Goin’ Out For A Smoke

I want to start smoking.  From my observations, smokers have more fun. And, with all their smoking breaks at work, it just doesn’t make sense not to become a smoker. Who wouldn’t want a 15-minute break every two hours?

How many times have you heard a colleague in the office say, “I can’t take this place anymore! I’m goin’ out for a smoke!” The rest of us chumps are left behind to answer phones and deal with the issues at hand.

Outside, in the fresh air, they are laughing and puffing away. At the same time, they are getting the secondary benefits of a few moments of rich Vitamin D sunshine. No wonder they walk back into the office smiling and relaxed. Fresh air, sunshine, a 15-minute laughter break: Who wouldn’t like that every few hours? Makes you want to take up smoking!

If only it wasn’t so hazardous to your health; everything else about smoking appeals to me. I like the camaraderie that smokers share. Shunned by the general population these days, smokers have formed their own tight knit bond with other smokers.

If you want to witness the perfect egalitarian utopian society, watch a group of smokers huddled under a building’s awning on a rainy day. Age, social status, affluence – all the usual divisive factors that separate people into castes in our society – are obliterated in the few moments it takes to suck down that poisonous pleasure. Perfect strangers are instantly accepted into that elite club by humbly asking someone in the group, “Got a light?”

Even given the expense of cigarette smoking, I’ve never seen one smoker deny another when asked, “Can I bum a cig?” They happily share the goods with one another, ungrudgingly, never asking for payback. They are a generous lot, and seem happier than the rest of us who can’t experience the sensual gratification of a craving every fifteen minutes that is calorie free to boot.

Add to that, the effect of nicotine – a stimulant of pleasure centers in the brain that provide a rush of satisfaction and enjoyment. The only other activity I can think of that induces pleasure, satisfaction and enjoyment usually requires the removal of clothing first.

I truly envy smokers that they can have access to that kind of magic any time of the day – in public – and with all their clothes on. To share it with others only enhances the experience. When I see smokers laughing in their huddle against buildings, under trees and awnings, I want to run up and ask, What’s the joke?  Can’t I join in, even if I’m not a smoker?

I tried to do just that one morning, as I entered the building where I work. There were three smokers outside, talking and laughing, and instead of continuing on my way after the perfunctory, Good Morning, I paused a few moments, smiling, hoping they would include me in on the joke. Instead, they all went silent, aiming their chins high and exhaling their smoke away from me, up into the air. I wasn’t one of them. They knew it. I knew it.

So I wiped the silly smile off my face and continued on my way up the stairs and into the office to answer the ringing phones.

About Christine Vanderberg

Christine Vanderberg is a humorist who lives on the South Shore of Long Island. Visit me at my blogsite: christinevanderberg.com
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4 Responses to Goin’ Out For A Smoke

  1. vanderberg says:

    Ha! I’ve thought the same thing so many times. There’s a “live for today” smugness about the smokers though. No?


    • janice says:

      I can totally relate! I haven’t smoked in 15 years but I remember everything you’re saying. I loved my smoking buddies & all the laughs & gossip we shared in that 15 minutes. But I know from experience that when you quit, you can never be a part of it again. My smoking buddies looked at me with a mixture of envy & hatred when I would pass by because I kicked the habit. I only was aloud to join them one time at 10:15 am on 9/11 when I asked if I could bum one.
      Janice C


  2. Yes! Why can’t we non-smokers go out for a “fresh air” break? Let’s start a movement!


  3. Heather W says:

    This was lovely to reaad


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