I’ve got a sense of humor. I mean, I think a lot of vapers do. I get satire. I like went to Second City. The center of all things satire. But I have to admit that when I read The New Yorker’s A Beginner’s Guide to Vaping
, I was a little miffed. Granted, there were some things in it that were funny because they were relatable. As a whole, though, it felt like one of my favorite satire sources was trying to milk an overrated joke that is a few years too late.
The piece starts out playing on the same old tropes that we’ve all heard, i.e. vaping is a vice, vaping is embarrassing, and vaping is only done by tattooed people named “Pegasys” (the store manager named in the New Yorker piece).
It all does a lot to support the satire and to hammer the joke obnoxiously loudly into the ground. It also does a lot to bring up an issue that we vapers have been dealing with for a while: people don’t take vapers seriously.
I mean, I once went to a job interview at a corporate type place and when I told the woman I write for a vape shop, she laughed. Multiple times.
To be honest, I reread the piece a few times just to make sure that I wasn’t missing anything that might suggest it was secretly taking another, wittier stance that was secretly on the side of vapers. Nope.
The piece goes on to list 12 steps for vapers who have just started. Not a coincidence that they went through the seemingly (perhaps to them) subtle technique of listing 12 steps. No surprise either, since they kicked off the article by referring to vaping as a new vice.
I won’t walk you through the whole thing, but here are some highlights of what irked me the most.
“It is an entirely unregulated market; you will be taken advantage of.”
To imply that beginner vapers —or vapers in general— will be taken advantage of, feels like a slap in the face to mom ‘n pop vape shop owners who have worked tirelessly to walk customers through their entire inventory, stay past closing to help a customer choose a mod, or thrown in extra items (back when that was allowed), just for the sake of a customer.
They keep calling e-juice “nicotine goo”
Taken out of context, calling e-liquid “nicotine goo” might actually be funny. Not so much when you use it over and over to again and cartoonishly exaggerate the cost of e-liquid/pods, along with the way they taste.
“God, this is all so embarrassing. How did you get here?”
Ok, we get it, you don’t take vaping very seriously. I mean, up ‘til now there’s no way we could have guessed that.
When I interviewed vapers in the past about why they thought that some smokers haven’t switched to vaping, they told me they thought a lot of it had to do with being misinformed about vape products (thanks, scare tactics) but that some it had to do with feeling “silly” because of the rampant vaping stigma.
Whether or not the New Yorker’s “A Beginner’s Guide To Vaping” made you laugh in spite of yourself, one thing is certain: it’s likely to inch its way up to high SEO rankings because of the magazine’s long history, making it easier to deter people from vaping, even if it is a...joke.