Every August I take a road trip to unexplored (at least for me) corners of the Upper Midwest or Great Plains. I take these road trips primarily for the thrill of visiting new places, but it doesn’t hurt when you score some fantastic smoker girl sightings. For three prior years leading into 2011, I did exactly that on this road trip, pulling off sightings so impressive that all three have made my list of best random sightings of my life, including 2008 (#7), 2009 (#24), and 2010 (#51). True to form, this road trip on August 20, 2011, delivered for a fourth year in a row.
It was already after dark when I pulled into Spearfish, South Dakota, after just exploring a canyon south of town deep in the Black Hills. When I pulled into town I quickly gravitated to the Wal-Mart parking lot, which is consistently a source of some of my best road trip sightings. Immediately after getting there, I came across a cute brunette college girl and a car full of guys walked towards the entrance smoking cigarettes, but I didn’t get to see much before they went inside…and then didn’t light up again when they came back out. After that, it was 2 1/2 dull and unproductive hours in the Wal-Mart parking lot until a massive black truck with Colorado plates pulled in and changed everything….
The truck was proceeding very slowly, giving me the opportunity to see that there was a young blond with a ponytail behind the wheel who was ashing her cigarette as she drove past to park elsewhere in the lot. Finally, a bite! After I saw where she parked, I decided to get out of my car and loiter near the Wal-Mart entrance to get a closer look. And she didn’t disappoint! It was hard to tell her age…I’d guess about 30. She was attractive in a utilitarian sort of way, no frills at all…but certainly more noteworthy than a random plain jane. But whatever she lacked in IT factor she made up for with a great body draped in a sweatshirt and tight jeans…and a smoking style that up to that point only existed in my dreams.
The first time I laid eyes on her she was climbing out of this huge truck and checking her tires….with a cigarette hanging out of her mouth. Next, her 60ish mom was in the passenger seat and apparently had a walker, so daughter went over to help get her out….with a cigarette hanging out of her mouth. This was a long process as daughter was both helping the impaired mother and preparing her walker for about two minutes, all with a cigarette that never left her mouth. I’m pretty sure this was the longest dangle I’ve ever seen. And towards the end of it, when the woman was helping mom out of the truck, it got even better as some old boy who just left Wal-Mart was walking back to his truck, took note of her and the mother, and then said “I think we have a rain coming. It’s starting to feel like rain.” The smoker, not knowing exactly how to respond to this random weather comment from a perfect stranger, simply muttered “I don’t know” through a talking dangle. After a good 2 1/2 minutes of this never-ending dangling madness, she walked with the mom towards the Wal-Mart entrance and finally removed the cigarette from her mouth, taking a few quick rapid drags to finish the cigarette before dropping the butt into the smoker’s outpost.
Now it was about 11:00 at this point and I knew that this gal would have to exit the place, ideally sometime soon, and since my existing vantage point was getting me nothing, I took the opportunity to park in the stall directly in front of her truck, planning to wait her out. It was a good 40-minute wait, but well worth it when she finally came out with three carts full of empty boxes. It was clear she was gonna be loading these boxes into her truck for quite some time, giving me a front-row seat to another long-distance dangling show. This one wasn’t as good as the first because she had the truck’s doors wide open and was frequently standing out of my sight. But another cigarette was parked in her mouth for a good 7-8 minutes while she loaded these boxes into the truck.
Now, this time she would remove the cigarette from her mouth occasionally after taking a drag when she was in between loading some of those boxes. Still a great show though….and the high point was when she opened the back door and beckoned out a dog that was in the backseat. The dog finally did emerge….and it was no poodle….it was a full-sized boxer. She had a semi-husky voice, but not as husky as you’d expect for a girl who smokes this way. But anyway, she led the dog to the other side of the truck, presumably where there was a little more room for him/her, and tried to coax the dog into jumping into the truck. The dog must have been old because he/she tried to jump but couldn’t make it (it was a BIG truck). At this point, the girl leaned down and grunted as she lifted this big dog into the truck….with a cigarette dangling from her mouth. Finally, right in my range of view I saw her drop the still-smoldering cigarette to the ground. She had another 5-7 minutes of loading boxes before she was done, gave the mom an exhausted look and then got into the truck and drove away, allowing me to approach her cork-filter cigarette butt, which had smoldered the label off disabling me from identifying the brand. I could now finally retire for the evening at almost 12:30 a.m.
So the streak is alive. Four August vacations in a row with at least one outstanding sighting….and interestingly, all of them blonds. She put forward a Hall-of-Fame-worthy smoking performance that I could have never imagined coming from such a gloss-and-grit free blond girl next door.