It’s clearer today, but for the past couple weeks, looking out across the valley has been a challenge. It’s forest fire smoke season – and although it’s late this year it’s always a bit of a tough time to get through.

Of course, as usual, what I start out talking about isn’t necessarily what I’m talking about.

I was considering that habit we humans have developed for a certain amount of self destructiveness. For instance, right now we’re going outside into the smoky air to breathe in the smoke of a cigarette. Which I think is strange, really, but since I’ve never been bit by the smoking bug, I can’t really speak to that.

I’m going to digress slightly here – but has it ever occurred to you that about the only group of people we can still vilify without anyone getting too upset about it – is smokers?

Anyhow, smoking is downright weird. The first few chapters of Lacey & Alex 2 happen on board a zeppelin. A hydrogen zeppelin. And Lacey goes through the ship, noticing that the ‘smoking room’ is closed for remodeling or something. Does that strike you as downright suicidal? Having a smoking room on board a ship full of highly flammable fuel? Now, one thing I did learn about zeppelins was that they had a number of large bags within the envelope that each held the gas, so it’s not like it was one huge bag of gas. And of course, there were a lot of safety precautions surrounding the smoking room. But still, smoking on a zeppelin seems a little foolhardy no matter what precautions one might take. 

Of course, nowadays we have that all taken care of. We banish our smokers outside so as not to accidentally catch OUR hair on fire. I guess. I wonder how many studies have been done on people who’ve died from having to go out into the cold, hot, sultry or smoke – to smoke. I mean, there are all kinds of things that can happen out there. Like, watching the cigarette lighter instead of your path and getting run over by a bus, or getting in an altercation with some guy who’d rather fight than switch.

Still, on balance, I think I’d rather smoke than take some of the other, more creative ways to take yourself out of the game. Like BASE jumping, for instance. Which is jumping off tall buildings, towers and cliffs. Yes, you’re allowed to have a parachute. But still, it seems a bit extreme. As I mentioned a few blogs ago, there is also the contest of chasing after a rolling wheel of cheese – and while this seems to result in broken legs and arms sometimes, I didn’t see anything that led me to believe it was a death defying sport.

So, cheese chasing it is. I’ll take cheese chasing over bungee jumping, BASE jumping and smoking in the rain.

As long as I don’t have to eat the cheese if I catch it. Some of that stuff is really nasty.