Enjoy It While You Can:
The Joy of


"A woman is only a woman,
but a good cigar is a smoke."
—Rudyard Kipling

"A cigar is only a smoke, but a nice broad is a lay."

Mark Twain
from a Barnes & Noble box

Nothing is easier than to give up smoking.
I've done it a hundred times.

—Mark Twain.

Only, He Never Said It Amazon.usa

For some reasons, look like very good ones, tobacco is less popular than it used to be.
But it sure used to come in handy. For example, a well-known dictum in drama is
Always give your characters something to do. So, what? Not so easy at times.
Answer the phone? Chop sticks? Vacuum-clean the room? Fire a cannon? Blow up the powder magazine?
All these gimmicks have been used, and then some. (But they may be hard on the sound person.)

Blow Job
Lucky Luke

the Belgian cowboy

An easy way out used to be, have your character light a cigarette! Lots of business in there. He can feel around in his pockets for a crush-proof package, find it, open it, take out a coffin nail, search again for a match, tap the cancer-stick on his finger-nail, elaborately light it, blow smoke rings, get into a nasty cough—the possibilities are literally endless.
And the comic relief! The same nasty cough indicates a throat cancer coming on—the joke's on you.

Harvey Kurtzman/Will Elder
Dragged Net!

Small wonder literature, stage plays and movies of the 20th century seem to be absolutely preoccupied with tobacco smoking.
Then, tobacco companies were always paying to get their products on the silver screen.

Grijpstra & de Gier
In May 2005, during a Roma, Italia performance of Arthur Miller's A view from the Bridge, when an actor lit a cigarette as prescribed by the script, a woman from the audience started protesting loudly. After 15 minutes of ensuing tumult the performance continued sans cigarette.
(In January 2005, Italy banned all smoking in public. One of these days, they'll have to start cutting it out of movies, just like the 'incorrect' racial jokes from old cartoons. Inevitably, in 2006 they started cutting smoking out of them as well.)
In my lifetime, smoking has gone from a desirable habit to a sin.
Where I came from this was preceded by a time when it was risqué for women to smoke.
These change in attitudes make it hard to keep focussed on the core:

Tobacco is a drug, and a pretty good one—not counting the side effects.
Among those who keep care for the old, it's generally acknowledged that those who smoke are more alert than the abstainers. But the no-smoking and second-hand smoke hysteria has gone so far by now that they want to prohibit even nicotine patches, gum and smoke-free electronic cigarettes. You can't have any fun when I don't!
They brought our standards of living to a higher level,
so we now have lamps and oil to fill them with, flour and cigarettes.

Hammond Innes - The Strode Venturer

Not wanting to brag, I won't count the countless times chicks came up to me asking for a light.
Ass that I am, probably much to their surprise I just used to give them one.
Point is, what do they substitute for that now?

Hmmm... what messages am I not getting these days? (Maybe they don't send any? Hmmm, again...)

Tobacco! Real tobacco!
from Jules Verne's The Mysterious Island

P.G. Wodehouse
died at what he'd have called the ripe old age of 94, in a hospital. He had his latest manuscript (Sunset at Blandings) and his pipe with him. No way you could have convinced this man that smoking was bad for you. He has some pretty good things to say about it; even if he was wrong.
One of the funniest is where he quotes Tolstoy to the effect that twiddling your fingers will give just as much pleasure as smoking tobacco. In all seriousness, what possibly could have moved Tolstoy to come out with an obvious piece of nonsense like that? The man even describes how a guy smokes a cigarette to get in the proper mood for committing murder! Now, really...
There is nothing like a cigarette for soothing the system. For some moments I opuffed luxuriously, and my nerves, which had been sticking out of my body an inch long and curled at the ends, gradually slipped into place again.
Thank You, Jeeves

Alzheimer and Nicotine
Don't know if there's a real relation here, but nurses in retirement homes
claim that old people who smoke tend to be much more alert
and there are theories that smokers get Alzheimer disease less often
(hey, you want Alzheimer or cancer—or smokeless cigarettes?)

umm, those Churchill cigars
and then some
When I checked it on their site, they weren't ready yet; but February 2011 blog stories claimed that in the London Churchill Museum they are removing all his cigars. Out of political correctness, no doubt.
Why, it was as good as his trade mark!
Turns out, they only did it for one picture; the management never noticed.

Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany's
In the marvelous light of Franz F. Planer
God forbid some Hollywood ass (plenty of them around) will get it into his brain head to remove Audrey Hepburn's Breakfast at Tiffany's cigarette holder! Next, they will take away Groucho Marx's cigar, Franklin Roosevelt's cigarette holder, or...
Segar's Cigar
God Forbid! Popeye creator Ed Segar's signature.

How Smoking Can Save Your Life - and Other People's
Because of the frequency of pressure cycles and prolonged exposure to saltwater atmosphere, there was intensive corrosion that was hard to detect visually under the skin and inside joints. Inspectors would notice cracks only around the smoking area of the cabin where nicotine stains would appear on the outside.
Stephen Barley, The Final Call - Why Airline Disasters Continue to Happen

From the same book:
A man standing in a growing pool of fuel under the fuselage insisted on
lighting 'a cigarette to steady his nerves' before moving on.
Old Smokers Never Die
In February 2007, Hong Kong inhabitant Chan Chi celebrated his 107th birthday. He said the reason he'd grown so old was partly because his wife died when he was 30 and he'd had no sex since. But he still smokes and wants the government to ban tobacco, so he'll be forced to stop. (Reuters)
Sterling Hayden
I take one and inhale so deep my head shrivels.
No Relation
book cover
Some people are not convinced yet that smoking tobacco is bad for you. In searches for 1950s USA politician Adlai Stevenson I stumbled over sites on the State Drug Processes, still claiming that all this is a Big Government Lie. That's as it may be, but the anti second-hand smoke campaigners surely make some claims that can only be called insane. Like, second-hand smoke is more liable to give you cancer than freshly inhaled smoke, straight from the cigarette! But how can you possibly claim such foolishness? Doesn't the smoker himself inhale the second-hand smoke as well? Aha.. got it! Fresh smoke must be an antidote! So, if somebody around you lights up, play it safe and ask him for one.
Money Talks
In 2003, professors James Enstrom and Geoffrey Kabat were coming to the end of the most comprehensive study ever carried out on the effects of passive smoking. Already the results were unambiguous; there was no "causal relationship between environmental tobacco smoke and tobacco-related mortality."
The study's sponsor was the American Cancer Society, and this was not what they wanted to hear. The Society tried to kill the project by pulling the funding. [...] The American Tobacco Institute provided the money to finish the job. [...] In May 2003, the most important single study ever carried out into passive smoking finally came to be published [...] in the British Medical Journal.
[...] The anti-smoking lobby was the new consensus [...] just propaganda for the tobacco industry [...] no one applying the same criticism to the hundreds of millions of dollars [supplied by] rich cancer charities.
Lewis Jones, Skeptical Briefs June 2008

Zwei Wochen war der Frosch so krank!
Jetzt raucht er wieder, Gott sei Dank.

from Wilhelm Busch' Der Frosch und die beiden Enten
The frog was so sick for two weeks!
Now he smokes again, thank Jeez.

The Frog and the Two Ducks

Magic and Magicians
Magic Smoke

The anti-smoke craze really has been especially hard on these guys.
The number of tricks with cigarettes and packs of them, appearing or going up in smoke to taste, is incredible.
Thankfully, they are an imaginative lot and have long since thought up new tricks, or ways to disguise the old ones.

Paradise Found
Filling his lungs with smoke, inhaling deeply as if he were inhaling the air of Paradise.
C.S. Forester - The Good Shepherd

Smoking Can Be (Partly?) Good for You
A study of risk factors for Lichen Sclerosus revealed that nonsmokers were significantly more likely to have LS than smokers. The authors conjecture that this is caused by the androgen-elevating effect of cigarette smoking. (Sorry, forget where exactly this came from.)
So those Camel and Marlboro commercials had a good point after all? It makes you a Real Man. Well, Blow Me Down!
Also gets rid of the myth, pushed by anti-smokers, that smoking makes you impotent. For all I know, an all-out opportunistic lie.

smoke gthetto
smokers isolated in ghetto (L.A., USA 2006)

In the past century, an amazing number of monolithic rocks have been observed to grow with an even more amazing speed. They are easily dated by the fossil cigarette stubs found in them; the amount of those present per volume of stone sharply decreases around the year 2000.
Geologists call these rock formations concrete.

Men deprived of tobacco were men who could not be relied upon.
C.S. Forester - Beat to Quarters

no smoking
A relic? Border post Chile-Argentina
Tierra del Fuego 2008

It was the Peter Port lifeboat. They came alongside and life stirred again at the sound of friendly voices...
strong hands helping me over the rail, a lit cigarette thrust into my mouth.
Hammond Innes - The Wreck of the Mary Deare Amazon.usa

How long will it take before those signs have all disappeared from public areas?
Google 2007-11-20: 1,800,000 results

no smoking sign ashtray
'no smoking sign ashtray'

Times Have Changed
Saint Pierre de Varengeville-Duclair forest, near Rouen in Normandy, was once home
to a US army camp named after the Twenty Grand brand of cigarettes.
It was one of nine cigarette camps
- along with Pall Mall, Old Gold, Philip Morris, Chesterfield, Lucky Strike, Home Run, Wings and Herbert Tareyton -
used by troops needing treatment or waiting to be sent elsewhere.

If you know of remarkable instances of what a more innocent age
considered to be a healthful joy, please ! Thanks.

medical tips!

The Voodoo-Master General has decided that
Enjoying Life to the Hilt
(or some such lesser extent)
will inevitably result in
     Your Friendly Neighborhood Government will take care of you     
(no matter what you wish)

All kidding aside, there's no way smoking tobacco
could possibly be what you'd call good for you

which reminds me, why not view some

So it is the nicotine!
We had always been told that it wasn't the nicotine, it was the tar and soot in the smoke that gave you cancer. No doubt. Still, it was surprising to be informed in early 2008 that nicotine, after all, turns out to make cancer cells grow faster. So, how about those nicotine patches to stop your craving? Or electronic cigarettes?

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