Friday, December 26, 2008


Strategically self-induced nausea in response to smoking, gloom at the most wonderful time of the year, and adding insult to injury: why?

Yesterday, on Christmas Day in the morning, I took the metro and bus to get to and from the church where I was singing. Christmas is "supposed" to be a happy day, and while I know not everyone has an easy time at Christmas, it was surprise to see so many long faces on the bus and metro. Whence happiness?

Today, I went to the pharmacy to fill a prescription. While I was waiting, the pharmacist was helping the client ahead of me. She handed him his pills, and asked if he knew how they worked, and then she explained: these pills would help him quit smoking because smoking would henceforth make him dizzy and nauseated. The full course of this treatment runs for 12 weeks - yup, 12 weeks of nasty revulsion. I gained a new sympathy for smokers if quitting is so hard that sometimes self-inflicted nausea is the best way to go.

In other news, a friend of mine spent the summer cycling from BC (where he currently/most recently lived) to Newfoundland (where he spent part of his childhood). He extended his stay, spending a few weeks in Newfoundland visiting family, planning what to do next, and fixing up an old VW camper van. In late November he started to drive back to BC in his new (old) van. Alas, he wiped out in a snowstorm in the US midwest, totalled the van, and was stuck for almost a week waiting for news from his insurance company. When they finally made up their mind (yes, the van was indeed totalled), he flew home to Vancouver, just in time to catch the start of some of the nasty weather that's been the recent delight of North American travellers. Oh yes, then he got home to Vancouver and a few days later, his father in Newfoundland died.

Why, why, why? There's the Hungarian joke from Soviet times that everything that is not prohibited is compulsory. Or as the physicists (or is it the statisticians) say, if it isn't impossible, then it's going to happen somewhere at some point in the universe. So "why" isn't always a fruitful question to ask. I guess that leaves the next best alternative as "what will we do in consequence", or maybe more concisely, "how, not why".

No comments: