Friday, July 10, 2009

"No good reason except they taste good."

A trip to Jake's last night yielded a less than adequate stock of Camel Lights. Thus, I decided to re-introduce myself to Kamel Reds. Frankly, I forgot these things existed. But that hasn't stopped me from smoking the shit out of them all day. I got the Full Flavor variety, because I love the package design so much. The packaging on the Lights always looked to me like cigarettes branded by Mello Yello.

The purchase of unusual cigarettes always releases in me a small yearning for the days when I never had the same brand two packs in a row – or at least the same variety by one brand (you could go from Turkish Golds to Turkish Royals to Camel Filters without breaking any serious rules). And though I know my next pack will be the good 'ol reliable Camel Lights, my inner smoker wants to go get a pack of Galois (blue), followed perhaps by some Pall Mall's, then some Nat Sherman's or those Bumblebee cigarettes with honey toasted right into the tobacco (not just shoved into the filter). Maybe even a trim box of Player's Navy Cut, the finest after-dinner smoke ever conceived by man.

If I really knew what I was doing I would bring back my pipe. I loved smoking a pipe. But that never fails to invite judgmental leers from strangers. Plus it's just more shit to carry around. My Father, as we're all aware, is a smoker of cigars, although his tastes vary from outstanding to the "How the fuck can you put that in your mouth, Gerry?" variety. Cigars to me, though, should be reserved only for special occasions and to those for whom a cigar is a legitimate aspect of their character. Like Fozzy, Gene Hackman or, I suppose, my Dad.

In the end it doesn't matter that much that I've relegated myself to smoking cigarettes almost exclusively. It's not like I'm in bad company there (James Dean, every WW2-era soldier ever), and it is a well documented fact that smoking cigarettes makes you cool. Still, variety is the spice of life, and in this regard I am dropping the ball pretty badly.

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