I don’t get hookahs. I have used hookahs before. And I don’t get them at all.
A lot of towns right now have hookah lounges littering them. Sometimes they’re in the back or side of a Middle Eastern restaurant. Athens used to have two. One was a place called Xhale that I went to on accident when I was coming to visit for orientation at UGA. We were all eighteen, but it turns out there was a regular non-hookah bar upstairs and the door guy missed us coming in. So we got away with doing something legal for us to do. Now the only hookah bar in downtown isn’t a bar, it’s just the Smoker‘s Lounge at the corner of College and Washington. If you aren’t sure you know where that is, have you ever bought a pack of cigarettes from a man that looks like he rolls his own cigars and has some stories about taking out VC back in ‘Nam? You were probably at the Smoker’s Den.
Somewhere a few years ago, I guess people decided they were kind of cool? You do get to look like the Alice and Wonderland butterfly or an old time Persian monarch I guess. That’s not the part that I’m confused about. The people I know and see around smoking hookah seem not to think it’s smoking. Like they found a loophole. These are people that aren’t even once in a while, just-because-I’m-drunk smokers. They would look at you as though you had casually offered them a sip of your cyanide cocktail if handed them a Swisher.
But if you have to suck it through a hose, they are so on board.
You know it’s still smoke right? It’s not like burnt plant matter hits water and suddenly becomes magic pixie vapor with health giving qualities. I think it has something to do with the fact that a hookah looks like something an alien would smoke. Who gets lung cancer on a space ship? Please, no one cite actually evidence of cancer in science fiction. I will destroy you I promise.
The upside of the hookah is that if you ever are going to catch something that could legitimately be called a buzz off nicotine, a hookah is going to do it to you. You just smoked a cooled disk of pressed tobacco, you bet your ass you’re going to feel it. Not to mention, even though you’re smoking more, it’s the only kind of nicotine delivery system that you can flavor like a milkshake and no one will look at you weird. Seriously.
Just stop lying to yourself. And stop judging that guy with the Black and Mild in his mouth. No one thinks you’re cool.
Walker Smith is an Athens based comedian. You can look at other things he does at weird kids.net and also he loves you very much. Article photo by ouvyt on Flickr.