These were my old staple cigarettes.

Cloves, yes.

Delicious? Certainly.

Would they make my lungs crystalize/bleed/become full of holes? I'll never get to know, though I've certainly heard stories.

So I smoked Sampoerna X-tras. I started when I was 18 years old, getting a pack because there was something lacking in normal cigarettes. I'm gonna say it was flavor. I loved my Sampoerna X-tras. They were delicious. I was in rapture. I enjoyed them like the proverbial medium rare steak that assaults my taste buds with it's wrathful deliciousness. I mean, they had a great flavor alone, and they were tipped with sugar! What more can you ask for in a small stick that's killing you slowly every time you inhale its delicate, tingling, smoke? I wouldn't venture to tell you, though I'd suspect it has something to do with cooking the reddest of meats on a grill.

Unfortunately, a few weeks ago, the impossible happened. The four horsemen were out and about, and one of them must've gone to the Sampoerna headquarters and done fucked with the executive staff. They released a new box of Sampoerna X-tras that took the place of my old pack. A little triangle declared their "New, Smoother Taste!" Skeptical as well as curious and a bit worried, I bought my next pack with the trust that the company had fostered deep in my taste buds and sense of smell.

I smoked every last one of those cigarettes, and they were foul. Sampoerna had changed paper, as well as tobacco/clove blends, apparently, and the cursed things didn't burn right unless you sucked on them like a milkshake. I could barely get the smoke out of the thing, into my mouth, and by the time I did, I'd heated the darn thing up so that it didn't taste right. The thing burned slower than a bag full of convenience store ice. It also tasted lame, not smooth at all.

I fumbled around a bit, trying their classics and a few other brands, but I finally settled with Djarum blacks. This decision was prompted mainly by the fact that most of my friends in Texas smoke them, when they can't get their hands on decent cigars. I know, I know, I've fixed myself to black cigarettes, but no one asks me if I'm a Satanist or anything because I take the precaution of wearing a predominantly flannel and hawaiian shirt oriented wardrobe. I'm just peeved that the old days and their old ways are gone.