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If I can quit smoking, anybody can
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There's an old rule that says it's rarely good to write a column with a whole lot of I's in it. I'm going to break that rule for a second.

Because like the great Toby Keith says, I want to talk about me for a second. Not to brag, but I quit smoking last month and had my last cigarette on June 16. I thought I'd be over the hardest part of it by now, but maybe not.

After 28 days and counting, I still can't do things I used to associate with smoking without leaning on a crutch. Things like writing this sentence, for example, or proofing pages or driving more than 50 feet.

Or sitting still for very long.

And since I quit cold turkey that means I just said no to patches, gum, pills, shots or anything else that cost a lot of money. Besides, I didn't want to have to quit something else after I quit smoking.

So, I'm going through sunflower seeds and carrots and peppermints like there's no tomorrow.

I'm also going through pizza, cold cuts, mashed potatoes, barbecue, cole slaw, french fries, double cheeseburgers and anything else I can get my hands on.

Not surprisingly, it's starting to take it's toll. I think I'm way past starting to show. I'm also getting a bit weird about some things.

Take dump trucks as an example.

As a smoker, I never thought much about dump trucks one way or the other. When they cut me off in traffic, I'd just light one up and get over it.

Since I quit, I'm more keenly aware the main reason dump trucks are cutting me off in traffic so often is they're all over the place. It seems there are so many dump trucks flying around coastal Georgia these days somebody in charge ought to make them the new state bird.

Or at least put them on the state seal along with condos and traffic cones.

Did I mention it's also hard to concentrate? One minute, I'm thinking about dump trucks and the next I'm wondering whether new Georgia Southern football coach Chris Hatcher can win eight games this year and get the Eagles back to national prominence. The next, I'm surfing the net looking for good quotes by Fred Flintstone.

Have a good weekend. And if you're considering giving up the cancer sticks, I recommend it. Outside of the cravings, the fact I'm probably going to look like a walrus in about two weeks and the moments when I lose focus and forget what I'm supposed to be doing, I feel a heck of a lot better.

Note: There are a handful of typos in Wednesday's paper, including a couple in headlines on some inside pages.

Trust me, there's nothing like making a mistake in 40-45 point type and seeing it printed a couple thousand times to make you cringe. Except making two or more of them.

My thanks to all who called or sent emails pointing out the errors, offering instruction in punctuation or, in one anonymous case, what appears to be a political statement. It's included in this column on our website. Enjoy.


For our web readers: Here's the most interesting response to a typo I've ever seen.  

“I was reading the July 11th issue of your paper when I ran across your article “Call vet if you think your vet has swallowed poison”.I was immediately alarmed. I called my Vet and left a message to call me back to let me know if they had swallowed something poisonous in order to confirm my suspicion. There was no return call. Maybe I was too late! I did wait a few hours before reading the article. You don't expect me to rip into the pages moments after the rag scuffs the cement of my driveway... do you? Maybe the poison was that fast acting kind they show in all the movies. But just in case it was the slow acting kind I forwarded the home phone to my cell phone so that if they called I could tell them what I suspected and that they might get an antidote.Then it hit me maybe they were talking about a Veteran. Vet is a sort of a slang version of Veteran.  Well, I do not have one of those. But being so close to Stewart and Hunter, I thought maybe one of those folks had swallowed poison. I called the base and asked them if anyone had swallowed poison so that I could call them and let them know what I had suspected.It was just my luck. No one had been reported as having swallowed any poison. But why would they know this if it was something that only I suspected?Then it hit me that I did not suspect anything until you pointed out the fact that I might suspect that my vet had swallowed poison. Herein lay the problem. Newspapers and mass media are always trying to tell me what I suspect. Like this article, I only got past the headline. Shock, wow, lie, misprint; It’s all the same.”
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