Thursday, March 15, 2007

The Demon Weed and Drink

There have been a rash of antismoking laws added to the books here as of late. I think that this is probably in the best interest of everyone concerned, although, as a rule, we as Americans hate to be told what to do. Does anyone remember the huge stink that helmet laws raised in the 1970’s? Does anyone still see the bumper sticker of “Helmet Laws Suck”? No, me either. I think that the day is coming when all the smoking laws will just be taken as fact, much like the 14th amendment.

But the story doesn’t end there I’m afraid. It has been my experience that most people who drink also smoke, or at least use tobacco. The new laws have hurt some businesses, such as bowling alleys, restaurants, and bars. Their business has fallen off dramatically. The non-smokers have not taken up the slack that their smoking customers have provided since Sir Walter Raleigh first lit up and then sent a boatload of the evil weed back to England. Smokers have staid away in droves. The appeal of an evening out bowling, eating, and drinking isn’t gone, but the call of this smoldering sin is too strong. They want to enjoy all of these things with the comfort of a burning tube of paper and dried leaves wedged between their lips. Is this so Un-American? Remember when some people in this country decided that we should give up alcohol altogether? Wasn’t that an unqualified success? We turned everyday Joes into criminals, and gave criminals license to cater to their needs, resulting in dangerous booze, rampant murder rates, and unheard of growth in organized crime. Well, we tried to make things better, and only ended up making things worse. It reminds me of a recent war that we still find ourselves engaged in.

Now, make no mistake about it. I am one of God’s most wretched of creatures. I am a tobacco user. Not just cigarettes, as society deems ugly but acceptable, but cigars, snuff (or smokeless tobacco as the industry prefers to call it), chew, and if that wasn’t bad enough, I smoke a pipe as well. Yes, it turns out I’m awfully fond of my tobacco. I’m not a bright man, but even I know that tobacco, in its many forms, is simply pure poison. Not even Philip Morris can deny that any longer. The stuff will kill you, slowly, but it is death nonetheless. The reason that tobacco tends to wake you up is that your body is setting off an alarm that it is being poisoned and sets you on “full alert”.

The fact still remains that smoking and drinking seem to go hand in hand. Scientists have done studies as to why this is so. It turns out that the alcohol makes the receptors in your brain use the nicotine to its fullest, thus, smoking is more satisfying after a few cold ones. It just tastes better! It “feels” better! And, damn it, the last one was so good, that I think I will have another. So after a drink, or two, we smoke more, adding one more layer of tar to our lungs, and increasing the risk of a hangover, or even worse, cancer. I know this to be true. I have quit so many times, and I always come back to tobacco. Why you might ask? Was it peer pressure? Was it an ad campaign that made it irresistible? Was it to “look cool”, so I could nail some sweet young honey? No. I had a couple of beers and missed the wonderful feel of the smoke filling me with its heady appeal. There are very, very few things in the world that can even come close to the scrumptious flavor of good Virginia burly being burnt and inhaled. 1. A really, really good steak. 2. A good beer that is very cold, when you really need a beer. And 3. P*ssy. It is a short list. I’m sure smarter people than me could suggest things that didn’t make this list, but I am a man of simple pleasures and simple thoughts, so I leave the list as it stands.

The whole point of the article, I guess, should be WHATEVER YOU DO, DON’T START USING TOBACCO! IF YOU USE IT NOW, STOP!

But for the rest of us, can’t we agree that, regardless of its dangers and expense, isn’t it tasty?



  1. So, P*ssy is third on the list. Huh. Actually, it's fourth, really. I'll remember that...

  2. The list was only composed in that order to provide a humorous punch at the end. They are not ranked by order of their appeal. If that was the case, then the list would be:
    3.P*SSY (our cat, she is a big cat)
    6.p*ssy (a smaller one, you don't know her)
    8.Steak and Beer.
    9.Steak, beer, and cigareetes.
    10.Steak, beer, cigarettes, and three different kinds of p*ssy, but just as a side dish, so as not to overpower the rest of the meal, and perhaps a good cigar and coffee for dessert.

    Or something to that affect.


  3. The restaurant I work at part-time became non-smoking before they had to (a year from now it will be mandatory). It definitely hurt business for a while, but I think that there are people who come in now specifically because it's non-smoking and they've recovered business-wise. Nevertheless, some of my favorite regulars were smokers, and I miss them.

    It's strange to me-- I'm mostly a non-smoker (one or two cigars a year) but to me, part of the ambience of a bar is the cigarette smoke.

  4. Thanks for that clarification, Doc.

    And I'm with you, Johnny Yen. A bar is not a bar without a smoky haze.

  5. that dude is smokin one helluva big pipe... where can I get me hands on one??

    actually, reading this makes me jones for a clove ciggy, I dunno why.

    somewhere on the net, I think it's on This American Life, there's an audio article called "The Sweet Smell of Stale Smoke" and it's a series of famous personalities talking about this very topic-- the death of public smoking.


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