Marlboro Mask - 3/30/07
I donít smoke. I stay up until dawn a lot. Though these two traits might possibly seem contradictory, anyone who knows me will tell you that somehow, both just sort of fit.

Anyway, I had no idea that these traits would somehow combine, in gift form, much to my benefit a couple of weeks ago. You probably have no idea either, but keep reading.

Story Set Up Item #1: A few years ago when I lived with Brian, Kolleen and Noah, all of whom smoked, it was decided by the trio that itíd be funny to sign me, the soul non-smoker, up for the Marlboro newsletter. Hilarious. So now I get their latest catalogues and occasional free cigarette-related gifts.

Story Set Up Item #2: For years now Iíve been trying to find a good sleep mask. You know, one of those blindfolds with a strap you secure to your face when you want to sleep when itís light out. Which, for me, is most of the time. But Iíve never been able to find a good one Ė that is, the only places that carry them are cosmetic departments that only have frilly, powder-blue, give-back-your-penis-if-youíre-a-man-wearing-this sleep masks. Iíve been looking for something a little more manly. Like with skulls or naked chicks on it or something.

And so, imagine my surprise (if you see where this is going), when a few weeks ago, I received in the mail a black sleep mask, as a present from Marlboro (though unfortunately without skulls). Having a sleep mask is weird enough; getting one randomly in the mail is another; getting one from MARLBORO is just completely fucked up.

I was baffled by this for a moment, at which point two very different but equally bizarre explanations sprung to mind:

1) Marlboro sent me, specifically, this sleep mask as a gesture of goodwill. Implying that, somehow, Marlboro knows me well enough to know that I was looking for a black sleep mask, but not enough to know that I DONíT SMOKE.

OrÖ

2) Marlboro sends everybody these sleep masks. Probably more likely, unless they have my room bugged or something. And yet, I canít think of anything that says ďsmokerĒ less than a sleep mask.

I pondered over this for a moment. That I realized, sweet, Iíd just gotten a free sleep mask, and went out to try it out. At 2 in the afternoon.

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