Friday, May 7, 2010

Tobacco Is Some Goddamn Delicious

(A Follow-up to Raw Oysters Are Some Goddamn Scrumptious)

They always take the best things from us: the right to play grab ass and tell filthy jokes in the work place, the right to refuse women the right to vote, the right to beat our own children in public, the right to murder innocent people because there's nothing else fun to do in town. Recently, the right to sit in a packed restaurant and light up a delicious cigarette and blow the smoke into the faces of our fellow diners was unfortunately stolen from us as well, and now the Powers That Be are taxing the motherfucking shit out of our beloved sin sticks, ostracizing we 'unholy' smokers by encouraging us to quit and using the tax from those $8 packs of wrapped, "filtered" goodness to ... fund universal health care (also known as the first step to kissing Karl Marx right on his Santa Claus beard).

In other words, they're using the smoker's desire for the Sweet Release of Death to try to heal those among us that are actually trying to ... live.

It's appalling.

We speak, as a Nation, so lovingly of the Great Farmer, with mud and cow dung beneath his or her fingernails, the baggy overalls covering his or her unkempt frame, the John Deere hat adorning his or her graying head. When driving through the Great Farm Country, we as Americans roll down the windows of our gas-guzzling monster machines to take deep breaths of relief, nodding to ourselves that the beauteous methane consistently emitted from the anuses of those American cows is, indeed, the True Air of America. It's not the fragrance of hot apple pie, raw denim, a freshly mowed lawn or even tacos smuggled in by robbers and cowards. It is there, in the fields, with Ma and Pa Kettle.

By taxing cigarettes and reallocating the funds to help people with horrible afflictions like acne or scabies, this country is encouraging - nay, coercing - people to actually ... stop smoking. And they're not just raising the prices and hurting the farmers who specialize in tobacco, they're putting warning labels on packs, they're putting scare commercials on television from those obnoxious goody-goodies from and they're protesting - yes, protesting! - the use of charming cartoon figures and other clever marketing ploys to sell our Great National Product to dumb teenagers. Don't they realize that dumb teenagers have anxiety issues, and not only are cigarettes perfect for curing anxiety issues but - and here's a bonus! - the 11 minutes removed from their lives from each and every cigarette they inhale will actually prevent them from becoming boring, useless senior citizens?

If people in America stopped smoking, what would happen to the farmers in Virginia? Who would plow the fields and bring us that sweet, burnable, God-given glory that so many of us cherish? Why, lungs would be free of contaminates! Cancer would start making frowny faces and pouting (and my word does Cancer like to pout)! We've turned smokers into lepers, keeping them locked far away from the rest of mankind! Of course, we've encouraged people to stop eating so much and no one really listened - the American Waistline has been expanding like the cosmos - and yet the smoking thing has actually been a little effective.

It's troubling and terrifying.

Why, some years ago I traveled to Europe and while I was there I reveled in the amount of smoking done by our Brethren Across the Pond. Sure, their government people and medical folk tried all the anti-smoking tricks, but many over there brazenly resist advice that will improve their physical well-being. In the Frankfurt Airport, there are kiosks where smokers are permitted to just sit around and exhale and relight and inhale and relight and exhale! I'm pretty sure it's illegal to not smoke in France if you're under the age of 75. Cuban kids indulge in perfectly rolled cigars when they're not starving. In Amsterdam, if you aren't smoking something, people wonder what is wrong with you and immediately fill your personal space with their exhaust - it's enough to give you a headache, but what a glorious headache it truly is! I was told by an Italian guy that in the Middle East some parents give their kids hookahs as presents. I was told by an Irish dude that his father gave him a pipe for his 18th birthday and the two of them would have long, silent conversations whilst struggling to keep their bowls lit. Smoking is about family and togetherness. And yellowing teeth and bad breath ... but we have cures for those things, thank you Crest.

We, as a World, lose so very much in trying to keep people from enjoying the products of the earth. You don't see people trying to quit peaches do you? Or mint tea? What's next, taking salt out of our over-salted foods or removing factory-made corn syrup from food stuff that has no real need for factory-made corn syrup? The next thing you're going to tell me is that it's possible to disarm the world and effectively promote peace and harmony, free from prejudice and fear! Poppycock, you knave! So just deal with it: go to your local drug store, pick up your overpriced asthma medications, and then wheeze your way over to the front counter and nab some Parliaments for the road.

Your culture is counting on you.