As I cited earlier, the final couple of hours on my Wednesday evening visit to the 2011 Iowa State Fair was one of my best sighting stretches of the year, and one of the highlights came as I encircled the main bar on the grounds, The Depot, cited before as the source of classic sightings in the past. I ascended the stairs on the periphery and right away came across two mediocre college girls smoking that helped pad my numbers. But the way The Depot is set up, it’s a mistake for one to assume that just encircling the periphery is gonna be sufficient to identify all the smokers. Despite the illegality of smoking inside in the postsmoking ban era, you all too frequently see people seated on the picnic tables inside the bar smoking. Such was the case that night…..
Seated at a table was a middle-aged couple who looked like a pretty sturdy Midwestern couple (although the guy was smoking) but across the table from them was a very attractive mid-20s blond who I assumed was their daughter. Now this girl wasn’t “stop traffic beautiful” but she just seemed like the kind of girl next door that would be right at home as this family’s daughter. Strangely out of place, however, was the pack of Marlboro Lights in front of her and the cigarette in her hand. But even more out of place was the way she mutilated that cigarette in direct contrast to the slow smokers I’ve been seeing in recent weeks…..
It took me all of three seconds upon setting eyes on this girl to recognize she had a bubbly and gregarious personality, chatting quickly and effervescently with the older couple (her parents?) who had to fight to get a word in edgewise. But an opening always emerged in the conversation whenever she took a drag from her cigarette. I don’t know how it’s even logistically possible, but her drags were at best average length wise and maybe even a little below-average, but this girl could produce smoke like a wood stove chimney in Alaska in January. Not since last summer’s young teen on the midway (ISF #9) have I seen smoke this forcefully exit a girl’s face, with absolute blasts of smoke blisteringly piercing the air and daring anyone to get in their way. Both her mouth and nose were blasting out volumes of smoke that I rarely see, often done in talking exhales.
It was uncanny as I’d see her take very light drags of less than two seconds, but still manage to ignite jet streams of exhaled smoke in front of her face. And perhaps cutest of all, she didn’t make much effort to spare her parents from her smoke, at least early on. She would be facing her parents as these explosions of smoke were spewed from her respiratory system with impressive frequency, forming a cloud of smoke hovering in between them, almost none of which was coming from the father’s cigarette, at least compared to the geothermal steam blasts his daughter was creating. And absolutely most adorable of all is that the girl became aware of the overpowering smoke she was exhaling at some point towards the end of her cigarette and started making futile attempts to wave the smoke away after exhaling, the same cute way a girl I dated four years ago named Krissy did. She did this after the final three drags as the haze got thick, all before boarishly taking her cigarette and tossing it under the table without crushing it out. What a great show!