July 5, 2012

A Sibu Story : "You might just empty your friend's father's ashes"

My life with smokers has not been easy . As a univesity student I suffered from bouts of bronchitis made worse by fellow college mates who were chain smokers. Later as a teacher I had colleagues who smoked like chimneys. And I was pretty glad that in recent years many schools and colleges have developed themselves as "smokeless zones". 

It is hard to discipline smokers. They throw their cigarette butts every where and the rude ones would sometimes puff into the air for no better reasons other than that they love smoking!! The more you complain the more they smoke!!

Smokers have many stories to tell. But I have some interesting  ones too.

Do you remember this antiquated cigarette butt holder? Smokers can push their cigarette butts through the holes and the knob can help push them down. When the small container is full...an office boy or the tea lady can throw out the butts and ashes. It is not a happy task emptying ash trays because of the stench which stays with you and in your air passage.

My fathe rused to have a similar cigarette butt canister or ash tray..we loved pushing down the  axle..it was like a toy to us.. Whenever I see a picture of this I remember my father who smoked a little...and was very polite and suave in the way he smoked. He had that special style of smoking...suave Shanghai style and rather discreet....you saw a light in the garden...and you knew that your father was outside the house and he was having his quiet time....our wooden was never filled with his cigarette smoke.

Here is another but tragic story from older Sibu days......

A friend  kept his father's ashes in a beautiful urn like this. One day his friends came to the house before he got home ...These smokers could not find an ash tray....they looked high and low and finally found an "ash tray"..They never did ask "May I..............?" 

.they emptied the ashes and started smoking ...drinking beer and telling stories. When my friend came back from his over time and sat down for a late night dinner with his friends and family..to his shock.......he found cigarette butts and ashes...in the urn which had kept his father's ashes!!
This is an urn meant for ashes after cremation

Moral of the story....in your enthusiasm for cigarettes....never take things too lightly...you may burn more than a good friendship...and you might disturb some ghosts...

This kind of incidents have happened many many times every where. I just hope that friends and relatives would be more courteous in using certain items as visitors. I would say smokers should even refrain from smoking in a friend's house....if he/she must smoke...go outside!! A flower pot can be used as a ash tray or a beer tin even...but do not take down a precious urn which might hold the ashes of a dearly departed....

Have a great day today..it's going to be hazy and smokey in Miri...so take care too...And smokers please be a little courteous...we are already struggling with our breathing...

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