Smoke ’em if ya got ’em!

Avez-vous une lumière, bébé?

I know for a fact that many of you out there are considering taking up smoking, or going back to smoking after a health-nutty hiatus, because it’s cool.  I understand.  You’re right.  It is cool.  Wicked cool.  And you, pretty much, are not cool.  You might be healthy, yes, but what good is health if you’re not cool?  So smoking makes sense, really, in a tragi-existential (I just made that up!) black and white, subtitled Jean Paul Belmondo – Jean Seberg À bout de soufflé sort of a way.  And J.P. Sartre, and Maurice Chevalier, too.

This proves, I think, that if Americans want to be as cool as French people, that they’d better either 1) become French, which isn’t easy, or 2) start smoking, which is easy.  I think your choice is clear.  Yes there is the expense of cigarette smoking to consider – what are they now, about $40 a pack? – but, as we cool French people say, Il faut souffrir pour être belle! We also say Ceux qui rient le vendredi, pleureront le dimanche! just because is so damned true.

EXHIBIT A. George Sanders being cool but not looking über gay in "All About Eve."

(Many scholars make the case that English people are cool, too, and point hysterically at George Sanders [1906-1972], which isn’t very polite, as proof.  There is certainly a case to be made here, as Sanders was born in Imperial Russia to English parents [cool], made 134 movies [cool], was married to not one but two Gabor sisters [way cool] and could affect a cigarette holder without looking über gay [über cool – see photo marked Exhibit A].  Beyond this, he killed himself [cool] in Barcelona, Spain [cool], by downing five bottles of Nembutal [excessive, but cool] because he was bored [the coolest, daddy-o!].  His suicide note read “Dear World, I am leaving because I am bored. I feel I have lived long enough. I am leaving you with your worries in this sweet cesspool. Good luck.” [so cool I could plotz already])

Furthermore, I’d like to point out the often-overlooked fact that, since cigarette adverts were forced off TV by our first socialist president, Mr. Abraham Lincoln, in 1862, that most American’s have forgotten just how cool it is to smoke.  We see smokers in the movies, sure, but they’re usually some kind of old scraggly disgusting Jeff Bridges types, or maybe Nick Nolte, as opposed to the young, vibrant, well-groomed and deeply resonant people we saw in TV commercials.  Not to mention the very cool cartoon characters.

Okay, kids, smoke ’em if ya got ’em!

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~ by The 1955 Hudson on March 28, 2010.

6 Responses to “Smoke ’em if ya got ’em!”

  1. “As cool and as clean as a breath of fresh air!” Yessiree. Have you seen the ads with a doctor’s endorsement? Priceless. It’s spring, and I’d like some fresh air. Why didn’t I think of taking up Kools? 🙂

  2. Oh, I caught on to the curative powers of sister nicotene when I was working in the wasteland of table-waiting. Which lasted faaar longer than is recommended. And I broke free (kicking and screaming) when I began Project Baby. In fact, my daughter put up less of a fuss being born than I did quitting smoking. 😉

    • Amen, sister, amen! My wife quit 23 years ago, when she became pregnant with our first. Thereafter, she was one of those annoying people who could literally smoke one cigarette a day, which she did until just over a year ago when my second (and final!) child guilted her into it with the crying and the whining and the whingeing. She still bitches about it (my wife, not the child)!

  3. p.s.- George Sanders WAS insanely cool. Armed with a new driver’s license and $7, (at 16) I snuck out on a school night to the nearest reputable cinema, (The Royal Oak Main Art Theater) and stumbled on this “All About Eve” flick without ever hearing about it first. It’s hard to recall many nights I was that blown away and impressed by a happy accident. 🙂

    • That right there was serendipity. Or fortuity. That happened to me, literature-wise, when I was about 13 years old. We’d moved from the Bronx to upstate New York and I found, in the attic of our new home, a book by S. J. Perelman called “Westward Ha!” Changed my life in a very real sense. And “insane” is the word for George’s quotient of cool. Sang-froid, with boots on.

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