Beth's Super Smoking Tradition

(by Oldie and Better, 04 February 2003)

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Beth's Super Smoking Tradition
By Oldie and Better

Beth Eason stepped outside for her first smoke of the morning on Jan. 26, 
2003. Beth had never gone a Super Bowl day without a cigarette, but this was 
the first Super Bowl day she rushed to have a cigarette as soon as she 
awakened. She still went outside in respect to the non-smoking members of 
the household.

It was that devil of a son Harrison who had gotten her smoking when he came 
home from college for the Christmas holidays. Now, more than a month later, 
she was smoking more that she had smoked, well, since she was pregnant with 

When pregnant with Harrison, she lit up while watching Super Bowl XVII, and 
found relief from her lingering morning sickness. She kicked a 10 a day 
habit shortly before delivering the brat and returned to her routine of a 
few cigarettes a day on Super Bowl Day.
She recalled when she was 11 when the family gathered for the first Super 
Bowl. All the adults must have had a drink every time the Packers scored a 
touchdown because they got rather intoxicated. Aunt Jo Ellen, who was 18 and 
in college, already had permission to smoke and was contaminating the place 
with smoke from her Alpines.

As the game wore on and the drinking became heavier, Beth departed for the 
back yard. Jo Ellen followed her out back and offered a cigarette. There, a 
tradition was born but not a habit. The child and the young adult went back 
inside to be greeted by a statement by Beth's mother and Jo Ellen's big 

"If you are going to smoke, you might as well let me smoke again also," said 
Nancy, her thinking obviously muddled by the alcohol she had consumed.

Jo gave her big sister a cigarette. Nancy, 30 at the time, seemed to frown 
at her first cigarette in almost three years. By nightfall, Nancy had 
resumed her smoking habit she had fostered previous seven years.
Completely to everyone's dismay, Nancy and Jo Ellen's non-smoking mother 
asked for a cigarette. Grandma Rebecca, 48 at the time, never had another as 
far as was known. Beth's mother bought a pack of Kents on the way home and 
returned to smoking.

The next Super Bowl, Beth found her aunt Jo Ellen had moved up to the more 
tolerable Salems. Beth had two with SB II. Her mother was back up to a pack 
a day and grandma was refraining. By Super Bowl III, a blossoming Beth 
talked Jo Ellen into buying her a pack of Salem. She managed several and 
shared with a few friends. Beth didn't follow up with another pack -- at 
least not until Super Bowl IV.

So it went until Beth was a grown woman and began making her own choices. In 
January of 1976, she married an up-and-coming attorney named Autry Eason and 
they celebrated their honeymoon with a driving trip to Miami to see their 
beloved Cowboys in Super Bowl X. By then her mother and aunt had made the 
decision to quit. Beth smoked her mother's Kent brand on her honeymoon but 
went back to a life of not smoking.
She had a pack around Super Bowl XI keeping the smoke away from five month 
old Alan. When her parents kept Alan in 1978, she smoked several packs when 
she and Autry went to Super Bowl XII in New Orleans.
Charlotte was only two months old at the time of Super Bowl XIII when the 
Cowboys again lost to the Steelers in another thriller. A guest did provide 
Beth a cigarette much to the dismay of her mother, grandmother and host Jo 

So it went, the tradition continued as the family grew. Gwen came in April 
after SB XIV, Beth did quietly and discreetly have one during the gathering 
for the game.

Heather was only two weeks old when Beth had one during SB XVI in 1982.
Though Beth was pregnant with Harrison, she had a cigarette with her annual 
provider. Her morning sickness seemed to break and she she had another. And 
Another. Then she bought a pack. Amiable Autry bought her a pack on the way 
home and the relief became a habit Beth was able to break the habit shortly 
before Harrison's May birth.

She was under control having a pair of cigarettes for SB XVIII. Like SB XVI, 
she smoked a couple but away from the infant Leigh for SB XIX.
By Super Bowl XXVII, Beth was hosting the party. She bought a pack of 
Marlboro Lights and shared a cigar with Autry in watching the beloved 
Cowboys return to a Super Bowl championship.

Beth only told her growing family to do what I say, not what I do. But she 
hardly realized the impression she was making on Harrison. The Cowboys won 
XXVIII despite the fact that Beth only smoked a pack of cigarettes.

By SB XXX, when the Cowboys slaughtered the Bills, she joined college 
student Alan with a cigar and gave Charlotte, barely 17, what appeared to be 
her first cigarette. She was happy that Charlotte did not make smoking a 
tradition as she had. Alan did have an occasional cigar since then, much to 
the dismay of his wife Andi.

By the Christmas season of 2002, Beth and Autry had only one child in their 
nest. Leigh turned 18 shortly before her college siblings came home for the 
holidays. Harrison was a smoker by then and was intent on turning others 
into being smokers. Beth took the bait and smoked with and without him all 
during the holidays. By the time they had a New Year's Eve party, Beth was 
smoking steadily and lit up early in the party festivities. Andi, mother of 
two, surprised all by lighting up with her mother-in-law.

Beth had not quit smoking but was relieved to learn from Andi a couple of 
weeks ago that her party stunt seemingly ended Alan's desire for a stinky 
cigar. As Beth mentally went over last-minute planning that Super morning, 
she figured she would just tell her mother and aunt that she was smoking but 
would soon find a time to quit. Beth knew Harrison was a smoker and reasoned 
that his girlfriend, also named Beth, would also be a smoker.

As events unfolded, she was surprised to see Heather clinging to a boyfriend 
with one hand a a cigarette case with the other. She was soon to find that 
the case contained Virginia Slims.
So, they settled down after a buffet dinner featuring barbecued ham, ribs, 
brisket, sausage and chicken, Beth lit another cigarette.
So did Heather, Harrison and his date, already named Beth II for simplicity.

Leigh informed the group that she was 18 and was also smoking as she lit a 
Misty pulled from a pack in her jeans. Andi pulled out a cigar, snipped the 
end and prepare it for smoking. She handed it to Alan who lit the big cigar. 
"I thought you didn't like stinky cigars," Gwen, now 22 and engaged to her 
live-in boyfriend, said.

"These cost a pretty penny and don't stink," Andi said preparing and 
lighting her own cigar. Beth II generously offered her pack of Marlboro 
Lights around. "Well I guess I might as well try to learn how to smoke," 
Charlotte said. "I was a dismal failure last time." She lit up as husband 
Nathan didn't say a word.

Jo Ellen, now 54, said 27 years was long enough to be off of cigarettes as 
she accepted a Marlboro Light and inhaled deeply and exhaled with the 
greatest of pleasure.

"I am woman," Gwen said as she took one of her mother's Marlboros and handed 
the lighter to boyfriend Gregory. Gregory gave her a light.
Beth I followed with another cigarette also. She knew her mother had been 
left out in respect to her age. She drew deeply and thought how silly her 
grandmother seemed having a cigarette at age 48. Beth was instead feeding a 
growing habit.

Nancy, 67, asked Leigh if she could produce her Misty pack from her jeans. 
As Nancy twirled the pack around, she observed: "Cigarettes are in in 
Leigh's jeans but smoking seems to be in all the family's genes and is 
spreading rapidly."

When her sentence stopped, Nancy knew that she was the object of a room full 
of glancing eyes.

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