Lighters are Jerry Bruckheimer. Matches are David Lynch
A lighter is a threat. A match is a promise.
A few of my own cigarette lighter stories:
As Jack mentioned men that did not smoke during World War 2 were looked on as odd. My father did not smoke but adopted the habit of carrying a nifty lighter anyway. He could light my mother's cigarette and perhaps other women's as well. His was the smallest lighter I have ever seen because it had to jockey for room in his pocket with his enormous set of keys that fastened to a belt loop via a long gold chain.
I was seventeen and staying at an older friend's apartment. Another friend and I were smoking long past the hour the owner has gone to bed. My friend, let's call her Merrie, had the only lighter. It was a chartreuse one I admired. But it was a bic, and as bics or Bics, were known to do, it ran out of fluid. For the rest of the nigh,t until dawn, in fact,, we lit our cigarettes from each other's. It was a night of intimacy never repeated. When dawn came, it suddenly became ridiculous and we put out a last cigarette and fell asleep. Could we have been so desperate about lighting up that this makes sense?
Both the ashtrays and the cigarette lighters in our house were gorgeous. We had a huge lighter on the coffee table and it occupied a pride of place. The task of filling it went to my father despite his being a non-smoker. It was almost ceremonial. I wonder if at the moment cigarettes were proven to be deadly, people threw such things away. They also seem to be gone or in the hands of collectors.
I chose one of my first boyfriends, Rick O'Brien because he could light a cigarette so beautifully. His Zippo never failed him. He even whipped it out of his pocket with panache. He worked in a service station, having dropped out of high school, and I liked to stand across the street at night and watch him light up. When he picked me up at school in his souped up convertible, the first thing I did was put a cigarette in my mouth for him to light.We were in Grease before Grease.
Enough of my wayward youth.
I highly recommend the book. Even if you never smoked (and I hope you didn't) it will bring back many movie memories and lots of great information. Terrific stuff.