José: Did you ever smoke?
Alex: I’ve tried it a couple of times, and I I I didn’t enjoy it. Uh, I I did it secretly. (mm mm) Before I became smoking age, my my mother actually said, “you want to try smoking? You know you can try it. Go ahead.”
José: Your mother?
José: Ss- Your mother offered it to you?
José: Did your mother smoke?
Alex: No, she didn’t. She didn’t.
José: So so she went out of her way to offer you cigarettes?
Alex: Yeah, to- I think she wanted me to have the experience maybe under her supervi- supervision. But here I was as a teenager thinking,”ah oh man, that’s not cool, right? Uh, if I’m going to try smoking I’m do it with my friends.” Right? So…
José: That that is actually a really wise move by your mother.
Alex: Yeah, yeah.
José: I thought- now we can see it in retrospect, Being you know, our age. I too started at Wha- I think it was 13? (mm-hmm) And of course, secretly from my parents. My parents would have eaten me alive without cooking me um if they had found out I had been smoking. And um, I bought a (mm-hmm) pack of cigarettes, smoked them all within about a week. And then I…
Alex: How old were you?
José: Why, how old were you?
Alex: Ah, I was- would have been in high school I guess. (Really!) So, maybe…
José: Up to that point you didn’t feel like smoking? You didn’t feel like in junior high school, “Oh! Let me try this. Oh the boys- other guys are doing it. Let me try it.”
Alex: Oh I can’t remember now whether I was in junior high school. Uh I could’ve been 15 maybe. (Okay) Yeah 15 or… maybe no more than 16, yeah. Uh so at that- at that time, and even still the legal smoking age is 19.
José: Oh wow, I think, yeah 20 in British Columbia where I grew up. 20.
Alex: Ah, in Ontario it was and I think it still is 19. Hmm. Yeah.
José: Don’t know. Don’t know. Anyway, so I smoked a pack, (mm-hmm) and I go, “oh yeah. Okay.” And that was it. I ne- (haha) I never had- I didn’t get addicted to them. (mm-hmm) Thankfully. Uh because I was smoking maybe only what, I guess over a week maybe two or three cigarettes a day. (Mm-hmm) Couldn’t smoke them when I enjoyed them. Whenever I smoked them I felt nervous that I might get caught. (mm-hmm) so I I never could just sit down and smoke. And after the pack was finished never once went back to it and I became eventually in time a rabid anti-smoker.
What do you think of what Alex’s mother did?
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In several places marked in bold text, take note of how conversational pronunciation differs from written/conventional pronunciation.
“out of her way” to go out of your way means to purposely do something different from your normal habit.
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José Domingo Cruz
Vancouver, British Columbia
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