The Hacker - Another Treasured Childhood Memory
Phlegm, and plenty of it. My dad was a heavy smoker. His bouts of hacking were truly impressive, and went on for hours. Thankfully, he quit when I was about six. I remember picking up a pack of his Pall Malls and carefully examining the heraldry on its crimson wrapper. Its crinkly cellophane, the silver foil inner sleeve, the seductive aroma of the tobacco within- all these sensations are as fresh to me today as they were then. I was a smoker myself in high school, quitting was relatively easy when I did it with the intent of establishing my non-conformity.
I've been working outside a lot these days, fixing the house siding and trim (coming along nicely, thank you), and I find myself within earshot of the neighbors for a good deal of the day. I've already mentioned the Mighty Ducks; the guy that feeds them (a twenty-something with tattoos, piercings and a goatee) is a hacker as well. The same type as my dad, with the same guttural urrrp-hack that my father perfected. All day long, every 4 or 5 minutes.
Should I say something? He's not the type for chit-chat, and my countenance is somewhat stern; might he be packing heat and take it the wrong way? He's young enough to still have the classic excuses- "a touch of bronchitis" "allergies" "getting over a cold"; I really don't have the inclination to get involved in any debates these days, much less pointless ones.