FCF #27. Early Teens Sneaking A Smoke Behind The Commercial Building


In the early Thursday evening hours of my local fair sightings safari in 2008, I was approaching the commercial exhibits building and noticed three mischievous little teeny-boppers heading towards the sparse bleachers area on the north side of the building and I had a strong expectation that tobacco was about to be consumed. Now I’m getting older and it’s not as easy to discern the seventh grade girls from the 10th grade girls nowadays, but these three didn’t look a day older than 14, and one of them looked even younger than that.

Even though my gut told me I was looking at fresh-faced nico-teenagers in the year 2008, I still couldn’t quite bring myself to believe that they were rebellious enough to be smoking at the fair. I sat on a bench and stole glances their directions every few seconds. I couldn’t tell if the girls were taking note of me watching them or just incredibly nervous about getting spotted by other adults, but they kept looking around them to make sure the coast was clear. Finally, my hunch was confirmed as I spotted wisps of smoke coming from the fingers of two of the girls, and then spotted a cigarette in the hands of the third as well. What a treat!

Unfortunately, the girls’ fears got the best of them and they started to migrate into the campground area behind all of the buildings with their cigarettes, still not convinced they were out of the view of law enforcement or disapproving elders. I had to be fast on my feet to get a closer look before they migrated out of sight, and got creative by quickly walking into the commercial exhibit building and racing to the back, where I was able to watch the three cuties sneaking back behind the trailers to finish their cigarettes.

And what dolls they were. None of them were conventional “class hottie” material, but all had a girl-next-door quality that I know I would have been pleased to pursue back in middle school. The cutest was the girl who appeared to be the youngest, with shoulder-length dark brown hair and glasses that gave her a certain “cute nerd” look. One of the other two girls was a light brunette in a strapless red top and tight blue jeans, while the other girl, a blond who was the most conventionally pretty of the three, wore an adorable little white sundress. For about 10 seconds, I watched them parade behind the trailers out of sight, cigarettes in hand, en route to engage in some precocious smoking. Seeing them from a closer vantage point, I became more certain that the three of them were indeed in their mid-teens. It was a great sighting, but it could have been positively mind-blowing if I had been able to actually watch the duration of the smoking show. I did spot the girls again later that night on the midway, but this time without cigarettes.

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One Response to FCF #27. Early Teens Sneaking A Smoke Behind The Commercial Building

  1. thatisthelaw says:

    Your reminiscences have gotten me remembering sightings I thought I’d forgotten….

    One time, I had a back-row seat to the spectacle of a middle school girl becoming a smoker. I worked in a public office whose window that looked out on a parking lot. Beyond the lot was a sidewalk, beyond that a street, and then railroad tracks, another street, and a middle school (btw, the one where the movie Carrie was later shot). Every morning when I went out in the morning to raise the flag I saw several of the students walking to school; and every afternoon when I came out on my break I saw them walking home.

    The one that attracted my attention the most was a short, shy-looking girl with a cute round face and short curly brown hair. I guessed she was in the eighth grade. At the beginning of the school year she was walking to and from school alone. Then after a couple of weeks she began walking in company a group of other girls. Which one was the leader was obvious from her position in the train as well as the others’ attitudes; she had long black hair, was rather fat (as for some reason leaders of girls’ cliques at that age often are), and spoke in a loud voice; and I didn’t like her at all, and wished my little shy girl had found other friends. My feelings became mixed when, a few weeks later, this leader started smoking, and then some of the others. They smoked on the way to school and again on the way home; but not my little shy girl. Then one afternoon, as they paused on the sidewalk and the leader held out her cigarettes for the others to take, my little shy girl stepped up and took one. She seemed to hesitate, so it may have been the first time. Every day from then on, as they walked past, she was smoking with the rest of them.

    And then one afternoon as I came out to lower the flag I happened to see her walking her dog on the street perpendicular to the one she took to school. She stopped outside the market next to our department and tied the dog to a lamppost while she went inside. There instantly arose in me one of those fetish hopes that are hardly ever realized; so I took a good long time taking down the flag. And it was worth it, because when she came out this shy 14-year-old was carrying a pack of cigarettes–and I had a feeling it was the first she’d ever bought. Intent on it, she paid no notice to me watching her as she opened it up, took out a cigarette, and lit up; then she untied her dog and walked him back, smoking as she was walked. If that was her first pack, I’d just seen her take he first puff of her first very own cigarette. It was clear that by now she really knew how, and that it made her prettier; during her eighth-grade year I’d watched my little shy girl become a smoker. And no doubt she continued to walk her dog every day, as an excuse to have a cigarette…but unfortunately, not my way (I know, because I looked for her every day).

    And then she graduated from middle school, and I never saw her again.

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