In the 70’s I wrote short humor pieces for an AP Newsfeature distributed to newspapers in the USA. My limit was 250 words, and the result was a very tight writing style where every sentence had to count – no lead-in, no filler material, each sentence intended to be a small entertainment in itself. Here is a piece written in 1973.
THE SMOKING HABIT LICKED
Your clothes smell heavily of clothing. Your den is filled with low-hanging palls of fresh air. The only rattle in your car is the sound of toll change in the ashtray. The absence of telltale tobacco stains on your shirt collar tells the tale – you’ve licked the smoking habit.
You take down a picture from your living room wall and there is no visible rectangle where the picture used to be. The world outside your window no longer looks as though viewed through a negative – like a scene from The Godfather. Your teeth are so white that your dentist has recommended a yellowing agent – to tone down the glare.
It’s hard to tell how much you’re not smoking – two or three packs a day, judging from the savings. You’ve bought a Rolls, an ocean-going yacht and are putting three neighborhood kids through college. You employ your former tobacconist doing odd jobs around the yard.
Your doctor tells you you have the lungs of three-year-old – named Secretariat. He cautions that you’re getting entirely too little nicotine for your own good. Says you might consider taking nicotine injections, unless you want to live forever. You wouldn’t mind living forever. You’ll consider it – for starters.
-- Robert Brault in AP Newsfeatures