these are some of the most dreaded words i frequently have the misfortune of hearing. it usually begins innocently enough. i'm at a party or some form of social gathering which involves alcohol in some way. and then...

someone: "do you have a cigarette?"
me: "sure, here you go."

at this point, i will light their smoke and then they'll either make small talk or simply walk away, my purpose to them having been served.

many smokers don't realize this, but you have just been flagged in that individual's mind as the sucker of all suckers. as the night progresses, you'll find that same sad face returning to you, with more and more humility, requesting one of your precious cancer sticks.

flash forward about an hour, and you might here this:

someone: "hey, you havin' a good time?"
me: "yeah, sure. nice party."
someone: "yeah, definitely. {glances around} hey, sorry about this, but can i grab another butt?"
me: "yeah, i guess so. you must've run out earlier, huh?"
someone: "me? {laughs} oh, no. i don't smoke."
me: "really? well, you sure had me fooled."
someone: "haha! no, i only smoke when i drink."

i can't begin to describe how mad this makes me. so you only smoke when you drink. fine. that's how i got started. but, would it be so hard to buy a pack of cigarettes when you know you're going to be drinking? i mean, it's not like you're asking for a piece of gum anymore. in my area, butts are just short of $5 a pack. so, everytime i'm smoking a cigarette, i'm taking a couple of dimes and welding them to the insides of my lungs. when i'm giving a cigarette to one of these leeches, i'm better off just winging spare change at passing cars.

giving a cigarette to a fellow smoker is actually a pleasure to me. if i see someone in the throes of a minor breakdown due to nicotine withdrawal, nothing gives me more satisfaction than to be able to descend upon them with cigarette and zippo at the ready. the look on their faces is comparable to that of a mother whose child you just pulled from a well.

people who smoke when they drink are hurting everyone involved. they're draining us smokers of our precious life fluid and they're prepping themselves for one of the most expensive addictions around.

if you smoke when you drink, please, PLEASE, in the name of everything holy, buy your own goddamn cigarettes. or, if you find yourself frequently taking butts from a certain cat, surprise them one day with a pack of their brand. i guarantee you, if you do this, they won't mind handing you one every now and again.

We’ve got a quasi regular at our local watering hole that pulls the same stunt every time he comes into the bar. His routine usually goes something like this.

First he orders a dirty martini and chases it down with a Miller 64. (A strange combination if you ask me) Then, he points to three or four of us gathered down at the end of the bar and asks the bartender to “sprinkle the infield” on him. That’s the term he uses when he wants to buy a round of drinks.

Next, he approaches a smoker, usually me, and waves a dollar bill at them in exchange for smoke. I don’t know if anybody ever accepted his gracious offer but since he’s done it so often now it’s become somewhat of a hollow gesture. After refusing his offer, he usually says to just add it to our tip to the bartender and I’ll reply something along the lines of “Why don’t you add it to your tip?”

And then, while we’re outside in what is known as “”smokers alley”, comes the inevitable line:

"You know, I only smoke when I drink.”

I’m normally not a rude drunk but I found myself tempted to say something along the lines of “Quit fuckin’ drinking then” but cooler heads prevailed.

Yet, I still wanted to get my point across and perhaps I had one too many drinks or had heard the line one too many times but the next thing that came out of my mouth was:

”No, it seems you only smoke when I drink.”

I’m betting he’ll have a full pack the next time he comes in.

Either that, or he’ll hit up on someone else.

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