That heavy sigh and occasional sniffles you heard on Monday was the Rocks Off team finding out the Austin Parks Department has banned smoking at the Austin City Limits Music Festival this weekend, for which we will all be leaving tomorrow evening. The team of smokers on this crew nearly canceled plans to go to the festival, but then we realized we would be missing Stevie Wonder, and we decided to push through our cravings.
Understandably, smoking was nixed due to the devastating wildfires near Austin, and the fact that Zilker Park is all grass and trees - things that generally tend to burn easily. The ACL area of the park isn't quite a tinderbox, though; from the pictures we have seen, it's been watered extensively and looks to be as green as the Jolly Green Giant's nether regions.
It's a precaution we understand and will comply with. We would hate for our lit butts to be the cause of injuries, deaths or harm to the park, or us not being able to see Death From Above 1979 again this year.
Of course, if you are addicted to nicotine, there are other options. If you have a three-day pass to the fest, you can walk out of the gates and smoke to your heart's content and your lungs' aggravation. Otherwise, officers will be cracking down and asking you to extinguish your cigs or cigars. No tickets will be issued, but we are sure a stern warning will be brought down upon you.
No word yet on the effect of this ban on ACL's sizable pot-smoking population, who make sure the festival remains skunky and sweet-smelling 12 hours a day. If anything, they will just have to be even more guarded in their pot use.
So, what are your options this weekend if you don't want to risk getting a good talking-to by a park official?
Rocks Off, at least this one, is a big fan of snus packets, because they act like cigarettes in delivering in that precious nicotine to our system, without making our clothes or skin smell, and they are cheaper than smokes. We use them at work or when we can't smoke and need our fix. They even come in cool round containers to make nice rings in our back pockets in our jeans like we are cowboys and stuff. Oh, and they still cause cancer. The tobacco, not our jeans.
This is an option if you don't plan on kissing anyone this weekend, or if you have a loving and permissive significant other. We have a girl cousin that dips with her boyfriend, so take from that what you will. Dipping is a big cancer-giver, though, and you have to spit out the juice every few minutes, something that the ladies just love.
A new option is using smokeless electronic cigarettes, which allow you to take in the smoke without fire. It's the same concept of a marijuana vaporizer, which you have probably all heard of. These are sort of expensive compared to real cigarettes, but at least you can't destroy thousands of acres of God's favorite city in His favorite state with one of them.
Good call! Just hide in a portable toilet for two minutes, feign some pooping, and get your smoke on. People already get high in the shitters, so why can't you tobacco monkeys? Just make sure you put out the cig before you exit.
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Ha! Imagine the extra cash, the taste of food, the lack of heat in your face in the blazing Sun, and the extra cash. Plus, no more fumbling around for a lighter.