The Hazy Days Of Smoking Drum, Achieving Strategy Through People, And Hope For My Survival

I’ve only got a few minutes, so this one will be quick.

My friend, Ladybug, has informed me that the government of Saskatchewan, like the ancient Greeks, officially considers anyone under 30 to be a youth. Good on ya', Saskatchewan!

Yesterday, I was waiting for the bus with this woman that I chat with every morning. She was complaining, because she had forgotten to buy tubes to make her cigarettes, and so she was stuck smoking a hand-rolled cigarette made with blue Zig-Zags. It brought me back to the sweet, sweet days of poverty, when counted amongst my constant companions were Zig-Zags, Drum halfzware shag rolling tobacco, and matchbook covers/business cards. The Zig-Zags were great simply for the little pirate on the cover. The Drum, ah the Drum. It had this wonderful flavour of smoked meats like bacon or beef jerky, and it’s texture was soft and moist when you first opened the package. The matchbook covers, and business cards in a pinch, were torn into small rectangles, curled into a spiral, and tidily inserted into one end of the rollie, serving as modest filters. These filters did nothing about the smoke, but they did stop the nasty bits of whole tobacco from being inhaled directly into my lungs. The memory of its delicious smell (I’m sure this memory is heavily tainted with nostalgia) reminds me of sitting in a blues bar on a Tuesday afternoon, avoiding the whole job scene, and watching my blue and grey smoke whorl through the late-day light as I nursed oily coffee and wondered what the evening would hold.

I saw the worst company slogan the other day on this woman’s work bag: “Achieving strategy through PEOPLE.” I wondered what the hell it was that they did all day. Fifteen people are sitting around a boardroom table, and Nancy enthusiastically yells out “Creativity is the key, think outside the box!” There is much agreement all around, and Mike pipes up “Let’s each come up with one or two words that we think would really help to create an original strategy!” They come up with flow charts and Power Point presentations, they do market studies, they poll their targeted demographic, and then nothing. That’s it. That’s all they do. They strategize. They are a highly trained group of strategizers. And you know what else? They are PEOPLE. That’s the thing that sets them apart – they are a company that strategizes and they’re PEOPLE. Personally, a little implementation here and there couldn’t hurt, but who am I to say.

This week has been a terrible week for my physical well-being. On Monday morning, I was having one of those benumbed Monday morning showers, when for no reason whatsoever that I can make out, I crashed backwards through my shower curtain. My head made a large dent in the wall which extended into a high, arching crack above it, and my elbow went right through the wall, scraping off a good amount of my flesh. I likely had/have a mild concussion, but I went to work anyway, wisely thinking that it would be better for me fall into a coma surrounded by people than to pass into that good night alone at home with no one to check on my breathing. Then, on Monday night, I noticed that my foot was becoming increasingly sore, and I realized that I must have gotten glass in my foot from the bowl I broke on Sunday night. It took until last night for the shard to work its way out, which the pus from the infection helped along. Today, I slammed my hand in a drawer at work. I’m wondering if I should just go ahead and notify my local hospital of my imminent arrival now or surprise them.

Tobacco Facts and Links:
* Here’s more information than you probably thought you ever wanted to know about Drum tobacco.
* A good page on the history of tobacco.
* What’s in a cigarette?
* The evils of smokeless (chewing) tobacco.
* Tobacco Companies must recruit over 3,000 new smokers every year in Alberta to replace all the smokers who have died or quit.
* The tobacco industry spends $286.1 million in advertising every year just in New Jersey alone.