William Hurt: Paul Benjamin
Paul Benjamin : If you're gonna die, what's more important, and good book or a good smoke? So he smoked his book.
Paul Benjamin : Bullshit is a real talent Auggie. To make up a good story you have to know how to push all the right buttons. I'd say you were up there with all the masters.
Auggie Wren : What do you mean?
Paul Benjamin : I mean um,
Paul Benjamin : it's a good story.
Auggie Wren : Shit, if you can't share your secrets with your friends, then what kind of friend are ya?
Paul Benjamin : Exactly. Life just wouldn't be worth living, would it?
Auggie Wren : The boys and me were just having a philosophical discussion about women and cigars.
Paul Benjamin : Well I suppose that all goes back to Queen Elizabeth.
Auggie Wren : The Queen of England?
Paul Benjamin : Not Elizabeth the Second, Elizabeth the First. Did you ever hear of Sir Walter Raleigh?
OTB Man #1, Tommy : Sure. He's the guy who threw his cloak down over the puddle.
OTB Man #2, Jerry : I used to smoke Raleigh cigarettes. They came with a free gift coupon in every pack.
Paul Benjamin : That's the man. Well, Raleigh was the person who introduced tobacco in England, and since he was a favorite of the Queen's - Queen Bess, he used to call her - smoking caught on as a fashion at court. I'm sure Old Bess must have shared a stogie or two with Sir Walter. Once, he made a bet with her that he could measure the weight of smoke.
OTB Man #3, Dennis : You mean, weigh smoke?
Paul Benjamin : Exactly. Weigh smoke.
OTB Man #1, Tommy : You can't do that. It's like weighing air.
Paul Benjamin : I admit it's strange. Almost like weighing someone's soul. But Sir Walter was a clever guy. First, he took an unsmoked cigar and put it on a balance and weighed it. Then he lit up and smoked the cigar, carefully tapping the ashes into the balance pan. When he was finished, he put the butt into the pan along with the ashes and weighed what was there. Then he subtracted that number from the original weight of the unsmoked cigar. The difference was the weight of the smoke.
OTB Man #1, Tommy : Not bad. That's the kind of guy we need to take over the Mets.
Paul Benjamin : Oh, he was smart, all right. But not so smart that he didn't wind up having his head chopped off twenty years later. But that's another story.