is sooo nice outside. Everybody at Exotic
is slacking (except of course Bobby).
My column was due yesterday. I gotta write
it, but all I want to do is play at the
river. What to do? What I always do in
a fix: SPANISH COFFEE. And a cigarette.
Usually this means I go to Huber's with
my notebook and pen and let them get my
juices flowing. But they recently were
required by the Multnomah Health Department
to forbid smoking until 11PM because they
allow minors until that time. So I find
myself sitting lugubriously at the Steak
and Chophouse, smoking a cigarette I bummed
from Severina (who smokes professionally)
and drinking the worst Spanish coffee
in town (great whipped cream, though).
It's a hotel and as such is completely
uninspiring. The requisite Sinatra stuff
plays on the sound system. Ironically,
Frank's singing "When Smoke Gets in Your
Eyes," which gets stuck in my head, creating
a soundtrack for this column. I ask for
my check before my cigarette's even done.
And scamper off to Huber's.
I love smoking. It's a very sensuous pleasure.
I like the mild speedy high, but mostly
I like how breath manifests itself as
smoke. Suddenly you can SEE people's words,
thoughts, life. It's so sexy. I love the
taste of a guy who's had some bourbon
and a few smokes. Hell, it's patriotic!
Virginia tobacco, Kentucky bourbon, American
boy.... yum! Tobacco is an indigenous
herb, used for centuries by American natives
for ceremonial and medicinal purposes.
As it is today: medicine, pleasure.
So naturally the possibility of a smoking
ban in Oregon bars has got me pissed.
Really really pissed. It stinks to high
heaven of hypocrisy and liberals-know-best.
Yeah, they did it in Cali--one good reason
why we shouldn't! Yeah, they did it in
NYC... and bars went out of business within
months. I dig the platform that defends
bar workers' right to breathe clean air.
What about their right to have a job?
Bars EXIST because of people's choice
to indulge in things that are bad for
Sure, smoking's not great for you. But
the studies linking cigarettes with lung
cancer and heart disease have been recently
reported to be all-but-fatuous by the
New England Journal of Medicine.
If you have a weak constitution, smoking
cigarettes will exacerbate it. But it
doesn't directly cause these debilitating
diseases. What is more harmful is obesity,
sugar consumption, stress, environmental
pollutants and alcohol. These are all
mainstays of nearly every American diet.
Why scapegoat nicotine addicts?
My friend in NYC has been a life-long
smoker. He spends $200 a week on cigarettes:
one case of Camel non-filters, which he
smokes with an elegant cigarette holder,
and one case of fancy schmancy Euro filtered
cigs. He's in his late fifties and diabetic.
He's also rich and sees All the Right
Doctors. They say his lungs are in perfect
health and that his smoking is fine, but
that he should avoid sugar and alcohol
as they will kill him--and anyone--before
the tar in cigarettes leaves the tiniest
He really loves his cigarettes. They fuel
his life, his art. Now that they've banned
them in NYC bars, he's fixing to move
to France! He's as bitter as bongwater
when he recounts his early days as a New
Jersey hood and poet who caused his mother
a lot of grief. When she went to the doctor
complaining of anxiety fits, he prescribed
her cigarettes. She'd take the prescription
to Nat Sherman's on Fifth Avenue and have
it filled: Fantasia Lights in blue and
pink, gold-tipped and monogrammed with
her name. Wow, we've come a long way baby.
It is my opinion that cigarettes are healthier
for people than sugar, alcohol, Weight
Watchers entrees or driving. Even second-hand
smoke is preferable to second-hand sugar,
alcohol, etc. Life is dangerous. Life
will kill you. Get over it! But don't
expect OR ALLOW your government (that's
Vera Katz and G. W. Bush, you liberal
hypocrites) to protect you from yourselves.
I know I'm preaching to the choir at Exotic
Magazine. And what a lovely choir
you are, mes chères! But think
about who votes--boring suburban assholes
who think boring suburban lifestyles are
the only way to heaven. And those assholes
would give our moron President/ Mayor
power to "codify" our lifestyles as second-class
or even criminal!
Stop them. Because heaven is a cigarette
and a Spanish coffee at Huber's.