Where Smokers Go on Vacation

Greetings from Gatlinburg, Tennessee. I’m here for a worship conference that begins tomorrow. The ACTS Network has a booth in the expo center and will be displaying our stories and introducing the ministry to several hundred church worship leaders.

I got into town around dinner time, checked into the hotel (the lovely MicroTel) and went for a walk.

So this is where all of the smokers have been.

In a 45 minute walk around town I saw:

about 200 people smoking cigaretttes
7 mullets
3 dozen fannie packs
a t-shirt that read “what happens in Gatlinburg, Stays in Gatlinburg”
94 muscle-shirts
more white people than at a NASCAR race

I hadn’t really thought of it before, but I rarely see people smoking in public anymore. I guess the reason is all of the smokers are on vacation in Gatlinburg. I’m not stretching the truth when I say I saw 1 out of every 5 people on the street with a butt in their mouth.

When I was in college we would come to Gatlinburg twice a month. As broke college students, we could entertain ourselves without spending money, people watching. And when we came up here, I’d always go by this smoke shop and pick up a cigar. I doubt I’ve had a cigar since the last time I was here. I wound up back at that same smoke shop and picked up a cigar. It brought back some memories just walking around, puffing on a stogie and looking at people.

I love this place. My wife hates it; too much junk, she says. She’s probably right, but maybe that’s why I enjoy it so much. I fit right in with the other rednecks.


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