i probably should have left this alone after the first installment but i’ve plodded on. plus i had some more of the ads to deal out. this is the final chapter. i hope you’ve found it entertaining and perhaps useful. thanks for reading.
the military used to be a wonderful place for smokers. it probably isn’t any more but i really don’t know if it is or isn’t now a days. like anything else the military has gone pc in regards to most aspects of life so i’m sure smoking got tossed under the bus with everything else.
when i was in vietnam the army gave us cigarettes for free. maybe it was because i was attached to a macv(military assistance command vietnam) unit, and they were the gods of nam and/or like we were told, there wasn’t a px, post exchange, close by so we got free smokes. the first of every month we went into the supply hut and signed out for 2 free cartons of cigarettes. when you ran out you could get more but the good stuff was always gone and you’d be stuck with kents if you were lucky or camel straights. not pleasant smokes. but they were free and smokes. better yet if somebody went into saigon or ben hoa they would buy smokes there for every body and bring em back. cigarettes were very cheap in nam.
then of course there were salems. the viets loved salems. the cool menthol or something. even guys who didn’t smoke would score 2 cartons of salems first of every month. you could sell them for a nice hefty price to the viets or trade them for something even better, sex. uh, hah. a carton of salems was probably better than cash. even a pack of salems could work wonders with the locals.
then of course us stoners loved salems as well. we would take the tobacco out of the cigarette and stuff whatever dope we had back into the empty paper. seeds stems and all. nobody cared. we would collect the tobacco in an empty coffee can and when it got full we’d give it to the viets that worked on the compound. they loved us for this simple kindly act and never squealed on our extra curricular smoking activities. a filtered mentholated joint. perfect for the hot damp climate.
it was hot in nam. very hot. so you went without a shirt whenever possible. smoking one of our salem joints was hazardous. with the seeds still in the smoke they would pop and explode. usually leaving a nice little blister on your stomach. you could always tell who was a smoker by the blisters on their stomach. you could also always tell who was smoking a joint at night by the tiny seed explosions as well. you might not be able to smell it but you could see where it was being smoked. it took them a long while but the army finally figured out that deal. fun time was over.
my dad had really gotten into smoking in the army. just like myself and most every other gi before us. he stopped smoking completely by the time i was 5 or 6. yeah, he still kept the pipe stuff around. plus a pack of lucky strikes in a drawer in the bedroom. one never knew when the jones would hit again.
to this day he often says he misses his cigar smoking. he still loves the smell of a good cigar. i don’t. i really don’t care for the smell of cigarette or cigar smoke anymore. it bothers me. not dad.
maybe 25 years ago there was a huge family shindig. several hundred folks. a large hall was rented. lamb was tossed on the barbee. the liquor flowed. i was still a smoker at the time and i brought along a couple of nice cigars for the occasion. i gave one of the cigars to a cousin. i smoked the other one. but before i lit it up i wanted to show it to my dad. i found him and said, ‘hey, pop, check this out.’ his eyes lit up. he smelled it and they may have rolled over some too. i lit it up. he followed me around like a little puppy till it was finished.
which reminds me of my italian grandfather who smoked cigars too. the nasty black italian, toscani’s. not sure about the spelling. very nasty smokes. well, he’d smoke it down to the point where he couldn’t hang on to it anymore then he’d stick the butt in a pipe and finish smoking it. oh, he still wasn’t done. after he’d smoked a few cigar butts like that he would scrape out the black mass in the pipe bowl and eat it. yep. hard fucking core old italian that’s for sure. guess that’s one of the reasons why he wore a bag on his stomach for a number of years and died when he was 78. he was lucky to have made it that long.
i’m glad i don’t smoke anymore. if you don’t smoke don’t start. not even the pretend smoking of today’s youth. you’ll only look like a stupid tool.
here’s the last of the old smoke ads found by my friend, dfr.
this is an odd one. anything to sell an addiction.