Monday, April 16, 2007

I'm a Smoker/Vonnegut on Smoking

Okay, I just wanted to get this out there – I'm a smoker.

I'm an unrepentant smoker. I have little to no interest in quitting and I believe, despite hysteria to the contrary, that smoking can be as good for one's mental health as it is purportedly bad for your physical health.

I'm also a relatively considerate smoker. I don't smoke inside my own house or my car. Even when the option is offered, I don't smoke inside anyone else's house or car. If I'm smoking – say, outside at a restaurant – and someone asks me to move or stop – I move or stop. I smoke because (in addition to the admitedly raging addiction) I really, really enjoy it. I enjoy the ritual of it. I enjoy flipping up the top of the pack... actually, it starts further back than that. I enjoy getting a new pack, removing the cellophane, flipping up the top , removing the foil, and drawing a cigarette out of the pack. I enjoy pulling my Zippo™ out of my pocket and flipping its lid to draw the wheel against the flint. I enjoy raising the flame to the tip of the cigarette. I enjoy inhaling (not necessarily deeply but I do enjoy inhaling). And I enjoy exhaling (In a sort of hybrid Ameri-Franco exhale I'm told).

I particularly enjoy smoking with a cup of coffee first thing in the morning.

Anyway, in reading a couple of Vonnegut obits I came across an interview from 2004 where he references his life-long smoking habit and I have to think he felt how I feel about smoking (and maybe life in general):

Vonnegut “Well, I smoke a lot, you know.”

Interviewer: Pall Malls?

Vonnegut “I’ve got a lawsuit against Brown & Willliamson now. Because I have been chain-smoking Pall Malls since I was 11. And on their package they promised to kill me.” (laughs)

Interviewer: They’ve done a very poor job of it.

That's it.

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