The Smokiest Man (Still) Alive
The first time I came across the smokiest man (still) alive was in line for video rentals at the grocery store. Well,I wasn’t in line yet,as it was a long Saturday night line and it smelled like everyone there had bathed in an ashtray.
At first I thought I could take the smell,if I could get back to the cheese dept. fast enough to grab a hunk of Limburger to smash against my nose like an oxygen mask. (For some fresh air.) But when I returned to the front of the store the line was down to one man and the stench was even worse. Yes,it was the smokiest man (still) alive.
I had to ditch the cheese and get out quick before I fainted,so I wasn’t able to get a real close look,although from a smoky distance I did see a cigarette dangling from his lips cartoonishly. Otherwise all I could see were some frayed jeanshorts and what might have been a beard,but could easily have just been permanent smoke on his face,like some women have tattooed makeup.
I am sensitive to cigarette smoke but I have never come across anything like this. I expected an ambulance to pull up and treat the video guy for smoke inhalation. To this day the sensory memory is so strong I swear I can still smell the smokiest man (still) alive when I go into that store,which is rare because of my Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder from having almost been smoked alive there.
Anyway,the very next day I was on my way into the pharmacy when I caught a mighty whiff. The hair stood up on the back of my neck,I started to gag. I could smell him coming from a block away,and I was upwind from him on a windy afternoon. I ran back to the truck,hopped inside,locked the doors,rolled up the windows and grabbed a wet towel I had used to dry the dog off after the beach. Ahhh,fresh air again! I had survived another encounter with the smokiest man (still) alive.
The next few days were sketchy,as I knew my very survival depended on avoiding the smokiest man (still) alive. But what could I do? I felt trapped. I’m on an island with this hovering terror lurking nearby like a mushroom cloud.
I needed to brainstorm.
Why hadn’t somebody harnessed this guy’s odiferousness for the betterment of man? Think of the advantages of having the power to make people pass out. Just the cost of anesthesiologists alone. And on the morally flip side,think of the millions that could be raked in by accompanying the smokiest man (still) alive into a bank,for example,where all the employees faint and you just walk off with the cash! Don’t forget your gas mask.
The possibilities are endless. He’s biological warfare,a weapon of mass destruction,or he might even be a way to end all wars. Walk him through any rogue town in any number of countries where we’ve got our flag,and we’ll put down those insurgents who dare to want their country back.
And he’s Vashon’s own! Finally we get to have a sign like other “normal” towns that proclaim something. Right now all we’ve got is a distant memory of strawberries and some “keep Vashon weird” stickers. Even Seattle has the “World’s largest cowboy hat and boots”. Do you think it’s fair,for instance,that Troy,Alabama has the world’s largest catfish,and that Neillsville,Wisconsin gets to have the world’s largest talking cow (Chatty Bell)?
Well,now we can proudly proclaim:
Welcome To Vashon Island,Home of the Smokiest Man (Still) Alive
Or can we?
Because I have not smelled him since. The air over Vashon seems to have returned to its usual misty ways.
Did somebody else get some smoky inspiration and hijack my man off to either ethical or unscrupulous means?
Or is the smokiest man (still) alive not (still) alive anymore?