Rant: Why I can't quit smoking
10) It tastes great. I can’t deny that the only reason I have kept up this filthy habit on more than one occasion when I would have been perfectly fine to quit, was the taste. It’s something akin the after taste of certain types of British food; light, airy, and somewhat charcoal-ish.
9) It really is cool. C’mon. How many non-smoking pictures of Sinatra and James Dean have you seen that are as cool as when they were puffin away on a good ol’ fashion, roll it up in your palm cig. The notion that chewing gum can still be a satisfying oral fixation as well as set you apart from the group is proved all but complete nonsense the second you try to imagine Frank dropping his A.B.C gum (rather than the cigarette butt) in his scotch and downing it at the end of the show. Not only is this the coolest way to end a stage performance when done with a cig, but dropping your gum into anything before swallowing it is just plain gross.
8) It keeps the weight off. I know I know, but seriously. There’s a reason supermodel Christy Turlington is skinny, rich AND has emphysema. Look at her bank account; you think she’s stopped smoking? Not a chance. In fact, I just saw on Fox News that she is Virginia Slims’ newest spokesperson
7) It makes the right people really mad. Think about it. Every upstanding authority figure in your life has persevered in vain to impart the foreboding knowledge of lung cancer on you from a very young age. As you get older, you realize that these authority figures are replaced; Teacher into Boss, Parents into Spouse, Priest into Doctor. All of these people, whether they be from the early or latter part of your life, would be equally offended by the knowledge that you just picked up another pack of Marlboro’s. The added bonus is that by smoking and letting them smell it on you, you have silently and equally angered them as if you, say, came into work and peed on your desk, or went into the confessional and gave the Monsignor the finger, but they can’t fire you or banish you to the seventh level of Hades.
6) You get to meet really interesting people. I’m not just talking about the chicks you can pick up by lending a light. For example, the last time I bummed a cigarette, the wide person passing by reminded us that ‘This is a non-smoking campus!’ To this I replied, ‘Wouldn’t you do better on a non-eating campus?’ See; right there. We really made a connection and if it hadn’t’ve been for the cancer in my hand it never would have happened. Thanks, Joe Camel.
5) It is a meal in a box. For five little dollars (eight if you’re in Manhattan), you can nix the next two days worth of breakfast, daytime snacks, after dinner ice creams, and if you’re really careful, eating anything past the time of 9pm. This in and of itself is a big bonus if you work a lot of hours like I do and don’t have time to do your own grocery shopping, thereby avoiding the awkward ‘No, K.G., I didn’t eat your schnitzel’, when you know you did in fact eat his schnitzel and felt bad for doing it but not as bad as if you would have gone hungry.
4) It is a five minute vacation. Because the comp days and vacation time I receive from the office are often siphoned away by family events, weddings, funerals, and repetitive paternity suits, I have very little time to myself when I’m not supposed to be working. But, by stepping outside and lighting up, my mind gets a very well earned reprieve from the daily grind, and I don’t even have to get on a plane. And, unlike a chewing-gum habit, you can legally stop work to take a smoke break. It’s your lawful right (Labor Code 6405.4 in California) to light up twice a day for fifteen minutes and nobody can do a thing about it. Be forewarned, however, if this is you and you infringe on minute sixteen before getting back to cooking my fries, I will be forced to speak to your supervisor about your ‘disgusting smoke smell’.
3) I have to give my money to the right wing somehow. Since I don’t drive an SUV, the amount of fuel I use (if used as the standard for every private citizen) would absolutely sink the price of oil per barrel. Then where would they get all of that money to fix the election and allow Rove to pay his spinster team? I know enough from my 11 days as a devout Buddhist to remember that everything good has, by design, a bad counterpart. Myself as the Progressive (the good), must learn not crush the Religious Right (the bad); rather, through hard learned self discipline, quell the storms your hateful bigotry causes and allow you a small amount of my income in the form of 20 Class A Cigarettes every few days.
2) You just can’t travel through Europe and not smoke. Please; this is a big lie. Everyone who quits and says they didn’t smoke in France might as well be on Michael Jackson’s jury where you can lie with a straight face, get paid to so and simultaneously do your civic duty. I’m sorry, but it you’re going to admit to having ‘funny brownies’ in Amsterdam, and then lie about the nicotine from which you couldn’t be separated for six weeks, you don’t deserve to call yourself an adult. Admit to it, move on, and be proud that you’ve acted your age until the next time you lose your cool over how much you should be tipping on your white linen table cloth dinner because your waiter needs to buy their smokes for the week.
And the number one reason is:
1) The day I permanently stop smoking is the day I get hit by a bus. I’m convinced, based on all of the events in my life thus far that the universe has it in for me real bad. Therefore, should I resolutely choose the straight and narrow path, the fates and the furies will smite me more than they ever have before. This is not to say I will die, for that would be fitting. I mean, once they opened me up on the slab they’d say “Oh well. He was a smoker anyways, so he was already a walking corpse.” No, I’d probably end up in a wheel char, assuming the Christopher Reeves role as ‘activist guy on wheels’, and never get another cigarette while everyone else around me smoked, because you know they’d never sell cigarettes to a guy who needs a machine to breath.