Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Defining success down

You can basically count on the Star Tribune to contain something that's unintentionally hilarious every day. Today's gem was contained in an article about an experimental new nicotine vaccine, which focused on long-time smoker who is trying the vaccine after being unable to kick the habit. According to the article, "[i]n the past, he'd had pretty good luck quitting. But his relapse rate was 100 percent."

I had thought, perhaps foolishly, that quitting meant to cease engaging in the specified activity, and implied at least some degree of permanence. Mark Twain once claimed to have quit smoking cigars thousands of times. Apparently he had pretty good luck as well, even if quitting in his case simply meant putting out the stub of the cigar and waiting to light up the next one.

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