Blowing Smoke

Yes it was possible to get away with smoking when I was a kid, but only in the winter. All you needed to do was raise your ring and index fingers to your lips as if you were holding a cigarette, or a stick or pencil likewise, and then blow a long breath straight as an arrow into the air. A few puffs and you were indeed smoking... and only the weirdos ever got hooked on it. I hear it's still legal in some parts.

Of course it didn't always have to be cigarette smoke. One prance around the backyard in the winter time could have me thinking I was fire-breathing dragon or steam train in one of those make-believe movies I'd direct in my head. And it wasn't just the smoke from within. We also used to run through the car exhaust as the car warmed up, busting its plumes to pieces with chops and stomps or even playing "smoke signals" in it until we were told to stop. The bus either came while we were brushing our teeth or after twenty minutes of waiting around in the driveway, so we had plenty of time to be breathing in all those fumes before school (which probably explains a lot).

You know we're in a special zone when "playing with auto exhaust" counts as a idyllic childhood memory for me. But let's probe this even further.

Here's a question my inquisitive 8 year old mind never ceased to ponder: If warm things steam in the winter, like breath and car exhaust, why not farts? I wanted to see steam shoot out back there on a cold day, but try as I might, it never worked. Why don't we give off exhaust smoke from our tail pipes like cars? It seems like it'd be helpful thing to have in the winter time, but then any fart super power would've been decent to the 8-year-old me. How about farting lasers, or heat rays, nuclear blasts, or even just fart sonar? What about being able to unleash a smell that is literally toxic? The possibilities are endless!

But the 8yo Me digresses.

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