Despite Harvard’s strong stance against tobacco — Dr. Jonathan P. Winickoff of the Harvard Medical School coined the term “third-hand smoke” in the anti-smoking movement’s latest descent toward utter nonsense — I can’t help but imagine a smoke-filled game weekend. As 60,000 Yale and Harvard men pack the Yale Bowl, I envision bygone days of smoker glory rising again.
A century ago, the Harvard man, with his Harris Tweed and books, and the Yale man, with his Vassar girl and self-esteem, would pass joyous nights lunting their cutty pipes on long, moonlit strolls. Half a century ago, Harvard man Timothy Leary sparked up peyote fajitas and formed subversive cults, while Yale men puffed on purp slurp with the Black Panther Party of New Haven. The cigar boom of the 1990s refined our mutual affinity for playful, carcinogenic fumes, leading us to reach for the stogie before the peyote.
Either way The Game turns out, men of both sides have reason to light up. For the winning side, it will be a moment of celebration, a theatrical end to the period of détente in which two self-perceived superpowers find themselves the Friday night and Saturday morning before The Game. For the losing side, I think Edward George Bulwer-Lytton summed it up best: “He who doth not smoke hath either known no great griefs, or refuseth himself the softest consolation, next to that which comes from heaven.”
So, gentlemen, let us smoke. Sure, gone are the days of Vassar girls and Black Panthers, but some joys in life remain constant. Let us turn away from the whiny, solipsistic non-smoker who bemoans our third-, fourth- and fifth-hand smoke. Let us stand athwart the anti-smoking movement yelling, “Stop!” And let us, most importantly, stand true to a tradition as enduring as The Game itself — lighting up and watching mediocre football.
(There is no smoking inside the Yale Bowl.)
Review: Nat Sherman, Gotham West Side 3500
It’s not easy to find these hidden treasures outside of Nat Sherman’s 42nd Street shop, but the Gotham West Side is well-worth the effort. With a Brazilian wrapper, this cigar burns perfectly; its ash is a work of art to be admired until its inevitable fall. The taste is hard to pin down, but it reminds me of toasted marshmallows in autumn. I smoked this stick until I couldn’t hold it anymore. A-/B+
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