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May 10th 2010    Tim Candler

    I have the jaws of a Neanderthal from a week of chewing nicotine gum.   And while occasionally concentrating upon other things I have several times bitten my tongue, in the literal sense.  So hopefully I will soon succumb to gangrene, and there could be tears at my passing, but I doubt it because in pursuing the day to day I am like a wingless hornet looking for something to sting. 

    Nor is nicotine gum easy to dispose of.  I imagine it clogs landfills, because it can get lost between tooth and cheek where it can decide to cling like an octopus.  Usually my fingers are earthy, yet into my mouth they go to rummage around.  The results are most unattractive and cannot be healthy.  As well, a sneeze or a cough gives nicotine gum flight, so sometimes I am forced onto hands and knees in search of it, otherwise it ends up on the soles of shoes where it can find a permanent home in carpeting.  And sometimes I worry about the effect upon intestines that swallowed nicotine gum might have.

    Fortunately the Grey Cat relieves the burden of civilized behavior upon me by constantly bringing rabbits into the domicile.   He is like a Roman Emperor who will only eat front legs and head.   Then when the Grey Cat's Mistress issues loud opinion, the Grey Cat and I exchange accusing glances, before sneaking off to hide.   But I am larger than he is, so under the bed is a difficult feat for me.

     I always used to think non-smokers a strange and unnatural breed, too permeated by behavioral certainty to possess the empathy that permits tolerance,  and constantly I remind myself that Hitler rose to dominance only after he gave up smoking.   And, between spasms of self pity, I find myself tilting toward the right as though drawn there like a moth to electric light.

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