Sometimes, I like to have a cigarrette. I would call myself a suggestible smoker; that is, if I am at the bar or restaurant and the girls say, “Let’s go outside for a smoke and chat,” I’ll more than likely tag along for a cancer stick and a head rush. If there’s a movie or TV show with a lot of smoking going on, yes, I might go and fish the emergency pack out of my dresser drawer. I will light up one, smoke it til it’s stubby, think “My fingers stink,” and most likely be done with smoking for months to come. In fact, that emergency pack of DuMaurier Lights has lasted me almost a year, and it still has five delicious tobacco treats left. Writing this is making me think about having one now.
Is there something wrong with my very very occasional habit? The other week, my friend and I went to watch Thank You for Smoking – good film, great cast, killer Rob Lowe cameo/character bit – and I commented on the urge to light up when watching people do it onscreen. “You smoke?!” Yes, I also experiment with firecrackers and kittens, read Star, and shoplift printer ink. If I only I lived in Newfoundland… I must confine the actual clubbing of baby seals to daydreams and bitch slap people who ask about my reproductive schedule instead.
I don’t smoke pot, however. I find that stating that elicits a very different question: “Why not?” or “You don’t?!” I don’t really understand how tobacco, which is legal and comes with all kinds of fun chemicals, is so shunned, while dirty disgusting smelly old joints are so revered. I’m looking for friends on Craigslist, all of whom state their chosen respondents must be “420 friendly”. I don’t care if anyone else does it; I just don’t want to ‘kay? If someone really wants to hear about it, there is a long and thrilling tale of The Night of the Joint in the Out-of-the-Way Motel that I’d just as soon spare everyone.
Why is it that smoking is horrifying and evil, and smoking pot is quasi-acceptable, if not downright cool? Either way, it’s about sucking smoke into your lungs and feeling the effects. Except that smoking gives you a nice little lift and smoking pot makes your cheeks hurt from giggling for hours on end. It’s all bad for you; that’s why it’s called a vice. Vices are what your mothers warned you against while fastidiously hiding their own bad habits. Some vices are just more acceptable than others, and at this time, in this city, I am sick of being told that I am uptight because I’m less than “420 friendly” and that I’m bad because I might have a cigarette once in a great while. One smells up the sidewalks of the city; the other makes for unsightly litter.
Perhaps a game of kickball would settle once and for all who are the worst smokers – the pot hippies or the tobacco trailer-trash. The losers would have to buy the drinks and then everyone would gather in the parking lot for a smoke-in. The differences settled, we could all live in peace with our vices at last.