Wednesday, June 29, 2005

“Thank you! For not smoking.”

The Movie: Robocop 2, 1990 (Frank Miller and Walon Green, screenwriters, from characters created by Edward Neumeier and Michael Miner; Irvin Kershner, dir.)
Who says it: Peter Weller as Robocop, a cyber-police officer with a human brain.
The context: Robocop has been overprogrammed to enforce “quality of life” laws as well as laws against more serious crimes. He says this line after he chases a smoker into an alley and shoots at him.
How to use it: When you’ve overreacted.

This line has no immediate relevance to my life this morning, but the day's still young. And I do want to say how weird it is to be in a city where people can still smoke in bars. Even Maine has banned smoking in bars.

My views on the demon tobacco are well known, although I was fond of the occasional cigar all throughout the 1990s (and yes, I took up cigars before it became a trendy thing to do, so I'll take credit for helping to start that trend).

But I do understand why people like to smoke. Years ago, I drove through central North Carolina right around tobacco harvest time, and the smell of the fresh tobacco in the air was indescribably wonderful -- it was just like I'd imagined the air smelling in that "poppies" scene in The Wizard of Oz. I wanted to stop the car, wander into a field, and lie down until I floated off to dreamland.

Cigarettes, sadly, don't smell like that.

1 comment:

JJ said...

I inadvertantly discovered the perfect way to quit smoking: first, you get a life threatening staph infection around your eye, then you spend a week in the hospital being repeatedly doused with demarol. Hospitals are notoriously unreasonable about smoking and the demarol really makes not care.

When I was on my feet again, my friends decided we should celebrate my survival by going to a pool hall. I agreed not even thinking about the dense clouds of smoke that would await me there and when I walked into that infected lung of a pool hall I thought, "So, this is what cigarettes smell like."

I've been smoke free ever since.