Week 3: Cigarettes, Beers, and Dr. Wife

Aaaaand there goes Week 3. Uneventful on the writing front, as expected.

And yes, not ten seconds after I wrote “uneventful” in that last sentence, Dr. Wife laughed at the dog, which caused her to choke on her beer, gag, and then yack into the sink. She seems okay (though my EMT instincts made me want to break out my old stethoscope and check her lung sounds to see if she aspirated any imperial ale).

Anyway, Dr. Wife’s not dead, the dog failed to get the rubber ball, and here I am, not quite two beers deep but itching for another smoke.

Which brings me to this week’s topic, seeing as how I have nothing else to write about: Cigarettes, and how awesome they can be for lighting that creative candle in your head (especially with a beer or two).

Yeah, I know how bad they are. Everybody knows. Shut the fuck up.

Important note: The Truth Initiative — those twats with the anti-smoking campaign — are insufferable. You’ve probably seen their commercials. The ones with the obnoxious music, corny uses of hashtags, and that ad in particular where they say smoking will kill your cat. It’s another attempt at the anti-smoking crowd to look cool. But they don’t look cool. You know what looks cool? A fifteen-year-old smoking a cigarette in the bathroom during third period.

AND. If any fifteen-year-olds are swayed by these awful commercials, they are pussies. The same way the kids who actually listened to those “Just Say No” ads were pussies. You want to get a kid not to smoke? Send him to the nursing home where all the ex-smokers are coughing up bloody mucus through the hole in their throat.

I hope to eventually quit, yet every time I see these commercials I light up in protest. Thus is the sheer, corny awfulness of your commercials. Suck on my discarded USA Gold butts. For every kid who says they’ll never smoke because of your commercials, I’m personally going to give a pack of cigarettes to a small child. The Truth Initiative is every nanny state pansy who taxes your can of soda, it is the sound of an activist screeching at you for using the wrong gender pronoun, it is the incessant BEEPING in your car when you don’t put on your seat belt. There is no way for that to be cool. Fuck you. End important note. 

Moving right along.

Writing and cigarettes go well together, that is, if you’re already a smoker. If you’re not a smoker, don’t start — unless of course you want to look SUPER COOL FUCK YOU TRUTH INITIATIVE — because it won’t help.

But if you are a smoker, they’re wondrous when done correctly. For me, while attempting to get in King’s 2,000 words per day, a smoke break when I’m 500 words deep is generally where I get my mojo. I tend to get nervous during those first few hundred words. The smoke break helps me calm down, contemplate what I’m going to do next, and get ready to bang out the next 1,500.

Although I have a strict rule. No cigarettes at all for the remaining 1,500. Fuck that. No breaks except if I have to piss. Poo breaks don’t count. One can always balance the laptop on his/her thighs even while dropping the most cataclysmic turds.

Naturally, drinking and smoking go hand-in-hand, but excessive drinking never goes good with writing. Unless you’re Christopher Hitchens, Hemingway, or Hunter Thompson — and you’re not — writing while shitfaced is a terrible idea.

If you’ve ever cringed at what you wrote on Facebook or in an ill-advised text message after ten beers, what do you think your fiction will be like? I’ll save you the trouble of finding out. It’ll be the equivalent of what you’ll leave in the toilet bowl when you kneel before the porcelain prince.

However, writing after a beer or two won’t hurt you. There’s been some kind of research that says so — or that a small amount of alcohol can get your creative juices flowing — and I’d cite it except fuck you, read the internet on your own.

I like to write little things while on those first two beers. Minor shit and, yes, sometimes I’ll go on to a third drink, but never while working on something serious.

But I’d venture to say that drinking and smoking while writing is counterproductive. I try not to combine the two while writing, but fuck if it doesn’t feel good to sit on the porch with a beer and a pack of smokes and consider what I’m writing.

I’ve literally had my best ideas while sitting peacefully alone — once on a small porch facing the neighbor’s house across the alley in Bethlehem, now on a larger one back home in Philly — enjoying the calming effects of alcohol and destroying my cardiovascular system with cheap cigarettes. Or maybe driving home from work nursing a beer, cigarette dangling from my lips, radio off, with nothing but a dark highway in front of me and the wind whistling through the window, open only a crack.

It’s like mindfulness meditation for the chemical enthusiast.

However — and it’s a big However — if you’re the type of lightweight twat who finds yourself fist-pumping, twerking, or otherwise being objectionable after a few Coors Lights, please don’t imbibe while writing. And maybe you shouldn’t drink at all, since you’re no good at it.

Short note: Everything I wrote in this post in regards to smoking while writing could just as easily be applied to chewing bubblegum. Except no writer chewing bubblegum has ever looked as cool as a writer smoking a cigarette (not that anyone will see you, because if you’re serious about this shit you’re writing in a dingy, secluded portion of your house, or maybe the laundry room at a homeless mission).

Another short note: I’m not spellchecking any of this because I broke my own rule. I’m on my fourth beer. Now it’s time for hockey. (Go Flyers. Capitals fans are just a bunch of lawyers and finance twats who got free tickets off their bosses.) If I do remember to spell check it, it’ll be in the morning. A big “If.”

Pic of the day: Dr. Wife, only vaguely aware that I’m about to take her picture. (She’s my rock, the Daenerys to my bald, drunken, short, pitiful Drogo, the reason why I’m not stealing copper wire from a construction site in South Philly right now.)


Song of the day: The Hold Steady, “The Bear and the Maiden Fair” (only because Dr. Wife is sitting across from me; her presence trumps any smoking or drinking related songs, of which I know many. Also, GoT watchers can eat a dick. I knew this song before you. #HipsterPoints)