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Trotteries and tearooms have a grave new problem.
Its discussion punctuates the rhythmic arithmetic of the dance floor. When a lady asks a gent for a light from his cigarette, should he hold it for her in his fingers or in his lips?
It’s really quite a problem. A waiter last night [in New York] touched Harry Perkins on the arm as he was leaning over his companion’s face so she could get a smoke.
>> Women taking to cigarettes (1897)
“Pardon, sir, but the proprietor asks that you hold your cigarette in your fingers,” he said.
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“What the…” Perkins began to explode, but…
“No offense, sir! It’s the rule of the house.”
That’s the new order.
If you don’t like it, you can use a match.
Top image: Ad for Egyptian Deities Cigarettes (1916)
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