"Time takes a cigarette,
puts it in your mouth, pull on a finger,
then another finger, then your cigarette..."
David Bowie as Ziggy Stardust
What will the gods sniff if we can't put something in our pipe and smoke it?
As of Jan. 1 a new policy at The Reporter, as well as all Gannett-owned businesses, to my knowledge, prohibits employees from smoking anywhere outside the building.
They can't drive away on their 15 minute breaks twice a day to light one up because that is considered company time. Neither can they smoke in their cars, behind a bush, peering from a manhole or crouching in a dumpster, hands cupped over a matchbox (which may well be the case if I know newspaper people like I think I do).
Correct me if I'm wrong. I thought tobacco was legal?
No wonder hobbits can no longer be found this side of Middle Earth.
I'm taking a politically incorrect stand here, and man, does it feel good.
I love the smell of tobacco smoke.
Managing editor Mike Mentzer was waxing nostalgic last night, recreating the days when the newsroom could only be seen through one big cloud of blue smoke.
"The page one editor had one cigarette going in the ashtray and one in his mouth, the ash about 4 inches long," Mentzer related.
Ah, the smell of cigarettes, pipes, a good cigar, the inside of a sweat lodge as the peace pipe is passed around....... the way the wisps of smoke curl through the air like fairy lace... the social nature of a good smoke, the way it clears the mind and calms the nerves.
I grow misty-eyed watching the old black and white movie stars lighting up everywhere and anywhere. Last night, I can't recall the flick, a doctor offered his patient a cig and they both lit up in his office. LOL
Please spare me all the bad things about smoking...that's not my point. We all know what can kill us in excess (INXS!)....fast cars, MOTORCYCLES, crossing the 151 bypass, plastic wrap, deodorant (which one oncologist told me he thought to be the leading cause of breast cancer), cake (the number one culprit - that lust-filled brown-eyed Susan cake from Everix Bakery), Joe's Fox Hut Pizza (and what a way to go), eating any fish but lets' pick on sturgeon, hair spray, wood-burning stoves, the sun's rays, the chemicals in new carpeting, listening to Barry Manilow or watching Regis & Kelly, hair dye, etc., etc., etc.,
In his 1993 book "Cigarettes are Sublime" Richard Klein, a Cornell University French professor, attacks what he calls this country's current craze of "violent antitabagism."
"Healthism in America has sought to make longevity the principal measure of a good life," he writes. "To be a survivor is to acquire moral distinction. But another view, a dandy's perhaps, would say that living, as distinct from surviving, acquires its value from risks and sacrifices that tend to shorten life and hasten dying."
I don't smoke at work, but I confess to a quirky habit: I have two cigarettes after 9 p.m., usually every day. It was my compromise, years ago, with quitting...which seemed to me such "giving in to the man."
Goodbye to the days you could enjoy a good smoke as one of life's simple pleasures.
I just hope Santa doesn't have a nic fit while driving his sleigh.