Friday, January 16, 2009
If you consider yourself a rake, you must use tobacco in one of its many forms. A rake must cultivate a Devil-may-care attitude towards life itself and tobacco, along with alcohol, are the two most visible methods of doing so. Although there are several ways to consume this glorious leaf, today's article will focus on cigarettes.
It is a natural fact of science that a man in evening clothes smoking a cigarette is infinitely more mysterious and exciting than one simply holding his hands in any number of awkward configurations.
Given the rake's typically precarious financial situation, he may constantly be needing to borrow cigarettes. "Lights" should be avoided as often as possible, and menthols at all costs, even if it means going without. If you have ever even considered smoking a clove cigarette, we ask that you leave this site post haste.
When flush, the rake should take it upon himself to spend as freely on tobacco as on alcohol because quite frankly, he needs it. One should always choose the richest blend available, including--but not limited to--Camel Wides, Camel Turkish Royals, Dunhill Internationals, Chesterfields, Commanders, and Player's Navy Cut.
Having a pack on you often gives you the power to bestow a butt on a maiden in need. (On the other hand, depending on the situation, it may be advantageous to pretend you are packless in order to borrow a cigarette from the pretty lass down the bar). For the same reason, a lighter or another incendiary device should always be carried, or pretended to have been forgotten.
Unless you are over the age of fifty, a cigarette holder should not be employed. On a man of insufficient age and rakish credentials, this gives the impression that you are light in the loafers, and while the rake may be a dandy, he is no fop.
If you are ever once publicly caught coughing after taking a drag of even the harshest blend, it will immediately brand you as a fraud. Therefore, it is the author's recommendation that you smoke constantly, as a form of practice.
Inhales should be smooth and deep, while exhales should ooze sensuality. You may wish to add variations: Gaspard, for instance, is a proponent of the French inhale, in which smoke is slowly exhaled from the mouth, while simultaneously being re-inhaled through the nostrils. Note that a purely nasal exhale is frowned upon in most circumstances.
You may blow smoke rings, but only if they are so perfectly round as to give no cause for complaint from either Euclid or Pythagoras.
So, fellow cads, to use the working man's lexicon, smoke 'em if you got 'em.
Posted by Alisdair MacDowell at 2:57 PM