Thursday, July 16, 2009

Smoking More Costly Than Ever

I've always believed tobacco’s bad for the human body. In fact, I believed this so strongly during high school that at one point I threw a friend’s snuff into the woods because she asked me to help her quit.

The only problem was we were under-aged and at summer camp. Several hours later her body began to disagree with her mind’s decision to quit.

It was a long week.

(Did you know there’s a lot of poison ivy when you’re digging through the underbrush?)

(Mom, is it too late to ask you not to read this column?)

We all know tobacco is not necessarily kind to the human body. And we all know the government has put taxes in place to deter people, especially kids, from smoking.

Until recently, though, I never knew that other businesses might be joining in the effort to “help” people quit.

Take for instance a New Hampshire man who went to a gas station to buy cigarettes last week. He probably assumed his habit was going to cost him, but did he realize the price would be 23 quadrillion dollars?

I’m not making this up.

According to an Associated Press article the New Hampshire man was stunned when several hours after the gas-station transaction he discovered an overcharge on his bank account.

A $23,148,855,308,184,500 overcharge.

The bank wisely acknowledged this and refunded the money and the $15 overdraft fee (seriously, who cares about the $15 when we’re talking about 23 quadrillion?).

Meanwhile, I can’t help but wonder why I didn’t think of this scheme back when I was "helping" my friend quit. If I had charged her $23 quadrillion I’d be rich right now.

Plus, I’d have a lot fewer poison ivy scars.

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I know all about waiting--for the right guy, for high school to end, for my boobs to come in (two out of three ain't bad).

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