Monday, February 24, 2014

Blue Light Special

Hey, there, friend... You say you're not allowed to smoke in restaurants, the office, elevators, buses, taxis, the ballpark, or even your own home? Is that what's getting you down?

Well, chin up, cousin! Now, instead of simply satisfying your nicotine habit with gum, lozenges, or patches, you can feed that monkey while reinforcing your infantile oral fixation, all the while annoying everybody in the immediate vicinity with your incessant puffs of water vapor!1
Please don't get me wrong, dear readers. I encourage everyone to stop smoking. But, with so many nicotine replacement therapy options available, this new item seems to be a cynical corporate maneuver designed to keep people hooked by having them mimic the physical actions of consuming burning tobacco products.

Not to mention the fact that no matter how hard one tries to appear cool sucking on a blue flashlight, it just looks silly.
Would-be tough guys blowing little poofs of steam bring to mind children play-acting with candy cigarettes. The "e-cig" is merely the latest in a long tradition of fauxbacco toys. I admit to once owning a ballpoint pen disguised as a cigar, but I gave it up when I started fourth grade.
Photo from Sam's Toybox
Now, in keeping with this blog's traditions, we present the submission sketch for today's cartoon.
All of my other collaborations with Bizarro's Dan Piraro can be viewed in the Bizarro Cartoon Storage Facility.

Cultural Footnote
1The opening paragraphs of this post were written as a tribute to the comedian Eddie Lawrence, who released several recordings as his character The Old Philosopher. The first Old Philosopher record appeared in 1956.

Eddie revisited this formula often, and even parlayed it into a sideline doing commercials.

At the time of this writing, the Old Philosopher is still with us, and will celebrate his 95th birthday on March 2 of this year.


  1. Awesome blog post today, Wayno. To the point and funny as well.
    (And to show you how long I've been around, I thought your opening might be a reference to the Old Philosopher. Never give up... Never give up... Never give up... that ship.)
    Meanwhile, in your sketch, the e-cig guy looks more like Dan than in his final version.

  2. wow, crazy stuff. i remember buying candy cigs at the store as a kid and now i'm trying not to smoke. glad i haven't gone with the e-cigarette but i would mind trying the b-pipe. love looking at your work then Dan's. keep it up...

  3. I remember those chemical play cigarettes from when I was in high school. I put holes in some of the artwork in the classroom, stuck those automatic puffing toys in the painted mouths and lit them right before the teacher came in to see the wall full of smoking pictures. AH - another day in the principal's office.

  4. Anonymous7:37 PM

    Funny stuff! I remember we were hot stuff if we could get a puff of candy dust to blow out the end of the candy cigs. No wonder I smoked!

  5. When I was a kid I do recall buying some candy cigarettes. They sucked ass and I never bought them again.

  6. James, I liked those candy cigarettes as a kid. But then, I still like Necco wafers, and I think they're made of a similar material.