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Due to a nasty cold that I suspect is very slowly mutating into a lower respiratory tract infection, I haven’t had a cigarette since Thursday of last week. In the interim, I’ve been thinking about smoking, and watching movies in which people smoke, and walking out to City Paper’s parking deck, where I purse my lips and inhale, hold it, and then breathe a slow, hot breath and watch it take shape in the cold. If this congestion lasts much longer, I’ll have come out the other side of this two-week flu with a quitting mechanism—vicarious smoking.

But that’s not to say I’m celebrating. If I decide to stay off the herb once I’m well again, I’m sure I’ll miss the luxury of being addicted to something that smells unpleasant (which, as far as excuses go, is almost as good as having raging diarrhea all the time). Meanwhile, I’m going to watch my favorite smoking clip—which is tied with the bbq toast in Planet Terror as Best Piece of Evidence That Smoking Makes You Cool—this John Waters (anti)PSA from the mid 80s:

And after reading the transcript from yesterday’s Meet the Press, I suspect President-elect Barack Obama might try doing the same thing:

MR. BROKAW: Finally, Mr. President-elect, the White House is a no-smoking zone, and when you were asked about this recently by Barbara Walters, I read it very carefully, you ducked.

Have you stopped smoking?

PRES.-ELECT OBAMA: You know, I have, but what I said was that, you know, there are times where I’ve fallen off the wagon. Well…

MR. BROKAW: Well, wait a minute.

PRES.-ELECT OBAMA: …what can I tell…

MR. BROKAW: Then that means you haven’t stopped.

PRES.-ELECT OBAMA: Well, the—fair enough. What I would say is, is that I have done a terrific job under the circumstances of making myself much healthier, and I think that you will not see any violations of these rules in the White House.