If our first response is a reaction, it’s usually wrong.

When we choose not to react and take time to investigate what is causing us to react, we can usually learn a lot.

I spent a day in a venue with a group of people I definitely wouldn’t normally be around. They were “vape-o-sucks,” which is my pet peeve name for anyone who sucks on a “douche-flute,” which is my pet peeve name for a vapor administration device. They were actually alright. The people, I mean. I only had to tell a few of them to blow it away from me. Most of them realized, without me telling them, that I wasn’t hip to the vapors coming my way. One guy would turn his head and blow the mist away from me, without me mentioning it. Another guy would move away to take his puff of fruity smelling vapors, and then he would come back when it was mostly gone. Kind of reminded me of someone trying to be polite with their farts.

A lot of the people I talked to were friendly and genuine. With some, I even actually no kidding had stuff in common.

The place was outside, so I tried to stay upwind as much as possible. I could still smell a lot of it swirling around the venue. There’s no question that I inhaled an unfair amount of the junk. Some of it smelled like raspberries, while other vapors smelled like maple syrup. Personally, I don’t understand the need to scent it. Why not just let it smell like petrol? Or tanned leather? Or aluminum shavings?


The point here is not that I’m going to sue everyone at the venue for infecting me with secondhand vape. I’m not. The point is that I met a lot of the people who did that junk, and even though I still have no respect for the habit, the addiction, or the culture of “vape-o-sucks,” now that I’ve met someone who does it, I can see more clearly through the haze. These are regular people. They’re normal chumps just like you and me. Their gullibility is just more noticeable. It forms a fruit-flavored cloud around their heads.

Because of my discovery, I think I’ll treat people more kindly, regardless of their choice of chump.

Though I’m probably a better human for hanging with the vape-ohs and not hating, I’ve decided not to ever do that again. The next day when I woke up, I swear I could smell nitrous oxide. At least half the day I thought I should be laughing, but no laughs came. When the smell of nitrous finally wore off, I thought I could smell things normally again, but I ate some yogurt—it smelled like nachos.


Published by Kurt Gailey

This is where I'm supposed to brag about how I've written seven novels, twelve screenplays, thousands of short stories, four self-help books, and one children's early-reader, but I'd rather stay humble. You can find out about things I've written or follow my barchive (web archive, aka 'blog) at or follow me on twitter @kurt_gailey. I love sports and music and books, so if you're an athlete or in a band or you're a writer, give me a follow and I'll most likely follow you back. I've even been known to promote other people's projects.

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