In the numbers game, I was decidedly behind schedule. I left early at 7 p.m. the previous year, having scored 70 sightings. At last year's Minnesota State Fair, I had scored an explosive 124 sightings by 7 p.m. But by 7 p.m. last night, I had only scored 55. Chances are, smoking among the demographic I'm looking for is down in Iowa as it is across the country, and will get infinitely worse in the years ahead with Iowa's statewide smoking ban not only in bars and restaurants but on every college campus in the state, but I didn't get too worked up about "the death of smoking" because the law of averages assures me that not all days searching for smokers at the State Fair are created equal. Nonetheless, I was hoping for a strong final few hours at the fair and largely got my wish, even though I was fast becoming physically exhausted to the point of impeding my passion to press forward. It's always amusing, however, that whatever my exhaustion level, a sighting on the horizon always manages to give me a burst of adrenaline, allowing me to hasten my walking pace to a point I didn't think possible with my deteriorated physical condition.
Sighting #60 was impressive, with a bubbly and preppy-looking 20-something brunette as the only smoker in a cluster of older people (likely family) who were apparently used to their attractive female cohort smoking in their presence and none in the party batted an eye as she puffed away.
Sighting #67 was another of my favorites. A muscular young stud parades into the fairgrounds in the company of an adorable and petite early 20's brunette, with long dark brown hair, too-cool-for-school sunglasses, skimpy jean shorts, and a full-throttle sexiness about her accentuated by the all-white protruding from her fingers. Hot as hell that the guy wasn't smoking as I followed and watched that adorable denim-clad ass of hers wiggle about with each footstep. She was so sexy it wasn't even funny. She deposited the all-white to the cement. I caught the unmistakable colors of a Marlboro Light as I passed by the still glowing cherry on the all-white and took one more look at that smokin' posterior before moving onto the next target.
At the same level of hotness was Sighting #68 a few minutes later. From the rear, I see a young couple where, yet again, only the girl is smoking. I was taken aback by the stunning contrast of a feminine body with a long mane of curly blonde hair running all the way down her back juxtaposed with khaki Army fatique-esque tanktop and slacks, and the cork-filter cigarette in her clutches. I walked from behind for a good block, watching clouds of smoke spewing from from her mouth and walking through them, even though I had yet to get a good look at her face. She kept on chugging along, hand in hand with the boyfriend, before finally stomping out the cigarette (Marlboro Red) and moving forward. This gave me the chance to pass them and get a closer look at her face. She was quite attractive, in the 17-18 range with a look somewhere in between angellic and hellcat. She didn't really look like a smoker, but not exactly the kind of girl who really surprised me to see her inhaling tobacco and tar either.
It was about 8:30 and the sun had just gone down when my aching feet desperately needed a rest after having just scored my 70th sighting. I was on the southeast side of the grounds and saw a pair of moderately attractive 18-ish girls approaching from a side street and just had a gut feeling that the bench I sat down on would be an ideal spot for a sighting. The girls walked past me and one said "Let's sit down on that bench over there". Everything was going according to plan so far. I watched they reached into their bags to retrieve the usual cell phone and check their messages. Right when I starting to lose faith, the long-haired light brunette, definitely the prettier of the two, would extract a fresh cigarette from a pack hidden inside her bag and soon thereafter light up. Sighting #71 had just taken place. I continued to sit there and watch her smoke the entire cigarette, with the less attractive nonsmoking friend continuing to be distracted by the cell phone. The girl was by no means a 10, but was cute and looked even cuter with the cigarette in hand. She did some weird mouth contortions with her exhales, likely trying to direct the exhales away from her friend, that took a little away from the sighting, but it still impressed.
Having rested a good 10 minutes, I had recovered to the point where I could press on, and my timing again proved successful as I had journeyed about a block northward past the beer gardens (where a scored a few modest sightings) to stumble upon what would be the most abundant source of sightings I came across all day, and perhaps the top sighting of the day as well. Immediately grabbing my attention was Sighting #75, where I caught a glimpse of a very pretty 21-ish blonde with her curly medium-length hair contained in a ponytail. Between her fingers I saw darkness with a glowing ember at the end, and the darkness of what she was holding immediately brought to mind the nuclear option....a cigar. There was a burm area right behind the bench where this blonde, and a modest but less attractive brunette friend seated next to her (Sighting #76), providing me a perfect location to observe from behind. She only took one drag from the dark cigarette/cigar between her fingers before crushing it out on the pavement beneath her. Meanwhile, the friend next to her was still smoking on her cigarette. I obviously thought the best of this sighting had passed, but about 30 seconds later, the attractive blonde would insert another cigarette in her mouth, this time a tradition cork filter cig. Apparently, if her friend was gonna take that damn long to have a smoke, she was gonna by God have a second smoke rather than give her lungs a break. I focused like a laser on the blonde and saw some deep and impressive inhales, followed by some equally impressive combination nostril-mouth exhales that I was positioned just perfectly to watch yet avoid being spotted.
With all this excitement going on in front of me, it had almost escaped my notice that there was even more excitement going on very close to me. To my right was an 18-ish blonde cutie sitting by herself and smoking a cigarette...that would be Sighting #77. Not sure how I missed this as she was only a few feet away from me. I could see the Marlboro logo on the cork filter she was intensely dragging from, but I unfortunately was unable to observe much given that I was too close to avoid being detected. Then to my left, was a young and moderately attractive 20-something brunette mom also having a smoke break (Sighting #78). For those keeping score, you read right. I was had young female nicotine addicts surrounding me, with two to my front, one to my left and one to my right. I love the Iowa State Fair! The young blonde to my right appeared to be in a hurry, finishing off her Marlboro and crushing it out before taking off rather abruptly. This allowed me to focus all my attention on the blonde hottie in front of me, still smoking that second cigarette of hers. She kept on puffing for a couple more minutes before crushing the second cigarette out as well, and then quickly taking off with the friend. I finally got the first full-profile view as they walked away, and the blonde was definitely prettier, with a shapely body contained in a tanktop and capri pants. Very sexy. There was only one last mystery to solve here, and I would advance to the bench they were seated at to figure it out. I looked below my feet to find her recently crushed cork filter was a Marlboro Red. But what about that dark cylinder of tobacco I saw her with a few minutes earlier? I quickly spotted the black cigarette filter with the logo "Black" on the butt. Now I first became aware of these Blacks a few months ago, noticing that a young couple who lived in my apartment building smoked them. I know nothing about them, except that I find their exoticism kinda sexy the same way I find Mores sexy. With that in mind, I think this blonde was probably my favorite smoker of the day, so addicted to cigarettes that she carries packs of different brands in her purse and smokes them back-to-back interchangably. Suddenly, my aching feet didn't seem to hurt so bad anymore!
A couple more decent sightings ensued in the next block. I was really on a roll before scoring another stunner with Sighting #81. Seated in the same commons area which richly delivered on two occasions earlier in the day were a group of four 16-17ish girls of varying degrees of cuteness. They were seated upon a large granite rock and were being courted by three young males, perhaps guys they knew or perhaps just horny young bucks eager to put the moves on some cute little honeys at the fair. Of the four girls, only one was smoking, but she was the cutest, freshest-faced girl of the crowd, and the one who looked the least likely to have a cigarette in her hand. I heard the name "Lucy" uttered and apparently directed towards her as she was the center of attention among the boys chatting with them as she waved her cigarette in their face. Lucy's long light brown hair was wrapped in a ponytail and the girly look was further complemented by her green-and-white striped shirt, conservative pair of jeans, and cute-as-a-button mid-teen face. The only thing that was out of place in the image of a teen beauty queen was the cigarette in her hand. My positioning wasn't good and I was only able to catch one drag, but it wasn't bad for a girl this young and cute. It was nice to score an 11th hour save (literally 11th hour) with some kick-ass sightings towards the end of what had been a modest day.
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