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The fine art of butt smoking

Cover of "Pretty Woman [Blu-ray]"

Cover of Pretty Woman [Blu-ray]

Greasing the skids. Sucking up. Kissing ass. Butt smoking. Stroking (someone’s ego?)…

However you describe it, whatever you want to call it, does sucking up in any shape, form or fashion still have a place in today’s world?

Some would say the heydays of butt smoking have come and gone; that sucking up reached its zenith after Julia Roberts and Richard Gere starred in “Pretty Woman” back in 1990.

I can say with all certainty cigarette butt smoking is alive and well here in Louisville, Kentucky. That is partly because we are in tobacco country and I get that. But the numbers of my fellow students who butt smoke while pursuing medical profession careers are more than they should be. Everyone now knows cigarette butt smoking is bad for you so the thought of young people still smoking in great numbers is somewhat disconcerting. Money is tight for students, so when they look at what they can cut back on budget-wise, perhaps they will eventually decide to forsake the butt (smoking).

For years cigarette butt smoking was touted as being part of a healthy, vigorous and robust lifestyle regimen. When evidence to the contrary finally became widespread, known and disseminated, changes in how we view cigarette butt smoking came into vogue. Slowly but surely cigarette butt-smoking was banned in many restaurants and taverns in municipalities across the country; it was known to cause cancer and was most certainly not good for us. Many public places even ended up banishing butt smokers to remote corners outside buildings—outcasts even as they were once in the glamorous majority of society.

Skull with a Burning Cigarette

Skull with a Burning Cigarette (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

But is the butt smoker of the ass kissing variety still alive and well in today’s business and academic climates? And if so, what influence does sucking up have when it comes to climbing the corporate ladder or just trying to remain in good standing from year to year on the job or in school?

To answer this question is to examine the nuances of the relative advantages of butt smoking while we function throughout our daily lives.

For example, when you go to the store to purchase something, in a manner of speaking, do you ask for sucking up like Richard Gere did in Pretty Woman? Or are you like me, just more purposeful in your shopping habits—you know what you need, go out, get it and come home (I give myself bonus points when the only sales person that engages me is the clerk at the checkout counter who asks if I found everything I needed today).

I think having to participate in ass kissing generally speaking adds more time to whatever endeavor you are engaging in. Take for instance an annual performance review that your boss may give you.

Raise your hand if you have ever been guilty of stroking your boss’s (ego) during the whole review process. Go on…raise your hands (you filthy butt smokers).

“I would not have been able to have had the year I had, Frank, if not for the way you backed me each step of the way.”

Spoken like a true butt smoker. But is the boss paying attention? And you know the boss has to respond to a statement like that (which adds to the amount of time you are there for the review in the first place). I suppose I am saying if you are going to smooch the buns you need to understand it will be that much longer until you can move on to the next thing that will happen in life. Perhaps you are trying to delay the next thing in life from happening to you, in which case you are incorporating ass kissing into your time management habits. But that’s a blog post for another day.

KISS Concert in Montreal - Kiss Alive 35 Tour

KISS Concert in Montreal – Kiss Alive 35 Tour (Photo credit: Anirudh Koul)

Many butt smoking advocates everywhere suggest if you are going to kiss butt you need to do it effectively and not be too overtly gushing with the praise.

To this I would add butt smoking should not be so in your face. It should be performed more subtly, much like how age discrimination is heaped upon mature members of the work force. To polish the apple understatedly is to do it correctly in my opinion.

“This place runs so smoothly that I sometimes forget you are even here, Boss!”

Raise your hand again if you think the manager is confused at what you are getting at if you say something like this to him.

Is he kissing my ass, insulting me or just plain batcrap crazy? Why did I hire him again?”

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