Cigarettes were nearly impossible to get in Europe during that time because of the deprivations of the war. Along with nylon stockings for women, cigarettes were a luxury item that took on cultural importance beyond their monetary value. Soldiers got a daily allotment of cigarettes with their K ration, the s combat ration equivalent of modern Meals, Ready-to-Eat MREs. Not all soldiers smoked, and unsmoked cigarettes became a War Department currency.
The soldiers traded freely across all borders and social classes. Seventy-five years later, the phrase was a touchstone used in all media to evoke a former heroic period. They also had much smarter uniforms and were 'exotic' to the British. Let's just say that the US Army got through a lot of condoms and leave it at that.
Basically it means "Do what you want to do, if you're able to do it".
It was popularized in World War 2 when officers were giving the soldiers a smoke break - smoke a cigarette if you have one. To this day I would say it still focuses more on smoking cigarettes, though it wouldn't necessarily be wrong to use it in other contexts For instance, "I have a lot of money and want to spend it on a Porsche, but I don't know if I should. It's a calm before the storm.
Meaning, get yourselves ready in whatever way you need because the shit will hit the fan shortly and its gonna be a while before you can rest. So in a way it is ominous, but not a threat. You can say it when your friends are lounging around waiting when you're moving and the truck is coming around the corner. However, it can also be used directly after a particularly difficult time, and now is the time to rest, but not go do whatever.
https://viemyrubtou.cf Again using the Moving analogy. The first truck has been unloaded but the next is 10mins away. Out Now. Reverence Parkway Drive.
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