Smoke Gets in My Face

Some of you are old enough to recall the song “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes.” It was written in 1933, long before I was born, but I have a recording of it by The Platters.

I don’t know about YOUR eyes, but smoke in my eyes is a problem–and actually only a small part of the problem.

I didn’t used to be allergic to tobacco smoke. In fact, I smoked a pipe and an occasional Swisher Sweet cigar for some years in my early young adult years before deciding I didn’t need to do those things anymore. The smoke itself was never an issue.

The same was true when my desk was just across the aisle from the normally open door of the assistant office manager, who was permitted to smoke in his office.

But somewhere along the way, my body started reacting to cigarette smoke. My head would get all stuffy, and I’d get a whopper headache that only a good night’s sleep could get rid of.

So I took full advantage of the “No Smoking” areas that restaurants were finally required to provide. I soon learned which  restaurants didn’t adequately separate the two areas and avoided them. And–boy!–did I rejoice when restaurants and other businesses were finally prevented from allowing smoking inside at all.

So you would think my problem with smoke has gone away.

I wish!

Many is the time I’ve had to close my window or sun roof because of the smoke drifting in from the car next to me at a red light. If I’m running inside a store for just a few seconds, I’d rather not bother to close windows or roof, but I’ve learned that people standing around the parking lot near my car can leave it stinking pretty badly.

This problem came to a head recently when I approached the drive-through at my neighborhood Sonic Drive-in just as the person in front of me tossed her cigarette–not the butt, but two-thirds of a whole cigarette–to the base of the intercom pole, where it burned its way lazily while I sat there with my window down waiting for someone to take my order.

It was certainly not Sonic’s fault that they were super-busy at the moment and it took several minutes for that to happen. But that meant I had to keep my window open–else I might’ve missed hearing the request for my order–and try to keep from breathing the smoke that seemed to prefer my car interior rather than the open air.

When I got to the window to pick up my order, I mentioned the incident to the young lady inside, and she said smokers frequently end up blowing smoke in her face while picking up and paying for their orders. Ugh! I conceded that she had it worse than me.

My mother suffered from emphysema without ever having smoked a day in her life. But she grew up with a father and brothers who did smoke. I’m thankful there’s so much concern now about secondhand smoke.

But smoking laws should be stricter still. Smokers should  be limited to closed in areas that affect only them. No smoking around children or adults that way.

Smokers’ rights? Ask me if I care. Their rights end where mine begin.

If you’re a smoker, this post is nothing personal. Not against you. Just against your habit and the way many smokers affect the rest of us.

I’m not pretending to have presented a balanced view of smoking. If you have a comment, please leave it.


I’ll be back again on Sunday. If you’d like to receive my posts by email, go to “Follow Blog via Email” at the upper right.

“On Aging Gracelessly” is only one of my two blogs. I post lyrics of the Christian songs I’ve written over the last fifty years on  “As I Come Singing.” Check it out HERE if you’re interested.  Free lead sheets (tune, words, and chords) are available for many of them. View the list HERE.

My new novel, The Devil and Pastor Gus, is available at Amazon. Look for it HERE.

Best regards,


4 thoughts on “Smoke Gets in My Face

  1. I grew up in a very small house and both of my parents smoked heavily. I started getting migraine around the age of 11. Funny that the neurologist never mentioned that. We had to smell like smoke while in his office. Anyway, being around most strong scents gives me a migraine. Good article, my friend!


  2. As always, good writng and excellent material. You wonder if few or nobody reads your stuff. I imagine lots of people do but are part of the silent 95%. I really beleive that many, many people read things and never comment. Take the things I write on FB. I get very few comments but every once in a while folks will message me and say they really like following me. It’s happened many times. I’m amazed. Some folks say they are my fan! imagine that. Well, I’m a fan of yours. I really want to read the book but I haven’t been able to dedicate enough time to read it properly. I am not a speed reader. I read each and every word. I’m not just interested in information but also the swirls and clangs people make with words.
    I don’t get the whole smoking thing. My folks smoked (my mom smoked more than 50 years before she quit and is still kicking) I have lots of friends who smoke. It really doesn’t bother me. I’ve smoked on and off. I’ve gone 20 years without a smoke but if I get around the right people I’ll light up in a social way. ANd it’s no torment to quit. I just say I want to stop and that’s it. None of the foolish withdrawl symptoms, nothing. I think there are folks who are easily addicted to drugs, alcohol or tabaco but not me. It must be genetic.
    As far as knowing the bible and being catholic, well, I’ll tell you Iam not a catholic and never really have been. It was just the religion I was born into. Not my fault. Got away from that as fast as I could. I studied with mormons, jews, hare krishnas – you name it. but I have a brain and think for myself. So I don’t belong to any group but have a good understanding of most belief systems out there. I’m an agnostic with a hope ther is something beyond.
    Either way, in an infinite universe there are infinite possibilities. SO somewhere, maybe out of our visible universe horizon, there’s another Tom Donaghy who’s a Baptist. You’ll never know. When I get to the states I am going to look you up and get my autographed copy and I will read it. I love to savor over words and reading on a kindle or computer just doesn’t get it for me. Tom


    • Tom, your comments always fascinate me, and I certainly can’t complain about your being a fan of mine. I look forward to your visit back to the States and hope we can have some discussions about spiritual things. You certainly have an interesting background. *big smile*


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