I'll Smoke AnythingCommentary • Opinion • ISSUE 33•18 • May 13, 1998 By Kurt Schwantz, Smoker Kurt Schwantz Smoker Some guys brag that they only smoke weed. Powerful people often only smoke Cuban cigars. A lot of cigarette smokers are proud of their brand loyalty. Some smoke only herbal cigarettes. Others smoke only Indian beedies. Why's everyone so picky? I don't understand. Me? I'll smoke anything! I have a test to decide whether I'm willing to smoke something. It goes like this: Will this potential thing to be smoked put me in a pipe and smoke me? No? Then I'm smoking it! Because you have to smoke them before they smoke you! That's what I've learned! That's what I practice! As a kid, I smoked twigs. Why not? The authorities today are all up in arms about kids smoking trees, because they think wood is a "gateway smoke" that will lead children to smoking other, more serious things. Damn right it's a gateway! That's why it should be encouraged! It's a gateway to clarity! A gateway to self-reliance! A gateway to smokin'! Sure, I bought candy cigarettes as a kid. And you know what? I smoked those things! I bought gum cigarettes. And I smoked those! They didn't influence me to smoke regular cigarettes: Candy items are perfectly smokable on their own! Everything is! The smart people I know all love "the classics." "The Iliad is such a great story," they say. "Did you ever read Dickens?" No, but I smoked him! I used to feel like I wasn't familiar enough with the great works of civilization. So I got all the great books they would let me check out of the local library, tore them up, put the pieces into brown paper grocery bags, and rolled those bags into seven monster cigars. And I smoked them! They had a sweet and ambitious flavor! I smoked the history of the world in a week! That was great! "Did you see Blade Runner?" they ask me. Jesus, of course not! You don't appreciate something by watching it. You appreciate something by smoking it! I rent videotapes, crunch them up, put them in a big pipe, and smoke myself sensible! I've smoked more movies than most people have ever seen! That shocks people. "You shouldn't smoke videotapes," they say. "Plastic fumes are poisonous and will do weird things to you." Weird things? Not unless the satisfaction of having enjoyed a great smoke is a "weird thing." People ask me if I want to go to the beach. Hey, been there, smoked that. I love smoking sand and dried-up fish. Those are some of the best smokes I've ever had! I'm not so odd. I love it when my mother cooks up her special manicotti meal. Because I smoke it. And I like falling in love, because I like having a sweetheart who buys me flowers and jewelry. Because that's the kind of stuff I can smoke! I'm a smoker. I hate people who say they're smokers when they only smoke cigarettes. That's lying. They should say, "I'm a smoker in the weakest, most narrow definition of the word." Or, "I smoke only those things that are socially acceptable to smoke." That would make me much happier. I keep having this dream where I'm at an auction of Nazi memorabilia. Hitler's mustache is on the block, and I bid $18 million and get it, beating out all these museum people and fascists. Then I go home, put some Bach on low, and roll those little mustache hairs into a tight little E-Z Wider joint. Then, know what I do? I smoke the shit out of it.