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My Unlucky Strike

Story ID:5826
Written by:Monte Leon Manka (bio, contact, other stories)
Organization:retired
Story type:Poem
Location:Hemet CA. USA
Year:1938
Person:Smokin Kansas Kid
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MY UNLUCKY STRIKE

I smoked my first cigarette
When I was eleven, in 1938
This was a bad day
Which to you I will now relate.

Les and I came
Into the house from school
There was a written note
Left on a kitchen stool.

“Monte” it was written
“We will be home a little later
Doris, Doe and I have gone
To the El Dorado theater.”

Our two aunts From Oklahoma
Aunt Doris and Aunt Doe
Had gone to town, with Mom
To see a picture show.

Les and I did as we were told
And on the dresser we did see
Aunt Doris had left her “Lucky Strikes”
As plain as could be.

I picked up the pack
And without hesitation
I put them in my pocket
And we yielded to temptation.

Les and I found some stick matches
And after a couple tries
Got one lit and puffed away
Smoke got in our eyes.

I singed my eyebrows
Trying to get mine lit
The smell of burning sulfur
Is something I won’t forget.

We smoked one and then two
We smoked them all
In the garage in the barn
And in Bob and Betty’s stall.

“Lucky Strike means fine tobacco”
Was an ad I won’t forget
The dizziness that was coming
Hadn’t hit me yet.

Another ad
“Lucky Strike Green has gone to war”
Was the color I was turning
As I tossed the last butt on the floor.

We went into the house
I sat on the stairs
And tried to stop the spinning
Of the dining room chairs.

Leslie my little brother
Was feeling no ill effect
From all those cigarettes
Not me-I was just a wreck.

Les went into my Uncles room
Found a dry King Edwards cigar
Lit the thing and puffed away
Up the lane we saw Mom’s car.

The smoke from King Edward
Filled the dining room
Couldn’t hide our indiscretion
King Edward would be our doom.

Mom couldn’t believe her eyes
She saw that I was sick
As Leslie openly puffed away
On that cancer stick.

Aunt Doris told my Mom
About the missing pack
Mom figured we had suffered enough
And didn’t whack my back.

I was in a prone position
Could hardly raise my head
I thought several times
That I’d feel better dead.

Home from the field
My dad came at sundown
Mom told him about what we had done
On my dad’s face came a frown.

He saw my greenish color
And he had to laugh
I missed another spanking
And my Dad’s impending wrath.

Leslie was feeling no affect
From the cigarettes that day
Or from that Dry, King Edward cigar
He continued puffing away

Mom took it away from him
And with a warning
Told Leslie that he would smoke
What was left tomorrow morning.

Bright and early Les, not me
Went to the Kitchen stove
Ask Mom for that King Edward butt
I could barely move.

Into that old wood stove
My Mom did toss that butt
And told Leslie
To keep his mouth shut.

Taking my Aunts Lucky Strikes
Wasn’t very smart
Especially at that age
Was no time to start.

I never smoked another cigarette
Until twenty five
I smoked a pipe and cigars
For another thirty five.

I took a chest X-Ray
The Doctor said if you want to live to retire
You’d better stop smoking now
This definitely put out the fire. Ex smoker, Monte L. Manka 08-29-06