Wednesday, 15 February 2006

Fags for the memory

"Typical nanny state", yelled one smoker yesterday. Actually, substitute 'wheezed' for 'yelled', because that was the state this guys' lungs were in. Not that I'm mocking the afflicted, oh no, I'm just mocking the chemically addicted.

Yes, by summer 2007, pubs and clubs in England and Wales won't allow smoking. Already, there are phlegms of disgust across the nation.

Normally, I'd be on the side of those ranting against the government's latest plan to tell people what to do. The argument at first sounds rational. Why shouldn't smokers continue as they are? Why is Tony taking away their right to enjoy a cigarette? They know it's unhealthy and they've made the choice to continue that habit, much like beer drinkers and people who nick chips off your plate. There's much muttering of 'civil liberties' and 'human rights', but hold on, I don't think the smokers can see the wood for the trees. Probably because there's too much haze emanating from their Silk Cut. I think it's time to address a few smokers' cliches.

"Wot about drinking and junk food? That's bad for you too, but you don't see the government cracking down on that."

When I make the choice to scoff down a mustard-laden hot dog, or quaff a Guinness, it's purely me who is consuming that, no-one else. My messy eating habits would have to escalate to the point where I look like an epileptic on Tiswas before anyone else gets my grub in their gob.

The same is not true of cigarette smoke. When there's a smoker next to me, I'm having a cigarette, whether I want to or not. The audacity of the complaining smokers in the newspapers this week makes me wonder if they'll start charging me for quaffing a portion of their John Cancer Specials.

"We pay proportionately more than non-smokers for the NHS through the cigaratte taxes"

Yes, indeed you do. And you'll be needing the NHS proportionately more than non-smokers too. Still, it's your choice to effectively burn a five pound note every day.

"It's for my nerves, I can't get through the day without one!"

I'm not sure how I've managed to survive three decades without following the 'advice' of this statement.

There are few things that get on my nerves. Rising bills, country invasions described as peace missions, James Blunt, piss-poor public transport, religious fundamentalists and rising council tax.

Not ever in my life, has the fact of not having a burning toxic stick laced with over 2,000 carcinogens, ever worried me.

Also, why is that smokers buy deodorant? What a pointless task and waste of resources. It's like buying football boots for Stephen Hawking.

"Look, we're going to die some day, I could get hit by a bus tomorrow."

And this is why Planet Earth will be better off without you. You've took the decision place a stick of dead leaves, wrapped up in paper, and plugged in with a mouse tampon, into your mouth, and to set fire to it. You utter schmuck. In your head, you're James Dean. In reality, you're Dot Cotton.

And one of your ultimate expectations of life is to be killed by the number 23 to Streatham Hill. Well, I won't be missing you, and neither will the bus driver.

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