Giving up smoking is something many of us contemplate and many of us achieve. Enjoy the following story with a hint of comedy thrown in.
Brrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!! Brrrrrrrrrr!!!! Brrrrrrrrrr!!! “Oh for god's sake!!!” Maud’s hand slapped down on the offending alarm clock like a driven rolled up newspaper slamming down on a very unlucky fly. Poor Monty the beagle had such a start that he fell off the bed and landed on an undignified heap on the floor, whilst poor Python the cat sprung up with fear, landed on Monty’s back and they both went racing down the stairs and into the safety of under the kitchen table.
In the midst of this commotion Maud was slowly awakening from a deep slumber, out of the shock caused by that silly clock and into reality!!! As the mist finally cleared the realisation of why she had a new clock dawned on her, of course it was THE DAY. New clock, new day, new start!!!!
‘THE DAY’ that was going to alter the whole direction of Maud’s life!!!!!
“This is it!!” she told herself as she waddled her ample body over to where her humongous robe hung. Maud did not like calling it a dressing gown, no it was definitely a robe. A bit grander or so she tried to convince herself!! “Now then” she muttered to herself, “Let’s get on with ‘THE DAY!’ She squashed her extremely wide feet into her somewhat stretched slippers with great determination. She meant business!! No-one was going to change her mind so they needn’t bother even trying!!! Even more important she was going to do it on her own!!! No help or support for her!! No she was made of stern stuff! Yes she was going to give up smoking!!!!! Oh yes they hadn’t seen anything yet!!! She stamped her authority all the way down the stairs and into the kitchen!
“C’mon Monty and Python out you both go sweeties,” she said in a very refined loving voice that was somewhat false. Monty looked out of the corner of his eyes at her as did Python. ‘What was up with Maud? By now she would usually be sat at the table with her cup of tea and with that awful, smelly, smokey thing hanging out of her mouth.’ ‘She used to open the back door without a word. It certainly wasn’t like her to be talking so sweetly to them. Very suspicious indeed!!!!’ Very, very strange!!!!
Next door at No 22 was where Mabel lived with her Springer Spaniel
Dexter and her cat Snowy. Mabel’s early morning wake up call was a very delicate peel of bells from her dainty pale pink alarm clock. Dexter stretched and yawned from his bed in the corner as did Snowy and they both jumped up beside Mabel on the bed to have their early morning routine of ears and tummies being tickled. “Do you know what today is?” she asks her two companions. They look at her as if they understood every word she said. Snowy rubs herself against her while Dexter wags his tail at top speed!!!
Mabel carries on “Yes it’s giving up smoking day!” She walks down the stairs with her two companions at her heels. She opens the back door and they both run out to the garden eagerly after being in all night. Mabel goes in to her bathroom cupboard and takes out a box. Out of this she takes out a sealed packet, opens it and sticks the plaster that’s inside on to her upper arm. She then goes outside to call the pets in. Just at that precise moment Maud from next door also has the same mission in mind.
“Hello Maud,” Mabel calls over to her, “This is it then. THE DAY is upon us. Good luck!’” Mabel’s friendliness is genuine.
“I don’t mean to be rude but I’M not the one who’s going to need luck lovely!” Maud’s tone is so condescending and patronising as she carries on. “It’s going to be easy for me you’re the one who’s going to need all the luck you can get!” “I can see you’ve got you nicotine patch on. Bless you my poppet.”
“There’s no need to feel bad about it sweetie,” Maud is getting carried away now and can’t stop that overworked tongue of hers. “No no no!! It’s not your fault that I’m stronger willed than you, but you remember because it’s going to be easy for me I’ll be here for you.” “Don’t hesitate to call me for support when things get tough for you,” Maud at that point returns to her kitchen before Mabel has a chance to reply, with Monty and Python on her heels.
Mabel totally unruffled smiles to herself before returning to her house and says quietly to herself: ‘We’ll see Maud, we’ll see!!”
Maud is feeling so smug and self satisfied: “Did you see Mabel with that silly patch on her arm?” she asks Monty who still can’t quite work out why Maud is talking so much to him and Python today. “Human’s!!” he says in doggy language, “I’ll never understand them.”
“You just wait it won’t be long before she’s knocking on the door begging for my support, and then I’ll just have to tell her how it’s done in True Grit style,” “Oh my poor deluded friend!!!"
The remainder of DAY ONE passed by pretty uneventful; the two women spoke to each other briefly as they left their pets out to relieve themselves before retiring for the night.
“How are you doing?” Maud asks.
“Not too bad at all,” replies Mabel. “Feeling a little rough round the edges.” I could really have done with one a couple of hours ago but I’m determined to see it through!!” “How are you doing?”
‘Flaming wimp!’ Maud scornfully thinks to herself, but Mabel could sense what was going on in her neighbours mind therefore was ready for Maud’s reply:
“PPwwff!!! No different to how I thought I was going to be, haven’t given it a thought at all!!” Maud deliberately omitted to tell her neighbour about the whole packet of chocolate biscuits that she had scoffed in half an hour, stuffing them all at double speed into her mouth in an effort to combat the craving for that cigarette. When she glimpsed Monty staring at her she growled at him through a mouthful of choc biscuits. “What are you looking at !!!”
“Oh well there we are then, ready for another day tomorrow, upwards and onward,” Maud practically spat the words out in an effort to show how determined she was.
“Good night then,” Mabel says her farewells before stepping back into her own kitchen. ‘Why do you do it Maud?” she asked herself before climbing the stairs. It was evident that Maud was finding it difficult. The strain in Maud’s voice and the extra deep frown lines across her forehead were another tell tale sign. Anyone else would have told Maud in no uncertain terms about her offending attitude, but not Mabel. Mabel had the patience of a saint and knew that Maud was feeling bad enough without anyone making it any worse!! Poor Maud had a very kind heart; she just had to show this hard, tough front. Probably feared that if she dropped it she would FAIL, and that word was not in Maud’s dictionary!!!!
Both women were in bed and the pets in their beds. Monty and Python on the bed with Maud and Dexter and Snowy in their baskets in Mabel’s bedroom. Glorious peace reigned until a deafening, bloodcurdling and eerie “WWOOAAH!!!!! WWHHOO WWHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!” Invaded every delicious warm, cosy crevice, of the silent night.
Poor Mabel shot out of bed before she was even awake. Dexter and Snowy were huddled together like one big quivering ball!!! “Oh dear me what on earth……………?” Mabel started to say but the awful noise cut into the midst of her sentence “ WWWWOOOOAAHHH!!!!!!!!WOWOWO WAA WAA WOAH!!!!!”
“It’s coming from Maud’s house!!!” Mabel says to Dexter and Snowy who both looked petrified!!
“WWWHHHOAAOHH!!!! Oooh yyes wwwhateever yyyou ssay!!!! I'm listening to you WWWWOOOOAHHHH!!!!!”
Mabel was still listening intently and looked puzzled more than frightened now.
“Yes I will sing whatever you want me to as long as you promise to give me a cigarette!!”
“WWWWWOOOOOOOAAHH!!! "Am I singing loud enough for you ?" WWHHAAWWHH!!” The howling just carried on and on………..but now seemed to be coming from a different direction!!
The awful noise seemed by now to be coming from the front of the house, Mabel got out of bed and peeped through the curtains. “What on earth …………!!” she said to Dexter and Snowy. Maud was out in her front garden headed towards the gate making that awful blood curdling howling that was obviously meant to be singing!
She was approaching the gate saying “Ppplease lead me to the cigarettes oh mister oh please I need a fag!” she called to an imaginary person who was obviously meant to be leading the way. “I need a Fag!!” she uttered before making that awful howling that was meant to be singing again. Mabel instantly dived into her dressing gown, rushed downstairs and out into the front garden. Poor Maud was obviously sleep walking due to her craving for nicotine! Dexter and Snowy stayed in the safety of the house thinking how brave Mabel was going out!! ‘What on earth was going on out there?!’ Poor Monty and Python hid in their own home even more frightened!!!!
By now there was quite a collection of neighbours out in the moonlit night watching the free show that Maud was giving them.
“Brilliant entertainment this,” said one of them rubbing his hands with glee whilst the rest of them laughed in agreement!!
Mabel reached Maud who by now was out on the pavement and put her arms around her shoulders.
“Come on Maud,” she said gently, at the same time leading her back to the safety of her house. Mabel called over to the spectators “Ok the shows over, you can all go back to your beds now!!” Maud was still her operatic self, “WWWOOOAAAHHH!” she belted out. “Where’s that fag, WWWHHHOOAAHH!!” she shouted stamping her feet at the same time!!
Some of the neighbours looked a bit sheepish while others were openly and loudly laughing. Back in the warmth of the kitchen Maud was slowly coming out of her trance. Mabel had made her a strong coffee with a shot of brandy in it!! “Come on take a sip,” she coaxes Maud to drink a little of it.
“What on earth is going on?” Maud demands realising it was the middle of the night and she was freezing cold!! Mabel was in her kitchen in the middle of the night and Monty and Python were quivering under the table.” “Will someone please tell me!!” she demands.
Mabel ever so calmly told her what had happened. Maud then slowly but surely remembers the dream, no actually nightmare she had just had. She tells Mabel about it;
“There was this horrible, nasty looking man telling me if I sang and followed him he would give me a cigarette!!” Maud’s mouth hung open not being able to believe that her craving for nicotine had let her to have that awful nightmare. Oh dear how awful, how ashamed she felt! How was she ever going to face anyone again? Oh no this was just so awful……..!!
The next evening Mabel and Maud were to be seen dressed warmly walking towards the local Leisure Centre. A few of their neighbours called out ‘Good evening going for singing lessons Maud?’ with big smirks on their faces while others giggled as they passed, but Maud held her head up high and pretended not to notice!!
They reach the centre and Mabel leads the way to the door with the sign ‘PAT JAMES STOP SMOKING WALES/DIM SMYGU CYMRU’ on it.
“Are you ready?” Mabel asks kindly and Maud nods in return. As Mabel knocks a voice calls from within “Come in,” A lady with a warm welcoming smile on her face gets up and warmly greets Mabel before turning to Maud and offering her a welcoming hand.
“I’m Pat, and I’m so glad you’ve decided to join us Maud.”
“Oh no it’s my pleasure,” replies Maud before adding; “I would advise anyone to go for support when giving up smoking.”
“Why do people want to make it so much harder on themselves when there is support out there I will never understand!!?” concludes Maud.
“That’s the spirit!” Pat says encouragingly and at the same time Maud gives Mabel a knowing wink as they begin their no smoking course.
Yes both myself and my hubby managed to succeed and give up smoking and I was actually 'Maud' who at the start did not believe in going for support but thankfully did not have to go through everything which Maud experienced before changing my mind.
I hope you have enjoyed my comeback story. It is so nice to be back on here with you all again.I have now invested in a laptop which means I can also carry on writing whilst I am in work. I look forward to catching up with old friends and also making many new ones whilst enjoying all your hubs.
Much love to you all from my little corner of Wales.