I read a quote from an unnamed source:

I asked my friend, "what are your three favorite pleasures in life?" and she replied, "A martini before and a cigarette after."

As far as I can tell, a cigarette and a martini are only two things, so what's going on here?

  • 61
    the thing in-between before and after
    – JMP
    May 25, 2017 at 5:49
  • 2
    I've used the same line substituting a different cocktail and 'and Eggs Benedict after'.
    – bp.
    May 25, 2017 at 11:03
  • 5
    There are two types of people: those who can extrapolate from an incomplete data set.
    – Flater
    May 31, 2017 at 8:30
  • There are 10 types of people: those who understand binary and those who don't. But, in this case, interpolation is all that's required. Jun 2, 2017 at 5:29

2 Answers 2


The implication is that the martini is before sex and the cigarette after.

  • 8
    Smoking after sex is a common trope. Two people in bed smoking is used in films (often comedies) to imply that sexual intercourse had occurred. Alcohol has been used to lower inhibitions which leads to activity.
    – Sled
    May 25, 2017 at 3:30
  • 20
    It should be noted it's a -dated- trope... it's rare to see any smoking at all on TV or films these days outside of characters where unhealthy lifestyles are being accentuated. Old films may keep it familiar enough in reruns though.
    – Tom22
    May 25, 2017 at 3:33
  • 5
    It's rare to see people order martinis nowadays also. Although smoking in films is common enough, still. It's just that not every single actor does it, smoking that is. May 25, 2017 at 5:04
  • 1
    @Tom22 Regardless of whether the trope is dated, the practice — from my experience living in New York City over the last 5 years — is still common. I'd assume it's also still common in other high-stress (where smoking/vaping is common) & high-dating-activity (where sex is common, natch) city areas around the world. May 25, 2017 at 21:33
  • my grandfather, who wrote the column, Martinis would say the original poster user237658 was sufficiently incurious May 26, 2017 at 13:26

I think the quip means that her 3 favorite things are:

1) A martini before (having sex)

2) (Having sex)

3) A cigarette after (having sex)

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.