Friday, October 26, 2007


In the “I Don’t Need THIS!” Dept…All the Tobacco in China; Taking up the habit of rulers and the common man.”

After years of resisting, a friend in Shanghai gave me the perfect excuse to start smoking. China has become so polluted, he told me, that it's better to breathe through a cigarette filter than just take in the air on its own. And if your lungs are going to get shot to hell anyway, you might as well enjoy it. So, well into middle age, I figured that it was probably a good time to take up the smoking habit. The result? I enjoy it so much that I don't know why I didn't take it up earlier.

For the Chinese, smoking carries connotations that might seem outdated, even quaint to Westerners. Real men smoke, period. And when real men hang out together, they smoke a lot. The presence of women is appreciated, of course--if they are quick with a lighter. At a formal meal or banquet, each course may be followed by a cigarette, as if to cleanse the palate, and a few more cigarettes will be smoked at the end, in place of port. As the saying goes, fan hou yi zhi yan, sai guo huo shenxian--a cigarette after a meal and you feel better than a living god.

It was hard for me to take this article seriously in this Politically Correct day and age, and I kept looking for a “gotcha!” or an “April Fool!” Or something. But no, it is as it reads above: a paean to the Evil Weed. Doubtless some pinched-face do-gooder will come out with a “tsk-tsk” editorial response to this charming and informative little piece…it’s just a matter of time.

But back to the subject at hand. Ya know what? I miss it. I really do. But I won’t…can’t…go back. It really was killing me, and that’s not hyperbole.

I wonder if Barack has quit yet?

Today’s Musical Interlude… Two gems from the BEST incarnation of Fleetwood Mac: the Peter Green years

And one from the second-best iteration of Mac…the Bob Welch years. Nice photos here.

You’ll note I didn’t include a cut featuring the abominable Stevie Nicks. If I ever hear that frickin’ Rhiannon song again it’ll be too soon. Thus spake The Ol’ Fart.


  1. Oh come on Buck, you don't listen to Stevie as much as you look at her!

    I quit smoking back around '85, but I do occasionally puff (puff being the operative word) a mild cigar now and then. If I forget and inhale, I get sick, so I'm not hooked on the nicotine as much as the taste I get with a good beer.

  2. I'm so glad you are still on the wagon!! Wish my dad would quit (maybe he's just waiting to see what will kill him first: cigarettes or his wife).

    Ack. Now I got Stevie's voice in my head. LOL!

  3. Nothing better than a Hand Rolled Cigar....with a nice glass of Drambuie on the for Cigs? Never could get hooked on them, always left that "turd" like taste...the one bad habit I never had(one of the few)

    Smoke Em' If You Got Em'

  4. Speaking of smoking, just got my zippo in the mail today...dunno if you remember but I posted on that a reeeeally long time ago. I just never got around to buying it...ended up going with the brushed chrome old school looking one with the USAF seal on it.

  5. Mushy sez: Oh come on Buck, you don't listen to Stevie as much as you look at her!

    True, back in the day. But I don't look at her at ALL these days. And I hear ya about the cigars. I still smoke 'em, too, but like Clinton, I don't inhale.

    Jenny: Just watch that Hypnotized video again...that should fix it!

    Re: your Dad... Well, that sounds rather ominous, but I know a lil bit about the relationship between him and your step-Mom, based on small stuff you've said in the past. That said, NO amount of harping will get a confirmed smoker to quit. It's gotta come from within. Ask me how I know. ;-)

    Pat sez: Nothing better than a Hand Rolled Cigar....with a nice glass of Drambuie on the Rocks....

    Or a single malt! ;-)

    You're fortunate you never picked up cigarettes, Pat. They're danged hard to give up.

    Mike: I DO remember that post, and if I recall, I gave you my opinion as to which way you should go. I'm glad to hear you went Old School. Finest Kind!

  6. Hey, I remember the Peter Green version of Fleetwood Mac - playing Albatross on Top of the Pops ( BBC UK ) in hmm '68. And of course, O Well and Green Manalishi Man are also well remembered and cherished.

    BTW, thanks for the assistance in my search for green peanuts. I did make it down to Portales, and after many twists and turns, and with great help from the front office staff at Sunland Peanuts ( I won't name the lady for fear of embarrassing her - but Archie Comics rings a bell ) - I ended up driving across the border to Morton Tx, where a farmer met me at a gas station and then drove us to his field 15 miles aways and just the just gave them ( 50 lbs or so ) away to me - we did have to collect them myself of course :-)

    I am thankful for the generosity, friendliness of the people in Tx and Portales and their willingness to help in and indulge the eccentricity of some bloke from Boulder CO / LA, CA/ England / India.


  7. Hey SK! I'm glad you found your peanuts! And you're certainly right about the people around here...they're some of the friendliest folks I've ever met, and quite possibly the biggest reason I remain anchored here in P-Ville.

    Thanks for dropping by.


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