Originally Posted August 25, 2011
I’ll preface this post by saying that I am a non-smoker (and by non-smoker, I mean I smoke every now and then when I’ve had a few too many cocktails and think that it will somehow make me look like James Dean when in reality I just fumble around with a lighter until I inevitably burn a cigarette sized hole in my shirt). I understand that smoking is harmful to your health. I’m in no way telling everybody to go buy a pack of cigarettes and light up immediately. But I am saying you should go buy a pack just in case you find yourself in one of these situations…
1. You’re a seasoned cowboy on a long trek chasing down some evil banditos. They’ve captured someone very dear to a rider in your group. However, you care nothing about the captured person or the person in your group who wants them back. You’re here for reward money – plain and simple. As you set up camp for the night, you sit around a fire with the captive’s loved one who is much younger than you, full of rage and desperation to catch up to the banditos. Your cavalier attitude is alarming to the youngster. As you slowly roll your own cigarette out of overly dried tobacco, you impart wisdom to your company, claiming something like, “They say the only man you can’t outrun is God. Well he ain’t caught me yet.” As the youngster stares at you, soaking in the mystique of an impervious gunslinger, you exhale a giant drag of smoke up to heavens.
2. After bedding a dame in the city that never sleeps, you walk out to the fire escape of her tiny apartment in Queens. Behind you, she’s already asleep – knocked out cold from the heat just shared. She’s a classic beauty – Ava Gardner with the spunk of Lena Horne. The night air is cool as it pierces your bare chest. As great as it was, you don’t feel a shred of emotion for the pretty face in the other room. You were lost in one of life’s temporary ruses to make you think there just might be hope for you, but once the pleasure subsides you snap back to reality. As you survey the city, bed sheet draped loosely over your shoulder, you light up a smoke and wonder when the hell you’ll get revenge on the man that killed your brother.
3. Riding a motorcycle on top of a train is easy. But jumping the motorcycle off said train while shooting a drug lord in the thigh and strategically crashing it into a fuel truck deserves some applause. The crash won’t destroy the fuel truck, of course. It’s just enough to cause the driver to lose control, toppling the truck over on its side. As the injured driver with a face tattoo of dragon climbs out of the fuel truck and demands of you, “Why?” you interrupt him with a bullet to the face – right in the dragon’s gullet. You’ve got no time to fuck around. The drug lord is writhing in pain as fuel from the truck spills by the gallon into his open wound. He pleads with you, begging. “I can change, I have two daughters to feed!” You whip out a Zippo lighter, fire up a smoke, and take one long drag. With ice-cold eyes, you tell the head of the cartel, “Well I’ve got someone to feed too. The fire.” You flick your cigarette at him and turn your back as an explosion engulfs every cavity of what once was the DEA’s #1 target.
4. World Series – Game 7. You haven’t been called on once the entire playoff run but you knew they’d come running when trouble reared its ugly head. Sitting in the corner of the bullpen, you faintly hear the phone ring, although to everyone else you look dead asleep with your cap pulled over your eyes. Coach McGehee doesn’t even have to say it; you know you’re up. Slowly, you pull the cap back revealing wrinkles under your tired eyes spawned from too many years in this rat-race of a game. You strike a match on the bottom of your cleat and ignite the cig that’s been dangling from your mouth for the past 9 innings. McGehee places the ball in the worn leather glove you’ve been using since you were called up 19 years prior. Without a fragment of doubt in his mind, Coach looks you in the eye and says, “Burn one past this fucker.”
These four situations are the only scenarios in which I encourage people to smoke. In fact, I’m pretty sure you’re legally bound to smoke if you end up in one of these circumstances. In all other events, just say no. Unless of course you’re trying to impress some girl who’s looking for a bad boy, in which case, light up, son!