By Tim Baffoe-

(CBS) Sixty hours. That’s how long it has been since I last lit a cigarette.

Nonsmokers don’t get it. “Just stop doing it,” they say. “Quitting can’t be that hard,” they blather. Shut. The. Hell. Up. You perfect little jerks. If you’re a smoker, cigarettes control your life. You associate them with everything. Coffee, driving, after a meal, after a cocktail, break time, waking up, before bed. They own you. Smoking isn’t just a habit in itself, but it becomes ritual, compulsive.

Two cigarettes on the way to school, two on the way home. Beginning and end of my free period from teaching. After lunch. After every delivery (lighting up at certain intersections so that the cigarette would be done just as I pulled into the restaurant). After every cup of coffee. Beginning of mowing the lawn. After the lawn was mowed. After every beer. After each mailbag question answered. Every. Aspect. Of. My. Life.

And Tuesday night, I decided to stop. Just like that. A challenge to myself more than anything. Cold turkey. No pills, patches, hypnosis, gum, acupuncture, or waterboarding (though I’m open to an endorsement deal from any company selling such products, including the CIA).

I’m curious with all the pseudozombie stuff going around with people eating each other if any authorities have thought to investigate whether the suspects had recently quit smoking. I only ponder that because since Wednesday morning, I’ve wanted to chew the face off of every person I’ve encountered—even loved ones. Seriously, I’ve wanted widespread pain to rain down on all people as all that burns on my brain is the amputated feeling of a sweet, sweet drag.

I’ve surmounted big obstacles of going smokeless through pots of coffee and seven-hour shifts of driving, and I’ve gotten through insomnia, but I have yet to stand at the base of Everest—drinking. Don’t be surprised if come Monday you hear my name linked with a now-faceless bartender.

On to your delicious, low-tar, full-flavor questions. All emails and tweets are unedited.

#unfollow you suck. I put up with your #crap sick of it. CBS needs to pee on your columns—@blastofgas

You, sir (I think), are a hero. Without Samaritans like yourself letting putrid people like myself know that you are unfollowing us on Twitter, how would we know whether or not someone like you is reading our 140 character nuggets of vomit while naked, drenched in ranch dressing and fighting the good fight against tyrants, especially ones like me who have forced you to read my stuff AND have made you pay for it. Thank you for grouping me in with other writers, broadcasters, and entertainers in verbalizing that you’re changing the channel or discontinuing subscription instead of just doing it silently like normal, non-crazy people. Your batty declarations are important to arbitrary outlets of communication and, more importantly, the very fabric of America.

I also appreciate your suggestion about the peeing on my work that is entirely online. You’re scratching Sam Zuba right where he itches, though since coming to the big city from Rockford he’s had to be lectured about getting electrical things wet in the office.

Bless you and more power to you, crazy person.

What happens if someone from the Cubs gets selected to the All-Star team, but they get traded right before the game?—J. Edgar Mihelic

The Cubs are most likely in seller mode, and Ryan Dempster is an All-Star candidate who is very likely to be traded before July 31. Starlin Castro could represent the Cubs and is far less likely to be moved to another team, but it’s not completely out of the question if another team sees more in him than the Epstein regime does (and the Epstein regime might not see terribly great things in The Dictator).

Bryan LaHair, a possible All-Star, has made himself somewhat attractive to buyers, but GMs know he’s not the freak he appeared to be the first two months of the season. And then there are Alfonso Soriano’s 14 home runs and 45 RBI, both best on the Cubs, and his albatross of a contract that every year is debated as to whether or not it’s worth some GM taking it (partly) off the Cubs hands.

An email to MLB’s PR department pertaining to the rules about trades and All Stars went unanswered because I guess the people there know that I’m not very important. Luckily my guy Andy Behrens is kind of important and discussed this back in 2009 when then-Pirate Freddy Sanchez was the team’s only All-Star and the subject of trade rumors.

So it seems that official baseball policy is that each team merely has to have one representative selected by either fan vote or manager’s choice, and after that the each-team-represented thing goes out the window. For the sake of what is an otherwise terrible game anyway, MLB should be rooting for whoever the least bad of the Cubs is to be traded and not have Bud Selig’s glorious exhibition sack of crap that decides home field advantage in the World Series because Bud Selig is an awful commissioner be tainted by Cubbishness.

My guess is Castro gets picked by NL Manager Tommy Lee Jones. Dempster won’t be on the team because he’ll likely still be on the DL when the break arrives, and even if he’s off the DL, as a likely trade candidate, the risk of injury will be respected and his name omitted from the roster.

random question (related to Hudson Hawk)- Better singer: Bruce Willis or Frank Stallone?—@SudsiestPanda

Full disclosure: I’m one of the very few people in the world that likes the film Hudson Hawk, and I get flack for it, which I don’t mind and understand is totally warranted because I know it’s not a good film. I’ll never argue for its merits because it really doesn’t have any. We all have movie guilty pleasures, and many of mine happen to be films I first saw as kid before I could really discern what sucked and what didn’t. (I was 9 when that film came out.)

The biggest reason I liked the film as a kid is its score, most notably the Bruce Willis/Danny Aiello duet of “Swinging on a Star” while stealing a horse statue. I’m a huge Sinatra fan (the best version) and a bit of a Bing Crosby fan (who won an Academy Award for that song). The film is implausible and campy, but I just can’t hate it. Don’t judge me.

Regarding your question, both guys are garbage musicians overall. Willis can at least keep up with classic R&B songs, which isn’t easy for your average karaoke superstar. Willis also somehow has the respect of many respected artists enough that they’ll play with him, so he’s got that going for him, even if it’s because of his star power.

The eightiesification of the classic songs Willis recorded is criminal, but Stallone for most of his music career somehow manages to sound more like an actor trying to be a singer. The majority of Stallone’s stuff is soooooo 80s-movie-soundtrack bad where EVERYONE was trying to sound like John Parr—“Man in Motion” I enjoy, though—and there was all this phony gravitas to songs that hardly anyone paid attention to as a mediocre film wound down.

Gun to my head, I guess I would rather sit through a Bruce Willis concert than a Frank Stallone one.

Thanks for emailing, tweeting, and reading. If your question did not get answered this time, that does not necessarily mean I am ignoring it. It may be saved for the next mailbag. Hopefully you’re a slightly better person now than you were ten minutes ago. If not, your loss.

Want your questions answered in a future Mailbag? Email them to or tweet them with the hashtag #TFMB. No question, sports or otherwise, is off limits (with certain logistical exceptions, e.g. lots of naughty words or you type in Portuguese or you solicit my death). If you email, please include a signature.

tim baffoe small Ten Foot Mailbag: Starlin Castro, Quitting Smoking And Bruce Willis

Tim Baffoe

Tim Baffoe attended the University of Iowa and Governors State University and began blogging at The Score after winning the 2011 Pepsi Max Score Search. He enjoys writing things about stuff, but not so much stuff about things. When not writing for, Tim corrupts America’s youth as a high school English teacher and provides a great service to his South Side community delivering pizzas (please tip him and his colleagues well). You can follow Tim’s inappropriate brain droppings on Twitter @Ten_Foot_Midget, but please don’t follow him in real life. E-mail him at To read more of Tim’s blogs click here.

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