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The Vices of Men

The last thing I will ever claim is credit for being some sort of saint.  Nah, far from it actually.  People will raise their eyebrows up and ask ‘ You smoke?’  and my stock reply is ‘Yeah, it’s my only bad habit.’   Which is not exactly true….  I smoke, I drink,  I appreciate a fine looking woman.  Sometimes I do all three at once.  Ah well, it is what it is.  Life is too short for cheap cigars, bad whiskey and ugly women.

It is tough being a smoker these days and I am not going to even get into the socially unacceptable aspect of the habit.   Just take it on trust that I am not a pushy smoker and I would never offend anyone by doing something like firing up a Marlboro at your 10 year old kid’s birthday party.   Gimme a little credit for that, ok?

The tough part is the cost.   A single pack of cigarettes is approaching $7 per these days and that ends up being a major expense.  Of course, the government has gotten involved.  Since smoking is such a bad and unhealthy habit and I am a burden on the Nation’s health system, they can levy a ‘sin tax’ on every pack of cigarettes .  In 2009, Obama signed a bill that increased the tax per pack from $0.39 to $1.01.  I used to go over to the Choctaw Rez and buy my smokes and skirt the Fed tax but they put a stop to that as well.  The cost, quite honestly, has become prohibitive which I reckon was the goal of the government all along.  Hell,  I could buy a used Hyundai for what I spend in smokes every year.  The the Feds added insult to injury and came up with the fire safe cigarette.  I guess too many folks were flippin’ the butts out the window and setting the country on fire or passing out drunk on the couch with a lit Camel and settin’  theyselves on fire so the govmint boys had to step in.  They did something that makes it a constant chore to keep a cigarette lit these days.  Miss K said they put carpet glue on the paper.  Mebbe so.

On the recent Terlingua Trip, Miss K ran in the Study Butte store to pick up some smokes and got to talking and the guy told her most folks down there roll their own.  I dismissed that out of hand.  I am not about to attempt to roll a free hand cigarette.  I have these fat little fingers and the wind blows all the time here in Texas. I  can just see trying to get some tobacco to stay put in a flimsy rolling paper while I attempt to corral it.

But for some reason last week, I decided to google it up and see what I could find out.  Probably the mainest reason was we had just got back from Murphy Gas and spent almost $100 on 2 cartons of smokes.  Back in the day,  I had seen some folks using these neat little rolling machines to roll up smokes that did not have cigarette tobacco in them. (statute of limitations expired) so that is where I started googling. Come to find out, you can get cigarette makers, cigarette tubes and tobacco right off that good old internet and they will deliver it all to your front door.

So I tripped on over to Amazon and came away with this:

Topomatic Cigarette Machine with Handle

Premier King Size Full Flavor Cigarette Tubes – 10 Boxes

ACTION PHOTO! -- Cigarette Makin's

(Now you know if you click one of those Amazon links and buy something, I will make about 50 cent — just so you know.) Last stop to get this show on the road was RYO Cigarettes to get some North Carolina tobacco.  For about $125 total investment, I had enough stuff to manufacture almost 5 cartons of cigarettes.  If it turned out to be a bust, I could always sell the used machinery on eBay.  Why the hell not?  Something had to give…..

My expectations for the whole endeavor were pretty moderate.  I was thinkin’ if I could just get something that was passable without too much effort it would be okey dokey and a helluva lot cheaper.   Well, I am here to tell ya the results were more than just passable.  The machine is easy to use and makes a damned good cigarette with minimal effort.  It is the perfect activity for when you are just sitting around watching TV.  Even with my inexperience and fat fingers, I was soon doing a pack of cigarettes in about 15 minutes.  But the real surprise was the quality of the smoke.

Tobacco and Tubes

I had forgotten what a real cigarette tasted like back in the day before they added all the chemicals and carpet glue.  The tobacco I got from RYO was just an arbitrary selection.  I just ordered up some of the cheaper, American grown stuff and figured I would give it a whirl.  I gotta say it was excellent – most excellent!  Even Miss K is won over and she is quite picky about her smokes. So we got a winner here folks at a fraction of the costs.  The selection of tobacco is mind boggling.  Turkish import, North Carolina, Kentucky, flue cured, blends;  I could go on and on.

So lets’ do a little math.  A carton of Marlboros is $51 at Murphy Gas — 200 cigarettes.   $0.25 per cigarette.  Not including the cost of the machine ( less than $50), my cost per hand rolled cigarette is $9 carton or 4.5 cents per cigarette.   Looks like we are back in business….  and the suckers stay lit.  Bonus!

 

 

 

 

 

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5 comments to The Vices of Men

  • Ha, I guess I know what I’ll be shopping for when I get home tonight. 🙂

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  • Joel

    A monument to addiction.

    Thanks for keeping this site, Andy.

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  • And the best part…NO TAXES! Gotta like that
    fact a whole lot!

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  • don

    Glad to hear you had such a good result.

    Here in our little Nevada town we have a place that has machinery to roll custom cigarettes. You go in, select your tobacco & anything else then throw it in the machine & it does the work. http://pvtimes.com/news/cigarette-factory-rolling-up-profits/ More expensive than your version but interesting none the less.

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  • John Hicks

    Yer on a roll lately.

    Speaking of which, the little gizmos are usually of the JOB brand; they do what they’re supposed to without fuss. Not only can you get tobacco etc, you can get filters to mellow things out and so you’re not spitting out tobacco.

    I’d love to hear your little story about the statue of limitations sometime, not written of course. My statue of limitations has long expired too, along with my expiration date.

    jbh

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