Bee In The Bonnet – Smoke ‘Em

Smoke ‘Em”What? How much?” The sweet little old lady said as she bought her cigarettes at the native smoke shop. She started to grumble on and on about, how low the prices used to be in the “Good ol’ days.”

Her rantings gave me a moment to think back, after all I had the time, thanks to this long winded ol’ gal.

She was right, prices had gone up over the years. But it was no fault of the poor man trying to explain to the lady, that the smoke shop was just passing along the increase from the manufacturer. All to no avail I might add. She just continued on, so I guess I will too.

If she had just thought back a little further than her “good ol’ days”, she would have realized the poor man trying to serve her, was very low on the totem pole of who’s to blame for the increasing prices.

Let’s roll back the clock, to a time when it was the natives of this continent that introduced tobacco to the new arrivals. Little did they know of it’s potential power. To them it was just another gift from the great spirit. A gift they shared freely, with one and all. Or he knows. maybe they thought they could rid themselves of these greedy newcomers, by letting them have all the tobacco they wanted. Tobacco to stuff in their pipes and in between their cheeks and gums. Enough tobacco to roll up a few million cigars and let’s not forget cigarettes. Oh no, we can’t forget cigarettes.

The chatty, old lady was by now giving us all a year account of how little she use to pay. Did you know that in 1955, she paid only $.19 for her tobacco fix? Do you care?

Well back to our poor uniformed ancestors. As time passed the newcomers introduced them to “commerce”. This new concept must have been very confusing to them. For instance, the tobacco plant, that was once a gift from nature, now had a “value”. How could something that used to be free, now have a price fixed on it? Incidentally the old boot, was now up to the 80’s and $2.22 a pack.

Fixed pricing, what an appropriate name. The newcomers fixed a lot of things. And just like you used to take advantage of a younger siblings understanding of a big shiny nickel and a skinny little old dime!

(Hey, “big brother,” didn’t think I’d remember, eh? Well I did and about that “candy money” you took. You don’t have to pay me back,… just give it to “our little brother”).

They of course, took full advantage. As more time passed, the newcomers soon held all the “dimes.”

They even changed the “Golden Rule”. The “new: golden rule is, those who have the gold, make the rules. They also fix today’s tobacco’s prices. “Up date, she’s in the mid 90’s, at $3.19.” Which of course translates into more time for me to think.

I truly hope that future generations don’t look back upon us (with all these new treaty talks going on) and say “Those idiots up all this for peanuts!” Today’s tax exemptions, could be tomorrows “tobacco plant!”

Speaking of tax exemptions, tobacco sold to natives is exempt. Could it be the newcomers, the fixers, are trying to offer us all the tobacco we can stuff, roll and smoke? Just a thought!

Finally! The fat old cow is starting to walk away, with what I thought were her own personal cigarettes. Now, this is the part the really gets me! As she was leaving, the clerk said sarcastically. “Don’t smoke ’em all at once.” Her retort was, “Oh they’re not for me, I quit last year. I’m selling them to Mr. Wong at the corner store!”