Ever since childhood, I remember seeing teachers writing on the chalkboard and then holding their chalk like a cigarette and thinking, “Wow, that looks cool.” I always used to wonder if the teacher was a smoker and I would always be disappointed when they were, as if the only reason they held their chalk like that was because they smoked instead of just being naturally cool as a cucumber.
Alas, the last few months have given me ample opportunity to perfect the art of holding my chalk like a Cool Camel. And I must say, my perception of my own coolness has skyrocketed to otherworldly levels. The only problem, I have noticed, is that I don’t actually smoke.
I have never been attracted by the pull of smoking. Its not something I want to do or get into. Its gross, it makes you smell terrible, and its this ridiculous crutch to your every day life. That being said, I love the lifestyle of my smoking friends.
What do I mean by that? I just got finished ranting about how terrible smoking is and what a silly habit it is and now I’m going to say I am jealous of the smoker’s lifestyle? Well, I’m mostly jealous of the hallowed Smoking Pit.
The Smoking Pit is a place at bars, parties, and general social gatherings where all the smokers go to get their fix. Its dark, its smelly, its cold, and its filled with desperate, addicted people. Or at least, that’s how it is perceived by many people.
I see it as a wonderful abode, a 10 minute respite from the hustle and bustle of the party indoors. It gives me a chance to grab some fresh air; it allows me the opportunity to hear myself think; and best of all, it a hotbed of some weird and wacky conversations.
The conversations that come up in Smoking Pits are usually some of my favourite parts about going out. Everyone out there knows the deal; its like we’re all part of some agreement to talk about whatever comes up for ten minutes and then go our separate ways, at least until the next smoking (or chatting, for me) break. Maybe its the edgy nature of most smokers but no conversation seems to be off limits. This means the conversations can go some very interesting places, very quickly.
These limitless chats are wonderful. We don’t know each other but hey, we’ve got ten minutes to kill so lets start chatting and see what the end result is. It usually ends up in some fantastical realm of dragons and knights or somewhere in the depths of art and culture, discussing the finer points of Woody Allen or Radiohead. And if the conversation doesn’t go anywhere that’s fine too! Making silly jokes is great fun as well.
Maybe its the new people, maybe its the fresh air, maybe its the higher percentage of tattoos but there is something about Smoking Pits that draws me in, like a moth to a flame.
Actually, who am I kidding? Its most certainly because I get a chance to recycle my Greatest Hits of jokes on a new audience and then pull a George Costanza and leave on a high note. And you know what? I’m fine with that. As long as I can drop a “All right! That’s it for me!” then I’m a happy camper!