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October 23, 2014


--In which smoking and its perks are identified

It's hard to believe in today's world, where anti-smoking ads run the gamut from discouraging to disgusting, that the appeal of smoking used to be it made its users cool.  When, exactly, did the inhaling of poisonous fumes get cool?  Were people doing this before cigarettes existed?   Were cavemen fighting to be closest to the fire, not for warmth but for the chance to sit in the smoke path and suck down as many gulps as possible? It seems unlikely doesn't it?  Which is why I'm pretty sure something extraordinary must have occurred to make people think lung-arsony was the thing to do. What was that extraordinary something?

Most likely this commercial.

This video isn't just the origin of smoker cool, it may also be the best YouTube video you've ever watched. Wait, you didn't watch it?  Of course not.  Fine.  In honor of the recently un-suspended Bill Simmons, let's break this video down running diary style for those able to spend 4-minutes reading a blog but not 40-seconds to watch one of the best clips out there.

A mutton-chopped individual stands, looks into the past, and nods.  He is dressed for success, yes sir.  Morgan Freeman narrates.11.  YouTube commenters claim that this isn't actually Nelson Mandela-Freeman, but an imposter. I don't know what is true or not. I know this video is great regardless.

Is that a missionary tag we see poking out of the left breast pocket?  If so, things are about to get real confusing.

An otherwise perfect day at the park is interrupted by the presence of a sub-optimal cigarette. 

Question: can you really tell if a cigarette is sub-optimal based on its length or color?22.  2nd question: is there also a way to tell the novelty-shop exploding cigarettes from the real things? Because I've heard of those who've supposedly pulled this prank and it sounds fantastic.  

Don't we all know the feeling of being left unsatisfied by a short and white at some point or another? Sometimes it's a cigg, sometimes a human, and other times a zit, but I think we all can relate.

Is this the best a person can look from the neck up? I'm serious. Slightly turned up coller, aviators, beard, half-smile, sideward golfers cap with a black and long tucked behind your ear?  I dare say yes. 

Many an hmm-hmm are shared.

I like to imagine this is how I look as I complete the 'Ra-Ra, Ra-Ra-Ra' portion of the BYU fight song.

Here we see the ultimate message of this video: When smoking, never, ever exhale though the mouth. Out the nose or lose all ya bros.  Unless you can do the Gandalf

"That's some gooood nicotine".


The running diary recap would seem to support my prior claim that this commercial was the birth of smoking cool, and yet ... and yet as I'm typing this, a tweet comes across the wire.


There goes my theory. Baseball and its overwhelming ancientness prove that smoking was suave long before Chops came into our lives.  How the idea originated that deteriorating your body helps athletes is strange, but believe it or not this isn't the first time baseball taught me things were weird in the good old days.

In his book on baseball, The 34-Ton Bat, Steve Rushin writes that baseballers of the early ages left their mitts ON THE FIELD when they'd run to the dugout to bat.  Whenever the third out was recorded, wherever you were standing, you just dropped your mitt and that was that.  What!?! This practice continued until a couple years after a game was won by a ball bouncing off a mitt that had been left in the middle of the outfield. Thus the era of 'Leaving your mitt wherever the crap you want like a lazy bafoon' yielded to the era of 'Taking your mitt with you to the dugout'.  Guess when this change occurred? 1953.  That's not 1853, but 1953, aka only 60 years ago.  And you thought racial prejudice was the hardest thing to understand from the 50s. 

What I'd like to know is if these baseballers also left their still-lit ciggs on the field when they ran up to bat as well, or if they just kept puffing while at the plate. Truthfully I don't know that that ever happened on a baseball field -- if not MLB should consider it, because it would amp up the comedy level of the sport exponentially -- but it certainly did when me and Nate were paired with a random third during a night round at Westridge.  Yes, the third was better at golf than both of us, regardless of whether his cigar was in his mouth or on the grass. Alas. 

But, uh, so why all the musings on smokes? Ah, yes. Because this happened.

Which makes me want to poison myself.  Fortunately, Troy showed me the way. 

In your footsteps, brother. In your footsteps. 

That's some gooood gum powder. 

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