Leaving California

(by anonymous, 18 July 2002)

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Leaving California

Jim and Diane had decided it was time to leave California.  The anti-smoking
climate was just getting to be too much for them.  Jim's job offered several
towns to move to, and they decided to visit them. Diane knew her modeling
career wouldn't survive outside California, but it was for the best. They had
driven all over the U.S. and the travel was grueling. The first few towns were
not quite what they were looking for, but the next pleasantly surprised them. 

The town seemed quaint as they pulled in to the city limits.  It wasn't a
large city at 30,000 people, but that was exactly what they were looking for.
The anti-smoking propaganda so prevalent in California was no where to be
seen. They started with a visit to the local Chamber of Commerce.  An older
gentleman greeted them and immediately offered them each a cigarette, which
they both accepted.  The economy was excellent and this town had real
prospects.  The gentleman arranged for them to visit some real estate
properties that afternoon.

Finding a small diner they decided to grab some lunch before their meeting.  A
young waitress smoking a long cigarette greeted them.  She handed them menus
and asked what they would like to smoke, apparently complimentary with their
meal.  They noticed that everyone in the diner was smoking.  Several college
age girls were sitting in a corner table each smoking with a cigarette holder,
something they would never see back home.  Their timing was excellent as the
local high school had just let out for lunch, the place was soon swamped with
teenagers, and they were all smoking.

They soon met with the real estate agent, a very glamorous looking woman, who
smoked using a holder that was a ring she wore on her finger.  She too
immediately offered them a cigarette.  They visited several houses in
different parts of town.  Every neighborhood was extremely clean and well
maintained.  City building code required that each house have a built-in
humidor, a pleasant surprise since they both enjoyed the occasional cigar.
They met with a couple of the homeowners, and were always offered cigarettes.
The prices were all extremely reasonable and the hardest part was deciding
what home they liked best.

On their way out of town a school crossing guard stopped them, along with the
normal sign she used her long cigarette holder to direct traffic. The local
elementary school had just let out.  A stream of kids crossed in front of
them, all of them smoking.  A young girl of about ten stopped at the crossing
guard.    Holding a long unlit cigarette she said something to the woman.  The
guard smiled as she extracted her lighter and lit the girl's cigarette.  Diane
took a long deep drag off of her own cigarette and smiled at her husband.  Jim
too smiled as he reached over and rubbed his wife's bulging 8-month old belly.
They both knew that they had found the perfect place to raise their child. 

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