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Wednesday, June 13, 2007

On a clear day... can see forever! Well, not in my Nana's apartment. You're lucky if you can see across the room. She's 86 years old and smokes a pack a day. Years ago, after a series of strokes, my Mother asked the doctor what she could do to help Nana quit. "Quit?", he said, "why? She's in her 80's and loves cigarettes! Let her have SOME joy in her life!" or something like that.

Her walls and ceiling are stained a grubby beige. If her apartment were a sweater in a J.Crew catalog it would be called either "tobacco" or "nicotine". Her upholstered furniture smells like a biker bar and the paintings have a thin coat of sooty film on them. In Miami, there's central AC so it's not like the windows get opened much. Being in that apartment for two afternoons took months off my life. It burns.

My Nana smokes like a stack (or does she?) and wants nothing more in the world than free cigarettes. So we did our part to help her realize her dream while sitting in her hazy apartment listening to On a Clear Day You Can See Forever on vinyl.

That's what family is for!

My very favorite part of this video is when my Mom describes why she is angry with Philip Morris; NOT because they advised her 86 year old mother that if she cut 10 UPCs per day she'd have her free cigarettes in 20 days (am I the only one who finds that completely appalling?), but rather because most people don't know what a UPC is, and it is not removed easily. The fact that little old ladies are being coached on how to maintain brand loyalty was sort of lost on her...but then again, she's smoked since she was a teen.

Man, when they get you, they really get you for life. You've come a long way, baby.

This is the last of the Planet Nana series. Hope you've enjoyed my family foibles.
posted by missbhavens @ 1:11 AM |


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