I never smoked. I toyed with taking it up over the years because I always heard such good things about it; but I just never did. That immature decision comes back to haunt me in days like these.

We played in a casino last night. A good old American casino where smoking a cig is as God given a right as eating a slice of apple pie in front of the tv in your undies watching Barnaby Jones. Sometimes we fly in, do a casino show and scoot out… but this time we stayed for four days. I would have an easier time adapting to the methane if we did a show on the planet Mercury, than adapting to breathing in a casino in Truckee.

It was a lovely hotel, (although four out of six elevators were broken, and getting to and from your room was an adventure you’d pack a lunch before undertaking), but there was just no escape! We played in a huge theater in the middle of this huge casino. We slept in the hotel which was built ABOVE the casino. Smoke is warm. Warm air rises. My nose hasn’t burned this much since my brother told me the only way to get rid of unsightly nose hair was to lean my face over a Bunsen Burner.

The stage was once the largest stage in the world and had the largest stage show in the world. Most of the old props are still backstage… metal elephants, an airplane (I kid you not…there’s an airplane back there). I can just imagine what those old shows were like. Dancers bumping into each other and stepping into the turning propellers in the thick Benson and Hedges fog. No wonder Mel Torme had such a low voice!  He sang in casinos!

I am not writing this to cast aspersions on our employers here. It seems like every blog I write these days pisses someone off, or threatens to… so I have to edit out all the good bits where I show off my one year of college education and use a lot of derogatory four syllable words. This is not one of those times. Please. If I have to throw this blog away and write another blog about how great the show was and how my “guitar sounded Thumpy,” I will take my iPad and put it under the wheel of the bus as we drive away from this smoke infested place. There I go again. Damn.

The people who run this place could not have been more lovely. The bed has been fantastic! Pillows top notch. A terrific workout room that I have walked by and looked into several times. They have wonderful shows here… Tony Bennett, for God’s sake! Tony can handle the smoke. When he started he probably sang with a cigarette dangling from his lips. Back then if you did not have a lit cigarette when you entered the club… by law they had to provide you with one!

I guess I gotta stop being a weenie. I just enjoy not being stuffy all day and talking like Tallulah Bankhead after her third scotch. If you smoke and love it… it’s not YOU, it’s ME. I’m just a big baby and should Sack Up and light up. If you DON’T smoke and find it a vile habit and are shocked and amazed that there are still places here on God’s Green Earth where people do smoke and tobacco is actually included in the all you can eat $11.25 buffet…. well, jeez, aren’t YOU judgmental!

(I’m trying to cover my ass here so I don’t have to rewrite this thing)