I had a class reunion that conflicted with one evening of Summerfest 2016 and went in with the lowest possible expectations, wondering if I’d even get a blog-worthy sighting this year factoring in both declining smoking rates among key demographics and the fact that I’d be missing the most heavily attended night (Saturday). But Friday night more than filled the void for my Saturday night absence. One of this year’s two classics started slowly but was followed by an evening’s worth of escalation….
I had been to the grounds for about a half hour and it was still daylight at around 8:30 when I migrated out of the beer gardens to an isolated parking area to the southwest of the grounds. Standing near a rope fence was a cluster of five late 20s and early 30s women who were all smoking. Four of them were blond and as I was slowly scanning their faces I was struck how modest the attractiveness was of the first three faces I laid eyes on, but the fourth face I saw was a better story….a wholesome tall blond with shoulder length hair cresting onto a black and white striped summer dress. There was one beauty in this group thankfully, I thought to myself, before my eyes drifted to her right and I spotted the final gal in the group. She was a knockout…a blond with chin-length hair who looked like a young Kristin Chenoweth decked out in a flower-print top and shorts that fit like a dress. How did these two hotties find themselves immersed in this otherwise unattractive group, I wondered as I awkwardly looped around them and tried unsuccessfully to enjoy a fulfilling show in the 15 seconds or so that I had in their presence. I didn’t see a single drag in that time and would not be able to again without arousing serious suspicion about my continued presence. I walked away frustrated–and depressed–with the fact that smoking restrictions on the grounds likely screwed me out of a first-rate sighting and would probably continue to do so as I figured they’d drift off to hinterlands every time they wanted to light up.
Fifteen minutes later, on the north side of the beer gardens, I didn’t get too excited when I saw three of the women, including the two hot ones, wandering around near the port-a-potties. I figured they had just had their stealth back-alley cigarette and likely wouldn’t be having another. But there was a series of tables under a canopy where I took a chair just in case, and in moments the tall blond in the black and white striped dress walked up to the table next to mine. I figured she was just waiting for the other two but she was opening up her purse with her back to me and I kept wondering if it was for what I thought it was. The two friends came over in a few moments and as they drifted towards the stage I discovered that it was! She had indeed lit up another all-white cigarette and was smoking it! The three women stopped in an empty space about 10 yards away from the set of benches I was on and I had a pretty good vantage point. Imagine my glee when a pack of Marlboro Lights came out of the purse of the shorter girl who was the cutest one of the bunch. Unfortunately, she handed the cigarette to the older, uglier third wheel of the group…..
I was willing to settle for the consolation prize of the taller blond’s solo consumption and cloudburst-style exhales, but got a nice surprise when I laid eyes on the hot shorter blond taking a drag, tilting her head skyward a launching a rock-solid 18-inch exhale in a straight line above her adorable little face. Unfortunately, she didn’t have a cigarette of her own and merely took a single drag from the ugly girl’s cigarette before handing it back to her. I continued to watch hoping there’d be more cigarette sharing but the ugly gal dropped hers to the grass and stubbed it out. But the hot shorter blond wouldn’t be denied and insisted on a final drag from the tall blond’s cigarette, which she would get, thus poaching two drags from two different women’s cigarettes while standing there and sending a smoke jet skyward with this exhale just as she did with the first. As they left the scene, I approached hoping to find the cigarette butts for an official ID but sadly couldn’t find them amidst the grass and didn’t dare hover too long lest I arouse suspicion amongst the many people lurking on all sides.
But this group was just getting started. I drifted around on the small Summerfest grounds inside and outside the beer gardens but as soon as the band announced it was taking a break, I migrated to the de facto smoking area of the beer gardens expecting it would be a good time for a smoke break. Incredible timing was my story of the evening and was again here as my group of five ladies was all huddled against the fence and readying their next round of cigarettes. The tall blond had her back to me but it was nice seeing that cigarette held to her side in that attractive black and white striped dress….as well as the cloudbursts that erupted after each of her drags. But my eyes were mostly laser-focused on the shorter Kristin Chenoweth blond who dug her pack of Marlboro Lights out of her purse, definitely poised to have a cigarette for herself this time rather than all this “shared” business of last time. The unlit cigarette dangled adorably from her lips as she foraged her purse for her lighter, talking intermittently to her friends as I admired from afar. It took a good 60 seconds before the cigarette was lit but her impressive technique from before played out repeatedly in the ensuing minutes with every drag followed up with a skyward exhale the length of her arm that exited her respiratory system in an impressive symmetrical line. Unfortunately, she liked to turn her head away from the crowd when dragging, denying me too many good peeks at her dragging style. Still, it was quite an intimate show enhanced by the secondary performance of the taller blond. Much as I’d have loved a pic, it was well after dark and the setting would really have been conspicuous to start messing around with the camera phone, so I passed. And as soon as my blond babe finished her cigarette I left the spot as I knew I was looking pretty familiar.
But the show still wasn’t done as another half hour or so later I walked through the middle of the beer gardens and standing almost smack dab in the middle was the same group of five women all smoking another round of cigarettes! The crowd was so huge that I only got a few passing glances of this show but what I did see was all the same stylings from my two favorite blonds. What intrigued me most was their increasing bravery, as each cigarette they smoked became more daring than the last in terms of location. The first was hiding at the edge of the parking lot completely out of the beer gardens. The second was at an isolated spot near the north side bathrooms inside the beer gardens. The third was in the typically understood designated smoking area which isn’t really a smoking area as it’s prohibited even there. And now the fourth was taking place right in the middle of the beer gardens when every smoker of the group unequivocally knew it wasn’t allowed.
And as a brief final act, I was sitting in a chair watching some of the musical show around 11:30 and noticed from afar that my favorite group of nicotine-addicted females a few tables away was sitting in the presence of some guys who they had either just met or were part of their group. At one point I noticed one of the guys smoking and even though my vantage point wasn’t good, I kept looking for openings to see if my hottie blond was indeed smoking another…and sure enough….the crowd parted briefly and allowed me to see her taking a drag from another cigarette, once again escalating her courage to the point of now smoking right in the seating area up close to the stage. I could never have imagined this sighting would play out with this many layers 2 1/2 hours earlier when I first spotted these women lurking along the rope line of the parking lot….but the escalation and multiple sightings has helped install it in the Summerfest Hall of Fame.