My Seven Days War

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I suppose I should start off this article by telling everyone where I’ve been for the last few days. Well, actually I haven’t been anywhere. I stopped smoking cigarettes on October 13th at 1:12 PM, so as of this very moment, I haven’t had a cigarette for almost seven days; that’s 164 hours and ten minutes straight for those of you who are keeping track.

And let me tell you, my wife is pissing me off big time. First she says she wants me to quit smoking cigarettes cause she wants me to live a long time so I can see our wonderful 11-month-old son go to college and get married, have kids; you know, the whole nine yards. Of course, I love my son and my wife, so to please her, I quit. Then she does something really stupid that just irritates me to death like asking me if I can watch the kid while she goes to the toilet for a moment.

“Jeez! Can’t you see I’m busy!? I would like to check my e-mail and the TV listings for the day.”

“But just for a minute, please!” She says.

“Alright.” I mumble.

“Please, honey!” She asks again.

“I said alright, already! Is that okay with you? What are you deaf or something? Jeez!?”

Then she goes into her default excuse mode for anytime we get into a disagreement about any old little thing claiming that my Japanese is unintelligible.

“Oh? As if everything wrong in the world is my fault!” I say, “Well, that don’t work, because, excuse me, but we were speaking English!” I retort.

“No!” she says, you were speaking Japanese. Then she points out a few words that might have slipped out of my mouth that could have been construed as Japanese, but I meant to speak English. At least that was my intent.

“So-rry!” I say.

“Pardon?” She replies.

“I said, ‘sorry!’ okay? Are you still riding me about that? In most places, ‘sorry’ means ‘sorry’, alright? Comprende? What do you want from me?”

My wife gets mad and says, “If you’re going to be in such a bad mood because you quit cigarettes, I’d prefer that you smoked.”

Oh, now that really sets me off. First she tells me that she loves me and she wants me to live a long time so that I can see that kid go to school and get married to some brainless tart; now she gets upset cause I’m just “a tad bit on edge” because I quit cigarettes to make her and the kid happy.

Does anyone in their right mind think I quit cigarettes because I wanted to? What are all you people, insane?

So I rip a piece of paper out of the printer and write a huge “Sorry — Pardon me for living!” on it and leave it on the dinner table and storm out the door.

That’s it. I’ve had it with my wife’s crap and all that constant noise I been catching at the Rogers household. It’s raining like crazy here in Japan; has been every day, excepting one stinking day, for the last several weeks — and that really irritates me too, so I head directly to the cigarette vending machine that’s just across the street from my house.

Forget this healthy life business. I want to live! I want to smoke cigarettes! Ha! Freedom!

I have, in my pocket, exactly 270 yen. Just enough for one pack of cigarettes. I’m standing in the pouring rain and I shovel the money into the machine. And, I’ll be damned, but this stupid vending machine has done this to me so many times, I couldn’t possibly keep track, but it won’t accept one of my one hundred yen coins.

I keep shoving the coin back into the machine. It keeps coming out. I’m wiping it off on my now soaking wet T-shirt. It keeps coming out. I start screaming and kicking the machine.

“You dirty bastard!” I’m hitting the machine. Oh man! And am I teaching it a lesson it will never forget. I throw the coin back in, it keeps coming out. I’m screaming.

“You dirty! Stinking, piece of pseudo technological crap!”

I repeatedly hit the machine with some devastating forehand slams to the front and side of the vending machine. The palm of my hand starts to hurt. I keep hitting the machine; several back kicks to the side too.

Then I hear, “Mike, telephone!… Mike, telephone!” It’s that evil wife of mine. She is standing at our 5th floor balcony and is holding the kid and looks like she’s been watching me for a while. I get all my change back from the machine and as I run away, I point at the vending machine and say, “I’ll be back, just you wait!” Then I run back into the house, soaking wet.

My wife is standing at the door with a towel so I can dry my hair.

“You feel better now?” She calmly says.

“Yes, dear. Sorry about all that. Won’t happen again.” I smile.

I dry my hair off and change T-shirts and call back my friend George.

George says, “Hey, man! What’s up? Still staying off the cigarettes?”

“Sure, no problem.” I reply…. “Sometimes, I get a bit of an urge, but they usually go away quickly. I’m hanging in there. I really do think I can quit this time. I mean it. I really do.”

George then says, “Well, hey, if you ever need to talk to me, just give me a call!”

“Sure thing. I really appreciate your constant support George.” I reply and then hang up.

God does that guy piss me off. I wish he’d quit calling me all the time. Doesn’t he know I’m extremely busy right now?

Thanks to my good friend George Williams who always starts smoking when I quit and vice versa… Jerk.

Mike (in Tokyo) Rogers [send him mail] was born and raised in the USA and moved to Japan in 1984. He has worked as an independent writer, producer, and personality in the mass media for nearly 30 years.

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