Bubblegum Cigars

Do they still put those paper bands around cigars? You know; the ones we used to give our girlfriend in the fifth grade; explaining to her she should wear it as a ring to show that she liked you. “Like” being a word for love, because when you’re ten, you don’t say that word to a girl. Blech!

I’m guessing they don’t use the paper ring on cigars anymore; no doubt for environmental reasons. Fear a brutish puffer might toss it aside, allowing the wind to whisk it off to the nearest pond, where it could very possibly be ingested by an innocent duck. (What IS it with this guy and ducks?) Whereby the duck would succumb to cancer via contact with the tobacco laced wrapper. Surely, an epidemic would ensue.

Or, what about the danger to the ten year-old girl? I have noticed a preponderance of women my age with missing or deformed pinky fingers, no doubt ravaged by the lethal amounts of trace tobacco product from a “like” ring in the fifth grade. More than once, one of them has caught me staring at their deformity, and before I could divert my horrified, knowing stare, blasted me with an accusatory glare that said, “It was you!”

Not me, lady! My old man smoked Camels—non filter—never saw a cigar except in the drug store. Undeterred by my looking away—my soundless cry of innocent—she approached, her grocery cart pulling to the left as one front wheel fluttered wildly. Standing before me, hate pulsing from her, her eyes shooting daggers, she whispered, “Bubblegum.” My mind at first heard it as “redrum”, and I almost smiled—a Stephen King, I-don’t-walk-on-country-roads-alone-anymore kind of sideways smile is what it might have been. A warning voice kept my lips in a tight line, admitting to nothing.

When the realization of what she had said cleared my wandering thoughts, I nearly fainted, and blood of long-suppressed guilt rushed to my face. Oh, my Lord! She’s right! The “like” rings did not come from a Roi Tan or a Dutch Masters, it was found around a pink stick of powder-sugared bubble gum! I turned and fled through the produce section, only to hear the chuttering wheel close on my heels. Where is the exit?

I ducked into the meat market and crouched behind a saw of some sort, holding my breath as the chuttering of the wounded wheel became louder then faded as she pushed the cart from hell down past the cases filled with meats.

A feminine voice from above asked, not so sweetly, “Is there something I can help you with sir?”

My gaze went first to white shoes—spatters of blood—then to white-stockinged legs, and as my fear-filled eyes traveled upward, I saw the pinky-less left hand on her wide hip; a blinding flash of light shot from the cleaver she held in her right, and I am certain to this day I heard thunder! I screamed! (Like a little girl, I’m told.)

I don’t go out much anymore. Guilt and shame have trapped me within the walls of a prison of my own choosing. I work tirelessly from my world consisting of desk, chair and laptop, in a seemingly futile attempt to warn the world of the danger lurking on the bands of bubble gum cigars. Why does no one hear my pleas? Will this madness never end?

Probly not…



  1. This is real witty, brilliant writing with humour. Excellent

    • Thanks. My mind is a wonderful and curious thing… I think.
      I’m glad you found it entertaining and readable! Thanks a bunch for the visit, comments and compliments!

  2. Vangie said

    Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha. . . great story! I’m still laughing; really enjoyed this one. You are a very creative and versatile writer.

    • This was such fun to write, Vangie! It’s one of those that just popped into my silly head for no reason whatsoever, and off I went. I can’t tell you how awesome it is to let your mind go crazy and write things that make me laugh as I write them. I’m glad you enjoyed it too! Makes me smile to think of you laughing as you read it!
      Thanks for the compliments! you are awesome!

  3. :] Brilliantly silly… and I mean that as a compliment, I am a great fan of silliness… think that in it’s purest form it is the very essence of maturity (perhaps this explains why There are no grown ups in my family, even though at 21 i’m the youngest) haha. Anyway, i think i would sacrifice my little finger to be ‘liked’ (loved) ;] hahah. xx

    • Well then! You have stopped at the right place, because I do get silly from time to time. You might want to check out my story tomorow and again Sunday. Silly on Saturday (true story) takes a serious turn on Sunday (fiction). Check it out if you have time!
      Wonderful visit, comments and compliments! Your family sounds awesome!

  4. Sherry Mashburn said

    this wacky silliness is why I love you. Although the macabre turn of your mind does give me pause at times (it’s only fiction!).

  5. I love a good story and this is awesome…very visual. I remember those cigars well 🙂

    • Thanks, Kellie! This is one of my silly romps through my what-the-heck-is-he-on world. It just comes bubbling out sometimes. You know… like a soda pop you open after forgetting it was in the freezer. It’s gonna go all over the place, but you open it anyway.

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