The late afternoon hours on my second day at the 2012 Minnesota State Fair brought a number of sightings that were on the outer edges of greatness, but I was hungry for something really special at that point in the day and greatness would find me a short while later as I encountered one of my top-five sightings of the day from the girl who was by far the most skilled smoker I saw that day.
Walking past the pork-chop-on-a-stick stand on busy Judson Avenue, I looked to the edge of the sidewalk and about collapsed when I saw this epic, wholesome early 20s blond at the edge of a pretty big crowd of friends smoking. On an afternoon where few faces jumped out and grabbed me, hers did as she had a confident air about her that went along well with the cork filter cigarette between her fingers. Not sure why every girl at the Minnesota State Fair had to wear a black tanktop and dark jean shorts that day but she did as well along with a pair of black boots and a badass pair of sunglasses, although I wasn’t in much of a position to complain looking at this gorgeous blond smoking a cigarette in front of me.
Right away I snapped a close-up photo, my best of the day, and then just hovered there to enjoy the show which completely lived up to expectations. The cigarette entered her mouth and her cheeks literally collapsed to the point of there being nothing left during the course of a six-second drag. Damn! And the hold times and high-volume exhales were just as good, particularly as much of the smoke came out of her nose. There was another more modest blond in this cluster of 20-something guys and girls who was also smoking but she was elevator music next to this sexpot. It was the second drag from blondie that impressed most as she took an even more pulverizing, merciless drag. Her face looked like a skyscraper in a demolition zone being imploded as those cheeks remained in the concave position for another six seconds drawing that toxic smoke into her tar-black lungs. After a considerable hold time, giant streams of smoke spewed entirely from her nose before the final residual smoke came out of her mouth.
Her subsequent drags weren’t quite that intense and she was a slower smoker than I’d prefer, usually going 60 seconds or more between drags, but she still managed to finish her cigarette before the boyfriend standing next to her did. And even towards the end, her cheeks always collapsed after every exhale and there was always substantial nasal exhalation during her exhales. She didn’t have much to say and generally allowed others to do most of the talking, but when spoken to a recurring smile emerged on her face and the deja vu factor I had been having since I first set eyes on her was starting to gel. This girl looked like Miranda Lambert, especially during those beaming smiles.
The sighting had an annoying end when she finished the cigarette, dropped it to the pavement, and crushed it out gingerly with her boot. Unfortunately, the nonsmoking guy standing across from her then proceeded to smash his shoe over the butt and pulverize it completely, apparently thinking it would be funny. The girl laughed pretty loudly, but suffice it to say she and I don’t have a similar sense of humor as this cork filter was now decimated beyond belief on the pavement in front of me. I still wanted to identify it if at all possible, but the group continued to hover and I just couldn’t wait any longer. I took off for a mini-loop and returned about three minutes later to see the group still there, but having moved just enough away that I was able to check out the mangled cigarette butt. There was a little white on the paper but I was unfortunately still not able to identify the brand but leaning towards it being a Marlboro 27. Despite the disappointment regarding the butt, the photo turned out great and it was the first of a string of sightings as I approached the 6:00 hour that represented my rising fortunes in what would easily be my best two hours of the day.