Where’s my brass band?

This is the time of year when non-Philistines try to give up something for Lent. Ok, compared to Ramadan (a month of fasting every day), giving up chocolate or coffee or flossing your teeth for 40 days is for wussies. Just the same, I’d like some kind of reward for my self-deprivation. Continue reading

Cold turkey

Imagine that a clown car rolls up, but instead of (icky) clowns pouring out, you’re greeted by a bunch of beards and broad brimmed hats. At a rest stop in Pennsylvania, I saw just that today: an Amish clown car. While I missed their exit from the car, I got the full act when I stood in the wrong spot as they swarmed out of the men’s room. I was swept up, a lone sweatshirt emblazoned with the words “If I agreed with you, we’d both be wrong!” surrounded by a sea of plain.

I paused outside the door to light a cigarette and was horrified to see every man around me doing the same. THE AMISH SMOKE?! I’m a Harrison Ford fan, so I’ve watched The Witness about twenty times, and never saw the men taking a smoke break while raising a barn.

The only old geezer in my adopted tour group didn’t even bother to put out his cigarette while he went into the men’s room (according to my husband). I honestly think the Amish make up rules as they go. You can have electricity going to your barn but not to your house. You can ride around Pennsylvania in a mini-van, as long as you have an un-Amish driver.

I know that when an Amish youngster comes of age he takes a year off from his community, going on Rumspringa to participate in evil debauchery like Jäger, heroin, and bull riding … but smoking?

Even their cigarettes were not plain. You would expect hand rolled smokes, but they had filter tips, which means that the Amish go to convenience stores! Will the disillusionment never end?

Women my age will remember the Marlboro Man. Rugged, outdoorsy, and handsome, he puffed his way into our wet dreams. These men were also ruggedly handsome, but I’ve never had a wet dream involving suspenders, beards, and cigarettes. Of course, I haven’t gone to bed yet, so I make no promises for future nocturnal fantasies.

After finishing their cigarettes, my newfound posse queued up in an orderly line to repack themselves into the clown car, presumably on their way to the strip club. I only hope the establishment has a smoking section.