Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Surviving in the land of tobacco

My friend Chris, who writes for milb.com, calls people she does not like "douchenozzles." In the annals of ad hominem verbiage, this one might be a Hall of Famer.

I encountered a douchenozzle of the lowest order today when I was doing my power walk, which I must do to preserve my girlish figure. My hotel is in Covington, Ky., separated from downtown Cincinnati by many bridges. To start my walk, I cross one of the oldest and most spectacular spans, a suspension span that is well over 125 years old and, I've been told, was the model for the Brookly Bridge.

The car portion of the bridge is closed for a major overhaul, but you can still traverse the pedestrian walkways. However, much of the walkway is tented for the construction, as you can see in the photo below, so you essentially walk in and out of these canvas tunnels.

A man was walking in the same direction, about 30 feet ahead of me, and I saw him light a cigaret as he was entering one of the canvas tunnels. Not only did he want to inhale as much nicotine as he could directly, he wanted to collect any smoke that foolishly plotted escape by inhaling it as it rebounded off the canvas.

Of course, I had to walk through the same tunnel, and my efforts to run past him and the smoke were thwarted by a Bengie Molinian lack of speed and two cranky knees. I lost the race and had to suck down this douchenozzle's second-hand smoke. By the time we got to the next tunnel, I put on my afterburners (shaddup!) and passed him.

What is it with people in this part of the country? After lunch, I walked into the Starbucks near my hotel and two extraordinarily large women in line ahead of me each ordered sugary, whipped-creamy, caramely drinks. For the life of me I couldn't see the barista pouring anything into the two cups that looked remotely like coffee. After I quickly got my black cup of java, I followed the women out. One woman, before she even took a sip of her pepperoni pizza in a cup, lit up a smoke and started puffing.

She could not wait to kill herself with the a cigaret before she could kill herself with the drink.

I try not to be judgmental (again, shaddup!). But I really do appreciate the California attitude about health. Even I, who will never don a swimsuit calendar that is not published for the blind, look at the salad side of the menu before I look at the meat, and no, I don't smoke.

Long live the douchenozzles, if they can make it.


  1. The Midwest "look" has been well-documented in camera shots of the stands during Giants' Pittsburgh and Cincy games. Not that there aren't plenty of examples here in Callfornia, mind you, but I get your (smokeless) drift, which, btw, we're mostly free of here in the Golden State.

  2. If I lived in the Midwest, I'd probably eat myself into obesity as well ....

  3. "O'er the laaand of the faaaat, and the hoooome of the graaavvvy."

  4. love it. you could have met up w/ me for a run. then we'd be smokin'!
    i totally get it! living in atlanta....not the same as Bay Area, for sure!