128 Words

How Did He Hear?

M. Stanley Bubien

You gotta admit it was crazy.

This grey-haired old man sat there hacking into his clenched fist. But in his other hand---get this!---a wisp of smoke trailed skyward from a smoldering cigarette.

Hack, hack, hack...

See? Crazy. But, believe you me, the story ain't finished!

As I passed, I held my breath. Yeah, yeah. Like I was going to catch cancer from him!

Hack, hack, and more hack...

"Smokers," I mumbled---you know I had to say something. "They get what they deserve."

Now it turns really nuts.

Hack, ahem, A-HEM...

"Nonsmokers," he replied, tapping his watch. "They get what they deserve too. Eventually."

I turned beet-red.

But can you blame me? I mean, with all that coughing, how'd he hear me?

Copyright ©2000 M. Stanley Bubien. All Rights Reserved.

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June, 2000
Issue #50

128 Words