Backstroke or smoke

The Winston family were not the

type to travel together.


But the grandmother, Mabel,

a seasoned cruise taker, felt she didn’t

have long to live, so she wanted to

take her daughter Rebecca, husband

William, and five-year old son Roy

to Aruba.


William, a heavy smoker,

was getting super grouchy on the

airplane and in the airport because

he couldn’t smoke. And customs

confiscated his four cartons of



So in Aruba, he bought a

carton of Marlboro’s, and was annoyed

because in America they have

the surgeon general’s warning,

on cigarettes from Aruba, it simply



“See dad, smoking kills,”

said Roy.


“Not now, son, I’m having a cigarette,”

said William.


It was their last day of the trip,

and they’d all done nothing but bicker,

stay in the hotel, and order in,

missing out on terrific sunsets.


So the grandmother suggested

they go on an underwater submarine



They got to the dock where the

sub would launch, and William

was clinging to his carton of smokes.


Rebecca said, “Oh, William, why

do you have to bring your carton on board?

You know you can’t smoke underwater!”


“Can’t go anywhere without my

smokes, uh-huh!” said William.


They got on and they saw tons

of colorful fish, narrated by a knowledgeable



All of a sudden, the narrator looked

to the right and said, “Oh, look, a shark!”


Everybody grabbed their cell phones

and cameras to take a picture, but Roy

screamed at the top of his lungs, “I’M

SCARED!” and started to cry, and a

puddle of urine appeared below his seat.


“Boy, don’t pee in your pants!”

William screamed.


“Don’t humiliate your son!” screamed



“Well, I need a cigarette!” screamed



When they came back to the dock,

they were supposed to remain seated, but

William leaped up with his carton of

cigarettes, and started climbing the



The narrator said, “Sir, you’re

supposed to sit! Please sit down!”


But William raced up the ladder

ahead of everybody else to have a smoke,

and as they were short of the dock,

William fumbled the carton, and

it fell into the waters below.


William tried to catch the

carton, and over the rail he went,

although he had a life jacket

on, which was good, because

he didn’t know how to swim!


The rest of the passengers came

out and took cell phone pictures,

videos, of the waterlogged fool

gasping for breath and shouting



His family was the last to

come out, and the sub driver had

to get wet and get him back on the



“It’s all the shark’s fault!”

screamed William.


“Don’t you think it’s time

you quit smoking?” said his wife.


“You’re right. It’s a sign.

I hereby quit.”


Three months later William

had been smoke-free ever since,

when the family was watching TV,

and they had on “America’s

funniest home videos.”


The host said, “Here we

have a video sent in about some

moron diving into the water

for a carton of cigarettes.

It’s the funniest video yet!”


And there was William,

on national television!


William leaped up and

headed for the door.


“Where you going?” asked Roy.


“I’m ruined. I’m going to go

and get a carton of cigarettes.”


Roy began to cry.” Please daddy,

don’t start smoking again!”


William froze. He thought

about this. Then he said,

“I love you, Roy!”


He then got on the phone and dialed

the YMCA. “Hello, is this the YMCA?

I’d like to sign up for swimming lessons!”


By Mark Hudson



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