Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Untaxed Cigarettes

Friends, I have nearly hit a wall of bloglessness. The past couple of weeks seem to have been filled with all sorts of stuff and when I sit down at my puter in the evening... I'm stymied. Not to be derogatory to Stymie, the Little Rascal, 'cause he was 'bout my most favorite of the whole gang. But I'm either dog tired, brainlocked or severely constipated and any one of the 3 ruins my ability to spew forth happy witticisms and clever conjecture.

So tonite, a story from when I was about 12.

I grew up in a tiny little rural village, maybe a population of 15 or 20 at best, and a little one room country store, just like you'd see in the movies. The grandparents of my buddy Doug owned that little store and we had pretty much free rein around there. Summertime was rife with daily disaster and experimentation with explosives, bb guns, a belligerent pony, fire and anything with a motor on it.

Doug and I were avoiding boredom one day and we were digging around in an old storeroom that was separate from the store itself... when we struck gold. A cigarette rolling machine. A piece of orange colored tin machinery with a crank, a flat belt and a couple of rollers. We immediately went in the store and shoplifted a pack of rolling papers and a tin of Prince Albert tobacco. Matches weren't a problem, we were 12. We had plenty.

We hightailed to a shed behind my folk's house and proceeded to ruin a lot of rolling papers until we figured the thing out. Holy Moley! We were in the cigarette business!

We sampled a few of 'em and decided that these were most probably the best cigarettes in the whole wide world... and we needed to share these with others that might be cigaretteless. For money. We rolled up all the papers and Prince Albert and put the cigarettes in a coffee can and went back to the store and told Doug's grandpa that we needed to set up a card table on the front porch of the store so we could start making our fortunes in the tobacco trade.

Doug's grandpa smoked Trues, a pretty cool cigarette as cigarettes go. They had a weird filter on 'em that was pretty nifty. Anyway, we gave him a couple of "our" cigarettes to sample and to buy him off and he gave us the go ahead to do whatever we wanted. (We got that reaction a lot. Most folks didn't like us hanging around with 'em much.)

Lemonade stands? Ha! We had a real live cigarette stand.

So we sat there. We sat there some more. The day went on and people came and went usually talking to us and smiling politely. We sold a few, not many. We took the appropriate amount of smoke breaks ourselves from our hectic and busy day of being front porch merchants. I honestly can't remember what we sold 'em for but I know at the end of the day we had almost a dollar to split between us and a whole lotta cigarettes left over to smoke up.

If a kid did this now the number of people being arrested would climb steadily, but if they did the best sign they could put up in front of their cigarette stand would be...

TAX FREE CIGARETTES!


Amazing eh?






.

13 comments:

April said...

That is amazing. Man, can ya just imagine the ruckus it would cause nowadays. You'd be on the Today show!

Scope said...

Love those old days in the small towns.

Today, punk kids would be selling METH or something.

Sassy Britches said...

Or donkey porn, Scope.

I admire your entrepreneurial spirit Cowguy!

Chaka said...

Not only are you the Cowguy, but you are also the Marlboro Man.

mo.stoneskin said...

Maybe you should have set up the stand in a larger village?

Did the belligerent pony wride a motorcycle?

Candy's daily Dandy said...

Ummm, that's not what we used that little rolling machine and papers for when we were kids......

Just saying.

Jerry said...

Well, I never tried to sell 'em but I sure rolled a bunch in my day. Gramps had one that he gave up on 'cause they weren't as tasty as Camels and I commandeered it to roll some smokes out of corn silk (town was 28 miles away and I prolly couldn't have afforded to buy tomacco anyway.......

BTW, the only thing that burns hotter'n corn silk, I think, is rocket fuel (I never tested that theory). Holy flamin' lips, Batman!! :)

I went back to sealing from Grandma's pack......

Great post!!

Nej said...

Now that's the entrepreneurial spirit!!!!

We actually set up a water stand once. Surprisingly, no one bought any from us...go figure!!

We eventually ended up having water drinking contests while we sat there....and I got drunk on water. Little did I know how dangerous that is. :-)

Susan said...

In this economy you could sell home made smokes with a little hard grain alcohol and make a killin'.

Shit, I think it could be my solution to being newly unemployed.

Cora said...

That just wouldn't fly today, would it? I can see the TV news frenzy now....

Kim said...

You were a more creative entrepreneur than I was. I grew up in a two traffic light town and had to go around selling those damn packs of flower and vegetable seeds to make a buck.

Gwen said...

Huh. I never thought about using one to make cigarettes.

My high school campus was closed, meaning we couldn't leave during the day, so I bought gum and candy at Wal-Mart in bulk and sold it out of my locker. Goddamn the pusher man!

Jennifer and Sandi said...

Hahhahah I forgot about the rolling machines. My brother use to roll his own *cough* cigerettes. He found other uses for it too as I recall. A little sister never snitches on an older brother because you never know when you might need him for something important!! He rolled a lot of smokes in his days!

Have a Super Weekend!

- Jennifer