Thursday, September 13, 2012


I used to smoke.  Started when I was thirty, mainly because of the anti-smoking backlash that was going on back then.  Busy bodies weren't going to tell ME what to do!

Lucky Strikes.  Unfiltered.  God they were glorious.

Anyway, bad idea.  I worked hard to quit but kept falling off the wagon.  I've got quitting dialed in, now, though, so when I do fall off the wagon it's no big deal.  I'll smoke from one to three weeks then be quit again.  The time gaps between relapses grows bigger and bigger.  To avoid relapses I have to avoid being around smokers.  Which is easier and easier unless I start dating one.

How do I quit?  I used to use that Chantrix stuff but to get a refill meant going to the doctor, who would then talk down to me in a condescending way as if I was a child.  You know smoking is bad for you?  Bad bad bad.  If I could change anything about the medical profession it would be that. 

But that's ok.  I find generic nicotine patches work wonders.  And they cost less than cigarettes.  They wean me off the cancer sticks lickity boo.

The side effects, for me, with Chantix was copious odorless underarm sweat.  Inconvenient.  The side effects for the patch is vivid dreams...  And hence, blog fodder:

I was back in the Nam.  It was 1965.  Our equipment was used and second rate.  Reduced to junk Garands.  Someone higher up decided we needed a new rifle.  So...  They altered the M1 Carbine.  They made it sort of a double rifle.  The usual 15 round .30 carbine magazine, but also a 5 round .30 Pederson magazine, to give us grunts that extra oomph.  Oh, good LAWD!

The extra anemic cartridge and extra weight was unnacceptable, but we would use it as a stopgap rifle until some new .223 rifle came out...  (see?  foreshadowing!  Must be for tonite's dream...)

Well, with a new rifle, that required new ammo.  So 200,000 rounds were ordered (I swear, this level of detail was in the dream.)  The supply officer only accepted 100,000, though.  We didn't want to store that much, and really, how would we burn through all that?  Viet Nam was just a sleep police action and all.

The dream kept cutting away to the the two non-descript red containers that held the ammo, just like it was a movie.  One of the containers kept shifting on the back of the flatbed truck... Uh oh... building tension...

Well, it was understood that the way to keep vital supplies untampered with was not to tie them down.  That made them look like they weren't valuable and the native population didn't bother with them.  It was my job to go check on the other 100,000 rounds. 

The supply dump was in a semi-urban area, and it was cold for the tropics.  A storm was brewing up.  There were plenty of locals going about their business in and around unguarded US containers.  Including kids at recess.  The wind was blowing things around a bit. I notice the container I was looking at was about 200 yards away and it was balanced precarious and shifting with each gust.  So I was a bit alarmed.  I started sprinting away as soon as I knew it was going to topple.  The container fell and burst open and rounds starting to pop off.  Then it was like a nuke going critical.  More and more rounds started going until the thing exploded.

Then the dream went to slow motion.  I could see the deadly shock wave moving out from the epicenter over my shoulder and was trying to put as much distance as I could in order to survive it.  Pity the locals that were too close.  I knew it was still dangerous to me because the wave front was kicking up dust and debris on the road as it closed in on me.  Eventually it overtook me and felt like I was kicked in the ass by Andre the Giant.  My last thoughts were, 'well, I probably have a concussion, now.'

I woke up home, and home was Georgetown, DC.  Of 40 years ago.  Not as tony as it was later.  Georgetown USED to be a slum-like area 70 years ago.  I was looking at old tube radios and appreciating the sound quality.  I ran across a cute little brunette on a bike, and she had a baby with her.  She must have had a guilty conscious because she apologized for stealing my bike.  "Oh, is this yours?" she said, pointing down at it.  It might have been a pickup line because the bike wasn't mine.  I responded, "Depends on what you mean.  The bike isn't mine, so there's that.  I just met you now so the baby is probably not mine, either.  But you have stolen my heart..."

CHEESY!  I need editors in my dreams.  But thanks for the movie, Nicotine Patch.


New Jovian Thunderbolt said...

I so rarely get a dream with such a coherent plot. Soldier goes to war, get's hurt, goes home and tries to re-adjust, then meets a girl...

New Jovian Thunderbolt said...

Sub plots of poorly organized DC bureacracy, and inadequate equipment for the tip of the spear on the front lines. And the poor indigenous population victimized by the war machine ostendibly there to save them. Damn. The tropes are all internalized.

Tam said...


NotClauswitz said...

"Georgetown, DC in the 70's" makes it officially a nightmare! :-) We're at about a year and four months - just up and quit, no other way.