dear anyone who smokes,
hi. it’s tony.
i know you, 'cause i used to be one of you.
okay, i’ll be honest. there have only been a few times in my life when i could really be considered "a smoker” – when i'd actually carry a pack of cigarettes around with me wherever i went. when i'd smoke freely in bars, restaurants, coffeeshops, walking down the street, driving in my car, talking on the phone, immediately after dinner, sometimes during dinner, with my morning coffee, right after sex, just before sex, in the middle of sex, when i was nervous, when i was relaxed, when i was happy, when i was tired, when i was anxious, and when i was trying to quit smoking.
my smoking history
my legitimate smoking history mainly involves smoking unfiltered cigarettes because they made me high as a kite on may day. camels were good. if i didn’t have any unfiltered camels, i’d rip the filter off a regular camel and smoke that. easy peasy. i'd usually smoke at the end of the day. at home. at night. in my room. in secret. with the door locked. two or at the most, sometimes three. a day.
i haven't had a cigarette in about eight years. at times, it's been difficult to not take up again. i’d stub my toe and think “damnit, i wish i had a cigarette.” (i often think the same thing about crack.) but for the most part, once i decided to quit, i quit. same with caffeine, booze, marijuana, cocaine, and…mm-hmm…crack. those were harder. especially the crack. and the booze. and the cocaine.
what was not hard was quitting heroin. i never did heroin. and i lied about the caffeine. are you kidding? i tried to quit caffeine once and ended up huddled in a corner, clutching a mrs. beasley doll, sweating and shivering and mumbling something about magilla gorilla. then I had a sip of diet coke and suddenly all was right with the world. it's a true story.
but hey. this isn't about me, it's about you. you smokers. hi.
the tubey thing
a few things. first: what do you think happens to that little tube of synthetic material stuff – “the filter” - that so many of you toss out into the street when you're done smoking? i know, it's soooo small. not a big deal. i feel silly for even bringing it up. i mean, once it's flicked out into the street, or out your car window, you can hardly see it.
thing is, those cute little tubey things never die. they do not dissolve away into the earth like the nasty chicken bones on the sidewalk in new york, or like starving children in africa. they don’t get eaten by birds, or by squirrels or other woodland animals, like those plastic bags from the grocery store. they last forever, those tubies. forever and ever, amen.
tubies last longer than even you. think of that the next time you launch that little thingy onto the sidewalk: it’s gonna still be there long after your lungs turn black and crusty and you collapse from heart failure or have a debilitating stroke. or emphasima, that’s a good one.
the japanese put their little tubies in a smart pouch they carry with them everywhere they go. and then, i guess, they must empty out that pouch in some alley somewhere. i don’t know where that alley in japan is, ‘cause i rarely see any tubies anywhere, even though it is a law in japan that every japanese citizen smoke. even little japanese babies must smoke. but they all carry little baby tubey pouches. those japanese smokers sure are smart. didn’t they invent the transistor radio too?
you are not an iconic movie star
now. let’s talk about how cool you look when you smoke. here’s a clue: you don’t. you look like an stupid person. okay, i know that’s harsh, and I’m sorry, but it’s true. studies have shown that very few people in the world have ever actually looked cool smoking. james dean, holy crap yes. bette davis, uh, yeah. i mean, her cigarette smoke was a supporting character. i think it was even nominated one year. it was often more interesting than anyone else in the scene.
so unless you’re james dean or bette davis – and you’re not – chances are you look pretty stupid smoking. even to other smokers.
think about it. you suck on a skinny little white stick (um…a long, skinny, white penis, okay?) and you contort your mouth into the oddest and ugliest shapes to blow smoke out one side of your face or the other. seriously, have you watched yourself blow smoke out the side of your face? do it sometime. watch yourself smoke in a mirror. see the faces you make? these are faces made by gouls, not humans.
i'd love to kiss ya...
and you know what else? i know you know this - not a lot of non-smokers will want to kiss you. really. and that’s a whole lot of people. if you’re single and looking to date, you’ve just narrowed down your field of possibilities tremendously. think of all those people who don’t smoke who might ordinarily think you’re hotty mchotterson, but then see you light up and suck on one of those long skinny white penis things and suddenly a loud buzzer goes off and a big, red x shows up across your face. oh well. maybe that smoker girl in the corner will go home out me.
let’s talk about how you can cover up that smoker smell with cologne or perfume. another clue: you can’t. no matter how much stinky stuff you slather on, the stench of cigarette is still the most prevelant smell. that, and you’re wearing way too much cologne. do we have to talk about how sexy that is? the mix of stale cigarette and enough cologne to gag an alpaca? so hot.
but i have to say, what’s most impressive is how you can make your breath smell so minty fresh with only a tiny piece of dentine ice, or just a spritz of peppermint breath spray. clue: you can’t. you could chew ten packs of gum, down an entire bottle of listerine, and chew on bunches of parsley until your teeth are green (which might be better than dirt brown) and you’d never cover up your bad breath. you’re eating smoke, dunderhead! it’s going down into your lungs. into the deepest, darkest crevices of your body. your bad breath is coming from the creases in your bowels and it’s not gonna go away with a stick of wrigley's, babe. i’ve never purposefully smelled a smokers poop, but i bet your poop smells like stale, dirty smoke too. and cologne.
you will quit...someday
look smokers. i love you. i do. and i don’t judge. okay i do judge, i'm sorry. and i can’t really say i love all of you. you have every right to smoke, of course, except where people want to actually breath. and you know, there’s hope: you could quit. i know it's really tough. but one way or another, you will quit someday. and hey, if you’re a hundred and two years old and you have ten minutes to live, i say smoke ‘em up!
until then, you’re tossing your tubey into the street for someone else to clean up (or not, ever) your teeth are a lovely burnt sienna, your breath smells like grandma’s septic, you’re not james dean or bette davis, and you’re wearing an entire bottle of old spice that mixes beautifully with the stench of stale smoke and bowel crease.
you are pretty damn hot, smoker.