Upsidedown Cigarette
March 1, 2007 4:53 PM   Subscribe

Has Anyone ever opened a packet of cigarettes and found one of them upside down?

I just have, and it's freaked me out more than a little.

I've seen the "lucky" turn-it-upside-down thread but in 30 years of smoking 20 a day I have never opened a pack to find one already - and not just *any* one - upside down, but the front middle one at that!

I've seen various clips of the mass of cigarettes 'being procesed' conveyor-belt wise, and can understand an inversion happening - in a way I'm almost as surprised it doesn't happen more often - but once in what must be, in excess of, c12k packets that's a bit of a surprise wouldn't you agree?

So am I alone or has this happened to you too?
posted by DrtyBlvd to Society & Culture (34 answers total)
I smoked for almost twenty years, and no -- never. Not once.
posted by Methylviolet at 5:08 PM on March 1, 2007

posted by tristeza at 5:11 PM on March 1, 2007

Never. I'm guessing you got a special present from the hard-working men and women on the assembly line.

Or maybe the assembly robot glitched up.

But I'm guessing it was people.
posted by lekvar at 5:19 PM on March 1, 2007

Never seen it.

I vote Project Mayhem. Bin the pack.
posted by fire&wings at 5:24 PM on March 1, 2007

no, but once a pack of newports just sort of materialized on the bench where i was sitting with nobody around to have put it there, that i could see.
posted by wreckingball at 5:31 PM on March 1, 2007

No and I smoke lots.
But I had a curry once and found a cockroach in it.
posted by nj_subgenius at 5:34 PM on March 1, 2007

No, but I did have a pack with one cigarette completely missing its filter and branding/logo (normally printed above the filter).

I'd say you got yourself a lucky cigarette. Smoke it, then buy a lotto ticket.
posted by indienial at 5:42 PM on March 1, 2007

I found a bag of weed on the ground on my birthday once. But no upside down cigarette.
posted by Koko at 5:54 PM on March 1, 2007

Makes me wish it was purple or different in some way - anything, something... but nope.

However, I can't bring myself to smoke any of the pack!

Opened the rest of the carton to check, but nope, just that one pack.

Think I'd rather have the distinction of picking the winning lottery numbers...
posted by DrtyBlvd at 5:58 PM on March 1, 2007

33 years of smoking and never saw that. Although I once bought a pack of defective Export As where the glued had failed somehow, and they would split down the seam after you lit up.
posted by trip and a half at 6:00 PM on March 1, 2007

If you haven't already, DON'T SMOKE THAT CIG!! Human hands have been a 'playin.
posted by matty at 6:15 PM on March 1, 2007

Could it possibly be some sort of strange promotion or something? What was the company?
posted by sperose at 6:37 PM on March 1, 2007

Nope. I always turn the first one upside down, have since I was a wee barely smoking lass, but I never found one like that. I would probably smoke it. But I'm dumb that way. Don't listen to me.

I found weed once and it was fine. Now I bought weed from a stranger that lead to a night of existential terror and yeah, that is PCP. I know this because when it happened the second time I was with people who recognized it.
posted by mygothlaundry at 6:39 PM on March 1, 2007

posted by crabintheocean at 6:48 PM on March 1, 2007

Never seen it. 13 years of 2-3 packs a day.
posted by buxtonbluecat at 6:53 PM on March 1, 2007

Non-smoker here. Can someone explain why this is a big deal? I'm genuinely curious and feel like I'm missing something here.
posted by chiababe at 7:06 PM on March 1, 2007

"Could it possibly be some sort of strange promotion or something? What was the company?
posted by sperose"

Marlboro Red - nothing any different to be seen on pack at all..
posted by DrtyBlvd at 7:11 PM on March 1, 2007

Never. 18 years... I will be on the lookout.
posted by Duncan at 7:17 PM on March 1, 2007

Can someone explain why this is a big deal?

There's a superstition that involves flipping a cigarette upside down in each pack you smoke. The flipped cigarette is supposed to be lucky, and you save it to smoke when you need good luck, or just smoke it last out of the pack.

Buying a pack of cigarettes with one already flipped is like buying a pack with a four-leaf-clover inside.
posted by nebulawindphone at 7:24 PM on March 1, 2007

One in a domestic pack of Kents about 10 years ago, one, many, many years ago, in a 50 can of Balkan Sobranies. It was more common years ago with smaller volume makers. Today, with the machinery and visual inspection systems involved in consumer goods packaging, even tobacco, you've got yourself an Oddity.
posted by paulsc at 8:28 PM on March 1, 2007

yes, years ago in arizona, would have been a pack of marlboros. my roommate was the kind of person that was superstitous about flipping one of the cigarettes from a pack. When i showed it to him, he demanded that i go buy a lottery ticket. I didn't win the lottery, but who knows.
posted by efalk at 8:34 PM on March 1, 2007

Perhaps, likes George Soros, someone at RJR is culture jamming
posted by parmanparman at 8:41 PM on March 1, 2007

Try to flog it on ebay (although I doubt anyone would believe you)?

I can't remember, but do American smokes come with a tax sticker/thinger on the pack to say that taxes were paid (or is there just a stamp-looking stamp, it's been years)? The rip-cord on Canadian smokes is a different colour for each province suggesting that either cigarette packs are shrink-wrapped differently depending on markets or the local distributor packages bulk cigs.

If there is a tagged ripcord, does it look identical to a legit ripcord? Thinking along the lines of counterfeit cigarettes.

I'm assuming that this is a flip-top rather than a soft-pack... I, too, would be wary about smoking anything from the pack.

On the off-chance, and if you don't want to smoke 'em, take them apart. Maybe you did find a surprise prize in the form of heroin or cocaine or something.
posted by porpoise at 9:00 PM on March 1, 2007

Never ever never, and I smoked for years.

I'd be *very* careful ... Avoid taking the same route home from work every day. Don't park in the same place for a few days. Sprinkle some talcum powder in front of your door.

Beware the bald man.
posted by GatorDavid at 9:28 PM on March 1, 2007

13 years before I quit. Not once.

Go jogging. Only way to kill the bad gris-gris.
posted by middleclasstool at 9:54 PM on March 1, 2007

I've found broken/shredded cigarettes, but not upside down. That's in 38 years of smoking, 3 continents and a variety of countries (and no clue where I have or haven't bought smokes, except to say, Canada isn't amongst them, as I hated the taste of Canadian cigarettes).

I did find weed on the ground one day. Middle of a sidewalk in the middle of downtown Flint, Michigan. I was a poor college student at the time. Woot!
posted by Goofyy at 10:05 PM on March 1, 2007

Further to questions raised;

It was one pack in a genuine carton of 200; bought from a reputable store, and with no distinguishing marks of any kind not expected.

"Buying a pack of cigarettes with one already flipped is like buying a pack with a four-leaf-clover inside" - life has a strange sense of humour, huh. Slightly warped and more than a little twisted! (It's a sign I'm telling you, a sign!)

"'ve got yourself an Oddity" - For sure, but "(although I doubt anyone would believe you)?" to what end?

I am a "bald [man]" and although I won't be changing 99.9% of my habits, it certainly does ratchet ones' paranoia up a notch or two... especially in light of "the machinery and visual inspection systems involved in consumer goods packaging, even tobacco"

Maybe I'll get the pack acrylicised and use it as a paperweight / door stopper :)

Can't get Alanis Morisettes' song line out of my head... "Isn't it ironic..."
posted by DrtyBlvd at 1:02 AM on March 2, 2007

Not cig related but I worked in a brewery for four summers and every now and then we would put a bundle of labels in the labeller upside down. Everyone on the production line would try and run them through before QC noticed.
posted by srboisvert at 4:18 AM on March 2, 2007

If you do decide to smoke it, make sure you turn it around first. Filters don't light easily but they taste awful when they do.
posted by flabdablet at 4:28 AM on March 2, 2007

In what sense is it ironic, exactly?
posted by genghis at 7:47 AM on March 2, 2007

I once had a Molly Hatchet CD returned to the music store where I worked with "Wille Nelson- Stardust" recorded on it. I had sold it ot he guy ealier, and it was a real, from-the-factory, printed-on-the-disc pre-recorded CD, with the completely wrong album on it.

So, yes, factories do make mistakes.
posted by Four Flavors at 9:46 AM on March 2, 2007

flab- Agreed. Filters taste like a soiled potatoe.

h/t DQ
posted by UncleHornHead at 10:02 AM on March 2, 2007

Non-smoker here. Can someone explain why this is a big deal?

Whether or not it's lucky, this is like buying a 6-pack of Coke and later realizing one of them is a can of Sprite. Weird? Yeah. Plausible? Sure. Smokable? That's the question on the line.
posted by sonofslim at 10:42 AM on March 2, 2007

Yes, but with a heavy caveat. I'm not a cigarette smoker, really, just a dabbler. But I had a friend who taught in China and came back with cartons for everyone of some state brand of smokes (he bought them for, like, $3 a piece or something).
There were a couple packs each carton that had upside down cigarettes, but I assume that they were all hand packed, most likely by prisoners. They also tasted like a blends of dryer lint and burning dog fur, and were the worst cigarettes I've ever had.
But yeah, with American smokes, I think you got lucky.
posted by klangklangston at 12:50 PM on March 2, 2007

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