Quantum smoking

What is a cigarette? You might say that it’s a long white cylindrical papery-type object, but I say that it’s a unit of temporo-spatial measurement. I have a friend from my undergraduate days who’s a reprehensibly heavy smoker, to the point where apparently his life expectancy is only about 40 (of course totally refusing to eat vegetables of any kind, even when they’re mixed up in a sauce or something so that you can’t taste them, and having on at least one occasion drifted from cutesy college “oh I’m such an alcoholic” level to actual sad withdrawing-from-school “oh shit, I’m an alcoholic” level surely hasn’t helped), and would always try to plan his walks from one building to another by the number of smokes he could rip through on the way, especially when it was cold. He knew exactly, down to the fraction, how many it took to walk between pretty much any two buildings on campus. Now, America is separated from the rest of the world in our measuring systems for weight, length, volume and so forth. It’s a shame that most Americans, like me, don’t smoke: should we ever cease to share common units of time, it would be such a practical replacement, universal, understood in every corner of the globe–and the French would the natural nation to lead the way, like with the metric system, if only they could get the EU health regulations off their back. Of course, like with quantum physics, the act of measuring affects the situation: you walk around too much measuring distances by smoking, and pretty soon it’ll start to get more difficult to walk around.

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