

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

TVGrid Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Miss Colombia crowned Miss Universe in Miami

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
‘Birdman’ tops SAG Awards, Redmayne upsets Keaton

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

.

Sports

Curry leads Warriors to 19th straight home win

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
The Week Ahead: Plenty of action close to home

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B1

Serena Williams to meet Cibulkova in Aussie Open quarters

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Watt gets 2 turnovers, dances in friendly Pro Bowl

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Tavares scores 4, Team Toews outscores Team Foligno, 17-12

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
AP Interview: Selig says MLB could expand internationally

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Coach K gets 1,000th win as No. 5 Duke tops St. John’s 77-68

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Quinn has led Seattle to record-setting defense

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Chip Ganassi Racing’s ‘star car’ wins Rolex 24 at Daytona

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
AP Explains: What makes the Super Bowl such a big deal

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Patriots’ Browner gets a 2nd chance at a Super Bowl ring

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Family attorney: Cubs great Ernie Banks died of heart attack

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Bill Haas pulls away to win Humana Challenge

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Jeff Gordon to be Fox guest analyst during XFINITY season

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Sherman doubts any punishment ahead for Patriots

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
AP Source: Browns WR Josh Gordon fails another drug test

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
.

Business

.

Obituaries

Don Johnson

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 6 Comments

 
Thomas Clark

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

.

Comics

Baby Blues Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Pickles Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Sally Forth Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Baldo Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Wizard of Id Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Rose is Rose Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Frank and Ernest Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Beetle Bailey Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Blondie Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Get Fuzzy Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Zits Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
B.C. Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Peanuts Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
For Better or Worse Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Dilbert Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Garfield Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Bridge Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Crossword Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Word Sleuth Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Sudoku Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Cryptoquote Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Frank and Ernest Jan 26

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Blondie Jan 26

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Baldo Jan 26

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Baby Blues Jan 26

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Rose is Rose Jan 26

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Sally Forth Jan 26

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Dilbert Jan 26

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Zits Jan 26

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Wizard of Id Jan 26

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Get Fuzzy Jan 26

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Beetle Bailey Jan 26

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Pickles Jan 26

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Garfield Jan 26

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

B.C. Jan 26

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
For Better or Worse Jan 26

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Peanuts Jan 26

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Sudoku Jan 26

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

Cryptoquote Jan 26

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

 
Bridge Jan 26

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

Word Sleuth Jan 26

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

 
Crossword Jan 26

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7