Was anyone of you with me in the room the night Christopher Hitchens spoke in that big lovely green lecture hall in McMicken College? The room was packed, heavy on the heavyset vaguely ex hippie proudly un-Clairoled faculty – that naturally so, their ilk being the bulk of the tenured humanities faculty. Mr Hitchens was carrying on in his usual highly entertaining fashion. I am sure he took a certain pleasure in sailing his unexpected thoughts over that room full of expected thinking. The unlifted faces were pasted with the same smiles you spot inside trafficjammed Saturns when All Things Considered is airing which means they weren’t getting it but it didn’t matter since he had an English accent. This went on for an enchanting forty minutes or so until, in midmarvelous sentence, the great man whipped out a pack of cigarettes and without so much as a by your leave fired one up. It was a fabulous moment. Cincinnati being Cincinnati, no one said a thing, and he puffed away for the rest of his remarks and the Q and A. After the event we got something signed. I did not need to be warned to stick to the wife like glue and did, but he still managed to ogle.
Those who enjoyed that enchanted hour and that tobacco fired special moment, or those who just can’t get enough of the man should click here, taking the phone off the hook first.