Monday, October 24, 2005

Cigarette City

Recently I started selling cigarettes. Just performing my civil duty. I sell them individually because my theory is that true smokers should already have a pack on them. It's the social smokers that are my target audience. These are the people that would probably feel guilty for buying a whole pack when they're drunk. At least they'll feel less guilty about buying one or two.

I also have an advantage because the restaurant is in the Financial District. There are no convenience stores around for several blocks. Even if there are, they close on the weekends. I could easily charge a lot for a cigarette, but I don't set a price. I leave it up to the person. Most people are willing to buy them for a dollar a piece. Some will be willing to up the ante and give me five dollars for two or ten dollars for four. I like those people.

The other evening a woman asked if I had cigarettes. I did let her know that I do sell some. She asked if she could bum one off of me. This was my first indication that she was a bit drunk and didn't understand commerce.

I happily obliged and offered her a cigarette. I was being the good Y.E.L.R.A. and not pushing the fact that I get paid to do what I do. Sometimes that bites me back in my ass.

"Which would you like, Lights or Reds?" I asked her.

"Anything but Menthol," she replied.

"Well, I have Marlboro Lights and Marlboro Reds. Which do you want?"

"I'll take a Light. Wow, do you really smoke Reds? Those are strong."

"No, I sell them." I said as she walked away never to return.

Damn. She didn't even give me a dollar. What's up with that? On a side note, I've slowly begun to realize that social drinkers don't really like smoking strong cigarettes such as the Reds. I can easily go through a pack of Lights but the Reds have been barely touched. I might get a pack of Ultra Lights and see if I can move them. Even though they taste like you're smoking air. However, that might help the guilt factor.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like your site. I'm a reporter in Tampa and looking to talk to a bathroom attendant with some word skills. Obviously, you have them. Care to do an interview about your job?

Eric Snider
Senior Editor
Weekly Planet (

8:51 AM  

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