Wednesday, August 16

Area man “wouldn’t trade emphysema
for the world.”

Heath, OH – Arthur “Smokey” Higgenbottom, a 72-year Heath resident, says his love of tobacco is only rivaled by the love he once had for his late wife Margaret, herself an avid smoker and lung cancer victim.

“Some kid asked me the other day,” Higgenbottom reflected while drawing deeply from the business end of his Marlboro. “‘Old man, why do you smoke? It’s so bad for you. Blah blah blah.' Well I near punched that little bastard right in the mouth. Any fool can see that smoking is cool. Look at me. I’m John Fucking Wayne!”

After an attack of phlegm, Higgenbottom adjusted the flow of oxygen from his tank and then continued. “I can’t imagine what my life would have been like if I hadn’t been a smoker. How fucking boring. Just sitting there. Breathing. Doing nothing.”

These days, Higgenbottom stays active with fits of coughing and the resulting iatrogenic intercostal hernias. “You haven’t lived though,” Higgenbottom points out, “until you’ve had a spontaneous pneumothorax with an apical chest drain ... I’m just saying.”

While snubbing out his third cigarette in 15 minutes, Higgenbottom stared into an overflowing ashtray his wife Margaret had made in ceramics class and spoke to his precious butts. “We’ve had some good times you and I … smoking in the boy’s room and whatnot.” Reaching for another he added, “Here’s to many more.”

Funeral arrangements for Higgenbottom are pending.