Based on a true story

I took a long drag on my Nicorette inhaler and immediately suffered a coughing fit.  The Dalai Lama sat down next to me.

“Could I bum one of those off you?” he said.

Eyes watering, I waved the Nicorette inhaler in front of me. “It’s the only one I got,” I finally said. “You’re welcome to it, though, Your Holiness.”

“Please,” he patted me on the knee. “Call me Dalai.” He showed me his inhaler. “I already got one. I just need the little nicotine fluid thingamajig. Ran out of those.”

I gave him one and we sat there for a while, puffing away.

“You can’t inhale too deeply at first,” he said.

“Yeah, I figured that out,” I said. “My kid gave me these for my birthday.”

“Oh, when’s your birthday?” he asked.

I made a generic waving motion at the day around us. “Today,” I said.

“Happy birthday!”


“So how old are you, if you don’t mind my asking?”

I pointed at the sidebar over on the right.

“Wow, you’ve been blogging a long time.”

“I was one of the first,” I said.

“Respect,” said the Dalai Lama.

“By the way,” he said, wiggling his Nicorette inhaler. “You don’t need to tell anyone about this.”

I motioned locking up my mouth and throwing away the key. “Mum’s the word.”

“I mean, I know about you bloggers.”

“Dalai, please,” I said. “Take a chill pill. Quitting making you antsy?”

“Ehn. Looking for a reincarnation.”

“Who is it this time?”

“You wouldn’t know if I told you,” he said.

“True, true,” I said. “So what signs are you looking for?”

“Remembers drowning in a past life. Trips over shoelaces at an ice cream parlor and falls on face without losing ice cream.”

“Okay,” I said. “That’s like ninja-level slapstick.”

“Here’s the kicker – it’s a girl. Who gives her father Nicorettes for his birthday.”

“Aight. Okay. I’ll keep a lookout.”

He was looking at me funny, but I ignored him. I wasn’t going to tell him.

Not until he spilled the beans on whose reincarnation he was looking for.