Sunday, December 16, 2012

Lewis Grizzard on Living Our Own Lives:


“How many times has it been said to me, “God has something left for you to do, or he wouldn’t have spared you.” Or, “God doesn’t hand over miracles that easily. Take care of the one he gave you?” Or, “You’ve got a second chance. Don’t blow it.”

To be honest, I’ve been feeling some pressure about this. If my Methodist Lord hadn’t been listening, all those prayers wouldn’t have mattered. I know that for a fact. A fact. I’m now looking for a church that sings the old songs.

Am I thankful to still be alive? I’ll be looking down on Sanford Stadium grass this football season instead of being spread on top of it. You bet I’m thankful.

Will you change your lifestyle Lewis? One side of me says to answer that, “Not only no, but hell no.” That’s because I am so sick of the Lifestyle Police, the Cigarette Patrol, and the Whiskey Nazis. What’s going on in this country? They’ll be shooting smokers on the streets before it’s all over. In seven thousand restaurants in Los Angeles, you can’t smoke anymore. Half the people in this country think we ought to legalize cocaine so we can get tax money for it. Half those people also would be for gouging out the eyes of smokers.

If somebody doesn’t want you to smoke in his house, that is certainly his right. But I was watching television, and some do-gooder wanted people with children to stop smoking in their own houses because of secondhand smoke. And it won’t be long before some kid sues his parents because they smoked when he or she was growing up. I don’t want to make anybody else uncomfortable. I don’t want to give anybody else cancer. But enough is enough.

And the booze. My reputation as a drinker far outstretched my actual drinking. I couldn’t stay awake long enough to drink as much as I once did. But, “There are more old drunks than there are old doctors,” Willie Nelson once sang.

You smoke, you die. You drink, you die. You eat all that greasy food, you die. You don’t jog, you don’t aerobics, you die. So one night you are sitting in your living room reading Health and Prevention magazine, and radon gas comes in, goes right up your butt, and kills you. Ha!

I am about to say that what I put in my body has nothing whatsoever to do with my health, but I suddenly am surrounded by a world of health experts, and it gets tiresome. “You’re eating a greasy cheeseburger, a man in your condition!” Deliver me.

We’d all be a lot happier if we lived our own lives and allowed the son of a bitch down the street to live his. I just can’t put it any more simply or directly than that. I’m still eating whatever I want, and onions still give me indigestion. I am trying to get off the cigarettes. It is not easy. I have not had an ounce of vodka since March 21, *1993. So there.”

(I Took a Lickin’ and Kept on Tickin,’ and Now I Believe in Miracles, Lewis Grizzard, Villard Books, *1993, pp. 232-235)

 Mr. Grizzard admitted to being an American by birth and a Southerner by the grace of God. Like so many, I miss ‘ol Lewis.
--Bernhard Thuersam      


  1. I liked 'ol Lewis but I didn't appreciate him as much when we had him as I do now. We need his down-to-earth wisdom badly today.