Creepy Clouds
My Name Is Nicotine
by Bill Peel

My name is Nicotine. This is my story. For many years, no one knew I was a killer. I am very cunning, while looking so innocent. I am dressed in a white wrapper. I think my shape is great. I am long, slender, and easy to hold. This is great for the 90s image. I've come a long way, baby. Billions of dollars have been spent to keep me looking good.

My favorable image is an illusion. My addictive power is reality. My advertising team has worked very hard to continue to present me as a positive influence in daily life. I have been showcased as making men strong, sexy, and full of life. I have been packaged to make women think they are sexy, daring, and provocative. It took longer to get the women to use me, but in time I won them over.

I am a liar. I tell you that you can enjoy and be more comfortable in every situation if you use me. I am always there for you when you are bored, nervous, or upset. I will tell you how cool you appear while you smoke me, how good I taste. I especially like to tell the younger folks how much I can do for them. I lie.

I have some friends and associates: Caffeine, Alcohol, Cough Medicine, and Mouthwash. I make money for a lot of other industries beyond the tobacco folks. Doctors love me, too.

Now Caffeine, Alcohol, and I go way back. We have worked together on almost everyone. You may think you can get rid of us, but we will make your life miserable if you try. I will cause people to leave their home in the middle of the night in search of me.

I am powerful. Once I have you, I will require a lot of your time. I need to have ashtrays and lighters. I make a mess as my ashes drop on your carpet, car seat, furniture, and loved ones. It delights me to see the little burn marks in your expensive clothes, furniture, counter tops, and carpets.

Did I mention how awful I smell? I have a particular aroma that will linger in your hair, your clothes, and your furniture. I can turn your new car into an ashtray. I will mark you.

I am an addiction. I tried for a long time not to let this secret out of the closet. It was bad enough when people said I was a nasty habit. Now everyone knows I am an addiction. Once I get you in my grasp, you can not easily put me down. If you try, I will create a lot of problems for you. I will make your stomach crawl. I will give you a bad headache, the shakes, and make you nervous. Once you are addicted to me, I own you.

I have no conscience. Loyalty is important to everyone. I certainly enjoy your loyalty to me. Do not ever be confused that you have mine. I will have you standing outside in the rain or bitter cold for a few precious puffs while others are enjoying the comforts of the indoors.

I am demanding. You will walk away from loved ones to get your fix. You will try to hold babies in one hand while grasping me in the other. I will make you uncomfortable with people who do not smoke.

I am a killer. I will take your breath away. I will eat up your lungs. I will render you voiceless. I will cause you bad sinus problems. I will embarrass you with the ugly cough I give you. I will make it so you cannot walk up a flight of stairs without having a hard time breathing. I will hurt those around you who don't even use me.

Leftside of gate       The Gatekeeper       Right side of gate