We had just finished an hourlong job picking up garbage in a supermarket parking lot. As we hopped into the truck, Slim dug into his shirt pocket and lit a cigarette.
“Oh, no,” Francisco said, turning around to look at him.
“What?” Slim asked, blowing smoke from his nostrils.
Francisco shook his head. “You smoke too much.”
Slim frowned. “No, I don’t. What are you talking about?”
“He’s got a point,” I said. “Not only do you smoke while we’re working, but you light up between every job while we’re in the truck. It’s hard to enjoy working in the fresh air when all I can smell is your cigarette.”
Slim snorted, blowing another stream of smoke. “Now that I do physical labor for a living, I can smoke all the cigarettes I want. For every half hour of work that I do, I negate the ill effects of one cigarette.”
I looked at him, blinking. “Um … OK. And I suppose you’re basing this claim on the latest scientific research?”
“No,” he said, taking a deep drag. “It’s something I came up with myself.”
“Somehow, that doesn’t surprise me in the slightest,” I said, rolling my eyes.
Slim blew another stream of smoke. “The way I figure, we just spent an hour outside doing intense physical labor, so that allows me two cigarettes free of health consequences.”
“Intense physical labor?” I said, frowning. “You were wandering around a supermarket parking lot picking up gum wrappers. It’s not like you conquered Mount Everest like Sir Edmund Hillary!”
“Yeah?” Slim said. “Then which one of us is enjoying a guilt-free cigarette right now? Huh?”
“You know,” I said, crossing my arms, “speaking of the latest scientific research, someone really needs to examine your head. Seriously.”