Cigarettes: the real gateway drug


What makes an innocent little baby turn into a sweet playful kid who turns into a shy and quiet preteen who turns into a wayward youth who turns into one of the criminals on the long running TV show Cops?

Cigarettes, the real gateway drug to a life of crime and unproductive behavior, namely lying, cheating, stealing, the kind of shit lands you in handcuffs.

Most kids learn very early on that smoking is bad, as in not acceptable to authority, the law, your lungs. After all, if smoking were so universally righteous, we’d all be doing it everywhere all the time, like we do breathing, drinking water, eating veggies.

Even if one’s parents smoke, that’s no excuse. All babies grow up in a world that doesn’t let you smoke where you want, when you want. Otherwise, daycare workers would give kids cig breaks. And Disney princesses would light up after breaking out in song. And we’d be teaching kids algebra and how to inhale.

None of that happens. Extolling the virtues of tobacco to kids is taboo.

Thus, when a young kid chooses to try cigarettes, he (or she) chooses to experiment with something he knows he shouldn’t do and way off limits. He’s making a choice to live on the edge and experience the thrill of absolute free will, if only for a moment.

When that same young kid chooses to smoke cigarettes as a way of life, he’s making a habit of breaking the rules, being subversive, bending reality, shape-shifting, lying, being deceptive, disobeying authority, does anyone else see a running theme here?

Are the bad boys, bad boys (and girls) on Cops not breaking rules, being subversive, bending reality, shape-shifting, lying, being deceptive, disobeying authority–all while smoking cigarettes–does anyone else see a running theme here?

Naturally, exceptions abound. The left-handed smoker known as Barack Obama is living on the edge to be sure, but it’s a different kind of edge (black man crazy enough to be the first to play major league baseba—er, be US president), and I doubt he’ll ever end up on Cops.

However there’s at least one thing my favorite president and the criminals on my favorite TV show have in common: cigarettes.

No matter their crime, the criminals on Cops just gotta take a drag off their cigarettes: while rolling down the window to talk to the cops; while standing in the street, making their case to the cops; sometimes even, while being carted away in handcuffs, or sitting in the squad car in handcuffs, if they can get away with it.

It all goes back to the cigarettes, one of the first things the little baby learned to get away with.