Thursday, March 09, 2006

Avenge Ronald McDonald -- Smoke a Stogie Today!

One of my favorite down-time activities, here at the manor house that is now mine, is kicking back on the front patio and smoking a fine cigar.

Now, I have been sitting outside my front door and smoking everywhere I have lived in my adult life. But here in my childhood neighborhood, I find that it shall I put this...frowned upon.

Not the smoking part, mind you -- only the cigar. This is an affluent neighborhood (Senator McCain lives just down the street), and I guess the sight of a dyke sitting on her patio with a stogie sticking out of her face is not the image all my neighbors prefer.

The looks I get can be clearly read. "A woman smoking a cigar! Death to America!"

Call the Taliban and report me right away!

Now, I must admit I'm somewhat tempted to do my smoking on the back patio where nobody can see from whence that sumptuous, Honduran aroma comes. But dammit -- 'scuse me, I mean uffda! -- I refuse to give in.

Over the years, I have done a great many strange and noteworthy things in front of my neighbors. Quite a number of whom were here before I ever left home and live here still. When I was seven or eight, I used to strut around with my Marshall Dillon sixgun set on and shoot caps at everything that moved. Then came an even more pyrotechnic phase, in which -- while my chums and I were shooting a Super-8 war epic -- we nearly blew up one of Mrs. Quackenbush's trees. The year I got my horse (and subsequently did almost everything on horseback), I rode down the street on Halloween night in an elf-suit, my then-skinny legs in grasshopper-green tights and my feet in those shoes with the toes that unfurl, like party-favors, with every step.

Our war epic seemed to have been far more entertaining in the shooting stage than in the viewing. We did a pretty realistic crash-and-burn scene with a model plane, but our attempt to blow a whole guy up was somewhat less successful. We tucked a black cat firecracker in the back of the pants of a G.I. Joe, stuck his bootheels in the dirt to stand him upright, and filmed an "aerial" shot of him -- supposedly -- being blasted clear into the air. All that firecracker did, however, was blow his pants down. G.I. Joe, you some mack daddy -- anatomically incorrect though you may be.

I really don't understand why some of my neighbors are so offended because I smoke cigars. Don't these people realize what a slippery slope this intolerance business can be? I mean, just look at the jihad waged a couple of weeks ago against Ronald McDonald. Not that they ended up damaging him much more than we did G.I. Joe.

Ronald's a tough guy...just you never mind all those rumors! Who says you can't be a he-man and wear red-and-yellow striped socks?

I'm not afraid for the neighborhood's image. I think it will survive. And I'm pretty sure my stogies aren't the reason Senator McCain is selling his house. Now, if my friends were ever to see any photos of me in those grasshopper-green tights, I think my image just MIGHT take a beating.


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