Ideal Image

(by Dar, 23 October 1999)

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Ideal Image

by Dar

This story is about smoking cigarettes and the attraction which smoking has 
for a youth. If such subject matter is uninteresting or objectionable to you, 
please do not read the story. 

13 year old Ricky was having a hard time trying to eat his pudding at the end 
of dinner. "Mom, why does the smoke from your cigarette always have to blow 
my way?" he asked. "I can't even breathe!"

Jennifer, his mother, picked her Benson & Hedges Light out of the ashtray, 
put it in her mouth, took a deep drag, opened her lips to show a smooth ball 
of smoke, and inhaled deeply. 34 years old and an attractive, slim brunette, 
Jennifer had enjoyed her career as a professional cheerleader until only four 
years earlier [see the story "Football Fantasy" by Dar]. She blew a long cone 
of smoke to  her left, away from Ricky. She then waved her hand at the rising 
smoke from the tip of the cigarette, in a futile attempt to keep more smoke 
from drifting back toward Ricky's side of the table. "I don't know. I guess 
the smoke just goes where it wants to go, Ricky," she said, "but it always 
seems to bother you, so I'll try to keep it away from you." She moved the 
ashtray to the other side of her plate, took another puff of the long, white 
Benson & Hedges, and set the cigarette back down in the ashtray as she again 
exhaled away from Ricky.

The smoke drifted up from the ashtray, across Jennifer's plate, and once 
again found its way toward Ricky's face. He saw it coming, took a big breath 
just before it arrived, and tried to hold his breath as the tendrils of smoke 
began to flow around his face.

"I suppose that you don't consider my smoking to be exactly the ideal image 
of a mom, do you?" Jennifer asked with a bit of a smile.

"Well, no...not exactly, Mom," said Ricky, who finally had to take a breath 
just as the smoke scored a direct hit on his mouth. He coughed slightly. "I 
mean, I love you Mom, and everything, but I just think that all that smoke 
stinks, and I wish you didn't smoke. Anyway, I want to know why you smoke, Mom
. I mean, isn't it supposed to be bad for you?"

"Oh, I guess it is, Ricky," she replied, "but I started to smoke when I was 
in high school, and it's hard to quit, and well...Ricky,  I honestly like 

"But it smells so bad. How can you just breathe it in the way you do?" Ricky 
inquired. "Why doesn't all that stinky smoke just make you cough?"

"Oh, you get used to it. The smoke smells good to me," Jennifer answered. She 
took another puff on her cigarette, and exhaled another long plume away from 
her son. "I see you wrinkling up your nose, Ricky, but I'm just trying to 
answer your questions honestly. You were right when you said that smoking 
isn't good for you, but those fast-food french fries you like to eat aren't 
really good for you either, and you certainly like to gobble them up, don't 

"Well, yeah..." said Ricky.

"There you go," said Jennifer. "It's kind of like that with smoking 
cigarettes. I guess every smoker knows that smoking isn't as healthy as 
eating broccoli, but you know what? Smoking is a lot of fun, and I like it. 

"Fun?. Okay, if you say so, Mom," said Ricky. He had never realized that his 
mother might consider smoking to be "fun", and the thought rolled around in 
his mind. He sure did like french fries. What if smoking was like eating a 
large order of fries, he wondered. Maybe it really might be good. But it 
still bothered him that the smoke always smelled so bad. He coughed again. 
The smoke was still wafting across the table, right at him.

Jennifer got up from the table, picked up her ash tray and set it down on the 
counter by the sink. An intriguing idea occurred to her, and she took a 
leisurely puff of smoke while a plan began to form in her mind. Ricky watched 
her take a long drag on her B&H, puff a great big white ball of smoke out in 
front of her lips, inhale deeply, hold the smoke in for a couple seconds, and 
then blow her usual long plume of smoke across the kitchen. She set her 
cigarette down in the ash tray, and said, "Ricky, I've got to get something 
upstairs. I'll be back in a minute, and then we can do the dishes and clean 
up the kitchen." He saw her walk out of the room. His eyes were drawn to the 
cigarette sitting in the ash tray, and to the white smoke now rising straight 
up for about two feet before the eddies of air in the room made the smoke 
wiggle and dissipate. 

Still pondering the comparison of smoking to eating french fries, Ricky got 
up from his chair and walked over by the sink. He looked down at the 
cigarette with a mixed feeling of disgust and curiosity. The smoke was now 
rising up right in front of him. On an impulse, Ricky leaned over the ashtray 
and felt the warmth of the smoke on his face. He suddenly and deliberately 
sniffed just a bit of the rising smoke in through his nose. He breathed back 
out through his nose and noticed that he did not cough. Ricky again felt the 
rising warm smoke tickling his lips and nose. "It's just like the steam 
coming up from a plate of hot french fries on a cold day," he told himself, 
and he took a much longer and deeper sniff, pulling the stream of smoke 
directly and deeply into his young lungs. Ricky walked back over to the 
table, and sat down in his chair feeling just slightly dizzy and confused. He 
thought he might cough, but then he didn't. The smoke didn't exactly smell as 
bad as it always had before. And he kind of liked the way it had felt warm on 
his face, not like the stale, cold smell of smoke that a few minutes before 
had been drifting all the way across the table. Maybe, just maybe, his mom 
had been right about smoking. He felt just a little bit excited about his 
daring impulse to sniff in the smoke. Maybe the smoke had just smelled bad 
before because he was too far away from it. After all, his mom put the 
cigarette right in her mouth, didn't she? And she had said that she liked 
smoking. And that smoking was fun.

Ricky heard his mother's steps coming back to the kitchen. He knew now that 
he wanted to find out more about smoking, and he wanted a chance to put a 
cigarette in his mouth, just like his mom. He wanted to get not just a sniff 
of smoke, but a big white ball of smoke, just like his mom always did, and to 
breathe it in, just like his mom always did, and then to blow out a long 
stream of smoke, just like his mom always did. The image of himself smoking 
just the way his mom did took hold of his mind. It was a powerful image, an 
image Ricky desired: an ideal image.

Jennifer entered the kitchen, walked over by the sink, picked up her Benson 
and Hedges, and took her usual long drag. Ricky watched with interest as the 
ball of smoke appeared in her mouth. He payed particular attention to the way 
she inhaled it deep into her lungs, and he smiled as she blew out a long 
stream of smoke from her pursed lips. He wanted to know more about smoking, 
and walked over next to her

"Mom," he said, "I always thought that smoking was bad for you, and that it 
really smelled just awful. But you said that you liked it, and that smoking 
was fun. So does the smoke smell good when you have that big ball of it in 
your mouth?" 

Jennifer raised her eyebrows just a bit, and smiled slightly at Ricky. Like 
most smokers, she really liked smoking, but was bothered by all the negative 
news about tobacco use and by all the prohibitions against smoking in 
restaurants and public places. It particularly distressed her that for the 
last couple years her own son had reacted to her smoking with annoyance and 
criticism. She had decided to see if she could at least have a home where she 
could smoke freely and not have to encounter the attitudes that confronted 
her in the outside world. Jennifer thought that her timing might be just 
right, and she sensed an easing of Ricky's attitude.

"Ricky," she began, "how many cigarettes do you think I smoke every day?"

Ricky thought for a second. "I don't know, Mom. Maybe eight or ten?"

Jennifer pulled her pack of Benson and Hedges out of her pocket and handed it 
to Ricky. "That's a good answer, Ricky, because that is probably about how 
many cigarettes you see me smoke every day. But you don't see me smoke while 
you are at school, Ricky, plus I smoke cigarettes at night after you've gone 
to bed, and I often smoke a few cigarettes in the morning while I am getting 
dressed. So the number is more than you might think. Now, how many cigarettes 
does it say are in this pack?"

Ricky studied the label and replied, "Twenty Class A cigarettes."

"Right," said Jennifer. "Every day I smoke a whole pack of cigarettes, and 
nearly half of another pack." She opened the drawer in the kitchen and pulled 
out a carton of her cigarettes. "This carton has ten packs of cigarettes. 
That's two hundred altogether. Now Ricky, every week I smoke a whole carton 
of cigarettes. Every Saturday when we go shopping I buy a new carton, and by 
the time the next Saturday has come around, I buy another one. Remember, 
that's two hundred cigarettes in each carton."

Ricky's eyes grew big. "Wow! Mom! You smoke two hundred cigarettes every 

"That's right," smiled Jennifer as she took a short puff on her cigarette and 
put it out in the ashtray. "Do you think I would do something twenty-five or 
thirty times every day if I didn't like it? Would I be smoking two hundred 
cigarettes a week if I didn't absolutely love it?" she asked. "And think 
about this: There are about ten puffs on every cigarette, Ricky. So that 
comes out to somewhere between 250 and 300 puffs of smoke every day. And I 
breathe every puff all the way in. And Ricky, I love every one of them!"

Ricky knew his math. "So that's about two thousand times every week that you 
breathe the smoke down deep into your lungs," he calculated.  "Wow!"

 "Sit back down over at the table right across from me," she said to Ricky, 
as she extracted a fresh long white Benson and Hedges from her open pack. As 
they sat down, she flicked her lighter, lit the cigarette, and then took an 
extra long draw on it, facing directly toward Ricky so that he could have a 
perfect view of the white ball of smoke in her mouth just before she inhaled 
it. She blew the stream of smoke out in his direction but a few inches over hi
s head. Ricky did not flinch. Jennifer smiled at Ricky, while she brushed her 
brown hair back off her forehead, using her outstretched thumb on the same 
hand that held the cigarette. She noticed that Ricky was watching her smoking 
with eager-looking wide eyes, and that his nose and forehead were no longer 
wrinkled up with his customary annoyed frown. Her plan seemed to be working.

"So the smoke doesn't stink?" Ricky asked. 

"Watch me closely," she said, with a twinkle in her eyes. She took a long 
drag on her Benson and Hedges. Jennifer french-inhaled the smoke through her 
nose and then placed the cigarette back in her mouth for a second pump. While 
some smoke began trickling from her nostrils, she took another 
cheek-hollowing drag, popped a huge ball of smoke out in front of her lips, 
let it hang there for an extra half-second, then eagerly pulled it back into 
her mouth and down into her lungs. Leaning across the table, Jennifer 
suddenly put her arms on Ricky's shoulders, pulled him toward her until his he
ad was just six inches from hers, and then blew her thick smoke directly into 
Ricky's face.

Jennifer chuckled slightly as she saw Ricky breathing in the smoke. His 
eyebrows went up and his eyes grew wider. She had taken a chance that this 
was the moment to help her son form a more positive image of her smoking, and 
she felt that she had picked the right time. When she had gone upstairs, 
Jennifer had put on fresh lipstick and some of her best cologne on her neck 
and arms , and the sweet smell of their fragrances now mixed exotically with 
the exhaled smoke. "What do you think?" she asked. "It smells pretty good, 
doesn't it.?"

As Ricky breathed in the warm, rich, fragrant smoke, he felt an unfamiliar 
but wonderfully pleasurable sensation growing between his legs. He didn't 
know exactly what it was, but it felt marvelous. The smoke had smelled 
terrific. He was amazed. He hadn't coughed. The thick blast of smoke in his 
face had filled him up with a new pleasure, better than french fries had ever 
been. All his resistance and doubts were instantly gone. "Oooh, Mom," he 
murmured, "that was, oooh, that was good. Do it again. I liked it. Please, 
Mom, do that again. Blow your smoke on me."

Jennifer's plan had gone better than she had expected. She had simply hoped 
that Ricky would now accept her smoking, and not have a negative attitude. 
But here he was, begging her for more. She felt that she had perhaps started 
a process that was moving farther than she had wanted, but she also decided 
that since she had started it, she wasn't going to back off and take a chance 
of failure now. Jennifer again placed her Benson and Hedges deep in her mouth 
and took a long drag. She sucked the smoke an inch into her throat, filled 
her mouth with a second long pump, breathed it in, managed a full third pump 
just to top it all off, and pulled the triple pump of smoke deep into her 

This time Ricky was already leaning over the table in anticipation. Jennifer 
pulled his face within two inches of hers and began bathing his lips and nose 
with a long, unstopping flow of thick white smoke. She kept her lips in a 
tight focused oval, so that the entire lungful of the rich smoke would last 
as long as possible and also land right where she wanted it to go. For twenty 
seconds the smoke flowed from her lips, across the two inches of separation, 
and directly into Ricky's mouth. Knowing this time what was about to come, he 
had emptied his lungs of air as he saw his mother inhaling her smoke. Now he 
kept slowly breathing in, breathing in more, and breathing in still more as 
the smoke from her lips seemed never to come to an end.

Jennifer released Ricky's shoulders. He sat back in his chair, holding her 
smoke inside his lungs for ten more seconds, feeling its warmth, its 
wonderful thickness, and the dizzying pleasure which was filling his entire 
body. He felt a more intense twitching between his legs. He didn't know what 
these new sensations were, but the feeling of excitement and power was 
overwhelming. Ricky thought he might pass out from the thrill of it all, and 
closed his eyes for a moment.

Jennifer worried that she might have overdone things. "Are you okay, Ricky?" 
she asked as she set the cigarette down in the ashtray between them in the 
middle of the table. "Was the smoke too much for you? Are you sick?"

Ricky opened his eyes and smiled broadly. "Mom," he gushed, "it was 
wonderful. It was like magic. I loved it. Now I think I understand."

"Understand what?" Jennifer asked.

"Now I understand," Ricky continued, "the secret of why I hated the smoke 
before, and why you like it so much. It's like those french fries, Mom. If 
you smell cold, stale fries, they're pretty bad. But if you have a whole 
bunch of fresh hot ones to put in your mouth, they're great. And it's the 
same way with the smoke. When I smelled the smoke drifting across the table, 
it was cold and stale. But when you blew all that warm smoke right at me up 
close, well, it was just the greatest. I love you, Mom. I want to be like 
you." Ricky eyed the cigarette in the ashtray in front of him. "Mom, the 
secret of smoking is to get a lot of fresh, warm smoke right in your mouth, 
and to breath it in." 

Ricky gave his mother a big grin. "Mom, I'd like to put the cigarette in my 
mouth, and take a big puff of smoke, just like you do. Can I, Mom? Please."

"Now just a minute, Ricky," replied Jennifer, in what she hoped sounded like 
a stern voice. "I'm glad that you are starting to understand why I like to 
smoke. But you, Ricky, are only thirteen years old. Smoking is for adults, 
not children."

"But Mom," pleaded Ricky, "I don't have to start smoking right now. I just 
want a puff so I can really understand what it's like when you smoke. 
Besides, didn't you say that you started smoking in high school?"

"Yes," answered Jennifer, "but you are only in eighth grade. That's not high 
school, young man!"

"Please, Mom. Just one puff. I just want to see what it's like," Ricky 
begged. "Please?"

Jennifer realized that just one puff wasn't going to turn her son into an 
instant smoker. Plus, she thought, my purpose has been accomplished. One big 
puff will probably make him just sick enough that he won't want to start 
smoking right away anyway. "Okay," she said, "just one puff. Do you think you 
know how to do it?"

"Mom, I've been watching you," smiled Ricky. "I can do this!" He picked the 
Benson and Hedges out of the ashtray, put it between the "V" of his first and 
second fingers, brought it to his mouth, and sealed his lips around the 
filter. He began sucking the smoke into his mouth like a veteran, feeling its 
marvelous warmth in his mouth. Ricky opened his lips to show a big ball of 
smoke, and inhaled deeply. He felt a brief catch in his throat as the smoke 
started to go down, but then he felt the deep warmth and excitement of the 
concentrated smoke inside of him. He felt a powerful throbbing sensation 
between his legs, and then a sticky wetness against his thigh. Smoking was 
the most wonderful experience he had ever had. Ricky leaned over the table, 
grinned, and blew the smoke right at his mother's face. "Hey, I did it!" he 
exclaimed "I smoked!"

Realizing suddenly that thirteen years of second hand smoke had obviously 
conditioned her son so that he could tolerate inhaling a full drag, Jennifer 
could do nothing but smile back at him and offer her congratulations. "Yes, 
you did. But Ricky, I want you to understand something. You shouldn't start 
smoking now. You are too young. I just wanted you understand why I like 
smoking. And maybe now you won't still think that I'm some sort of terrible 
person because I smoke."

"Mom, you are the greatest," said Ricky. "I know you said you don't want me 
to start smoking now. But next year I'll be in high school, and I can't wait 
to smoke then. Just like you did, Mom. And Mom," he continued, "Just think, 
you get more than 250 great puffs of smoke every day. Maybe, until I get to 
smoke all the time like you, maybe you could let me have a puff or two every 
day. And I sure would like it if every time you're smoking, you could blow 
some of your smoke right at me." Ricky looked Jennifer right in the eyes. 
"Mom, I love you so much. You aren't terrible. You are a wonderful mom. 
You're my image of what a mom should be. You are my ideal image."

Jennifer smiled with approval at Ricky. It would be an interesting year, she 
started thinking... Me. Ricky's Mom. A Smoker. Loving to smoke. My son's 
Ideal Image! 

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