I started smoking because I thought it would be cool. My friend David Mootatamby had been smoking since he was 10, and he offered me one in the park when we were 13—I told him I’d already been smoking for years. Smoking is cool. Thanks Dave.
There’s a funny David Sedaris piece in this week’s New Yorker about how much he loved smoking until he quit. Now I’m not one of those Tony Bourdain types who goes on about smoking the whole time, although I did read a great book in college called Cigarettes Are Sublime, as in, “sublime” in the postmodernist sense, not just “nice.” So I’m not immune from pretension when it comes to my “fags.”
Talking of pretension, Joe Jackson (…he wrote “Is she really going out with him?“) was in Portland recently, and in the course of writing 80 words about him I stumbled across the smoking section of his website. He speaks out against “anti-smoking hysteria,” and there’s some interesting links from there to pamphlets he’s written about the “nanny state.” Sadly it’s all rather curmudgeonly, what you might expect from a lifelong musician who did his most popular stuff in the eighties.
I can give up drinking perfectly well but when it comes to cigarettes, there’s just something nice about them. Never mind “sublime.” Especially when you go into Rich’s and ask for some “fancy ones,” and they pull out these natural tobacco ones made with rice paper, which basically means you’re not even smoking at all.
I’m cooler than you today.