Monday, February 24, 2014

Process Improvement for Smokers

Yep...he's doing it again.  Writing about smoking.  But before anyone jumps to any filtered conclusions, let me say that I write this with nothing but heartfelt sincerity and the wish to make the world a better place for both smokers and non-smokers.  If this process is engineered properly, it has the propensity to save smokers a ton of money, have a positive impact on the environment, reduce taxes for all citizens, as well as promote camaraderie amongst comrades.   And, quite frankly, if all of this is accomplished, ending world hunger can't be far behind.

For lack of a better term, and I'm wide open for suggestions here, I call it Passing the Butt.  The actual process is very simple:  almost as simple as smoking itself.  It's so simple, simpletons can excel at it.

Here's the way it works.  We all know that smokers like to prepare for everything that happens, greet all occasions, and meet all demands by...well...smoking.  When a smoker goes somewhere, anywhere, it's pretty darn important to light up as you exit your car and head for wherever you're going at the time.  And you generally have to double or triple-puff in order to get as much "good" out the cigarette as you can.  Before you have to put it out to go inside.

My research reveals that there are at least three leading venues for this activity:  Walmart, Goodwill, and any restaurant.  Now here's part two, and this is as noteworthy as part one.  After the activity (shopping, browsing, eating) is over, just as soon as smokers step foot outside a structure, they have to light up...hopefully before the door closes behind them.  Highly tenured smokers are slapping a cigarette from the pack and digging out their lighter as they head toward the exit.  Once there, it's pure ballet to watch them exit with cigarette in lips and bring the lighter up in a very fluid motion, just as the automatic doors are opening.  If the building doesn't have automatic doors, the truly talented can shoulder the door open and light the smoke at the same time.

Now, here's the beauty to my process.  Here's the artistic side of Passing the Butt.  You've got to know that there are a ton of perfectly good cigarettes wasted between the car and Walmart and Walmart and the car.  Or prior to supper at the buffet or just after your buffet supper.  No matter how hard and fast you puff, you barely get half the cig smoked before you have to put it out.  I've seen folks' eyes bugging out as they try to suck that cigarette dry before having to drop it in the used cigarette bucket.  Well...don't do that anymore!  Pass it off!  Pass your butt off!

Here's how it works.  There will be designated areas in most public places where arriving smokers and departing smokers will converge.  Think in terms of those little sheds at airport parking lots, where people wait for the shuttle to the terminal.  (I try so hard not to use the word terminal when I'm writing about smoking, but sometimes you can't avoid it.)  Let's take the Walmart parking lot, for example.  When you arrive at Walmart, don't get out of you car and light up.  Instead, head directly for the Passing the Butt kiosk.  If there's not already somebody there trying to suck the life out of a cigarette before they get to their car, there soon will be.  Now...are you ready?...that person will pass their half smoked or quarter smoked cigarette off to an arriving smoker.  The departing smoker now feels much better about having not "wasted" a cigarette, and the arriving smoker doesn't have to light up a new one only to have to extinguish it in a matter of seconds.  Ching, ching!

Of course, the arriving smoker gets much more advantage from the process at that point, but guess what?  As soon as the arriving smoker finishes shopping or eating or checking prices at Goodwill, he or she becomes a departing smoker, and they get to pay it forward to some other arriving smoker!  Beautiful in its simplicity and simple in its beauty, is it not?

Of course, I understand there are glitches.  First of all, you can't be concerned about catching some bug or disease from sharing your butt.  But I figure if you're a smoker, your health is one of the last things on your mind.  Secondly, you have to be flexible.  If you're a menthol smoker, occasionally you'll need to go non-menthol.  And vice versa.  Also, there will be a few roll-your-owns in the process, so get ready for a product not quite as perfect as those mass produced cigs.  If lipstick on the filter bothers you, then men may want to wait for other men instead of bumming a butt off a woman.  After some time spent operating within the confines of this process, I think all these little secondary concerns give way to the larger good.  Don't you?  And I'm going to bet that this is going to be an excellent way to meet new people.

So there you have it.  If you've got process improvements, let me know.  This is, after all, something brand new and I would expect to run into unforeseen issues.  But, hey, that's half the fun:  smoking out the problems.  There are no ifs, ands, and butts about it. Pass the Butt is definitely going to be the Next Big Thing.

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