Cigarettes and Whiskey and Wild, Wild women...

Japanese whiskey makes a better cleanser than a beverage and I haven't met any wild, wild women in a while. But one more reason why cigarettes are a Japanese habit that I won't be starting up is today's price hike. Cigarettes are going up to almost 300 yen a pack today (almost half the price of a pack of Canajun cigarettes, I might add.) Yesterday, as I drove past the conbinis (convenience stores), they had card tables outside selling fags by the carton. People were buying them up, 7 or 8 cartons at a time. Gotta keep getting that cheap fix!

Japanese cigarettes have cute names such as Lark and Hope. As in, "I thought I'd start smoking on a lark" or "I hope I don't get cancer." You can buy them from vending machines on every corner, but paradoxically, the machines shut down at midnight in order to prevent children under 20 from buying them. Up until a few years ago, "Cigarette Girls" would walk through the higher-end restaurants giving out free samples. And smoking areas would take up 3/4 of a restaurant or coffee shop, now it has reversed.

The following video is an actual Flintstones' ad that was broadcast on their primetime cartoon when it first began. Fred and Barney could easily be Japanese Salarymen today, they have the same attitude.

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