Geometry and Chesterfields
Tenth grade Geometry was nearly my downfall. The class was taught by an ex-pro footballer (from the leather helmet era) who had a shaky grasp of Euclid but a firm grip on his Chesterfields. He kept the pack in his shirt pocket, we could all see it through the seersucker. His meaty hands were stained a deep yellow where he held his precious cigs. He would begin each class with a lecture, then give us a worksheet to ponder while he made his way down to the teachers' lounge for a quick smoke. I had taken up my study of the nicotine vice just the summer before; his example did nothing to alleviate my cravings.
I had always been a good student, nothing amazing, mostly B's with a sprinkling of A's and C's, learning in spite of myself. Geometry should have been a snap, but I was so bewildered by the blather from the instructor I would have failed had it not been not for the sagacity of Bob Wetherille, boy genius (later to become Doctor Wetherille), who would explain the concepts whenever the teacher was out of the room. I did manage to pass, and I also switched my brand of smokes from Benson & Hedges to Chesterfields (straights, no less!) Later that year, after having walked two miles in a snowstorm to get cigarettes, I realized that perhaps emulating my Geometery teacher wasn't such a smart idea and I tore up the pack and tossed it into the snow. I never smoked a cigarette again.