I loved and worshipped my grandparents and I really looked forward to these trips. On oneparticular trip, I was about 10 years old. I was rolling around in the big bench seat in the backof the car. My grandfather was driving. And my grandmother had the passenger seat. Shesmoked throughout these trips, and I hated the smell.
At that age, I'd take any excuse to make estimates and do minor arithmetic. I'd calculate ourgas mileage -- figure out useless statistics on things like grocery spending. I'd been hearing anad campaign about smoking. I can't remember the details, but basically the ad said, every puffof a cigarette takes some number of minutes off of your life: I think it might have been twominutes per puff. At any rate, I decided to do the math for my grandmother. I estimated thenumber of cigarettes per days, estimated the number of puffs per cigarette and so on. When Iwas satisfied that I'd come up with a reasonable number, I poked my head into the front ofthe car, tapped my grandmother on the shoulder, and proudly proclaimed, "At two minutesper puff, you've taken nine years off your life!"