I haven't visited anyone's blogs for weeks. I'll make an effort over the next few days. SW-I owe you Email.
But enough of that. It's rantin' time. I'm sitting here with a bottle of the Ardbeg and a pack of Henri Winterman's cigars and I've been watching Bill Hicks and Dennis Leary videos (if you've seen those two you know what's coming).
Both rail against the non-smoker. I think they're wrong. I have no problem with non-smokers, just like I have no problem with people who go to church on Sundays, synagogue on Saturdays or mosque on Fridays. I won't do those things but anyone who wants to is perfectly entitled to do so. I have no problem with people who think I'm a nut for chasing ghosts. Everyone has their own way to be, and should be allowed to be it. Within reason, naturally. Serial killer is not a valid career choice in my book.
What gets to me are the anti-smokers. Why are they so passionately anti-smoking? Well, they say it pollutes their air. Their air? Did they buy it all? That must have been expensive, and who the hell sold my share?
I'm a smoker. I refuse to walk along the main street of Aberdeen on a Saturday because the traffic fumes are choking. There's a chicken-gutting factory in Bucksburn that can make everyone within a five mile radius nauseous. One little cigar makes so much difference? Really?
Don't tell me I'm going to die for smoking and drinking alcohol. I'm going to die whether I do those things or not. So are you. As Dennis Leary puts it - Smoking takes years off your life, but they're the ones at the end. The wheelchair, Alzheimer's and adult nappy years. You can have them.
So I won't go to heaven. I wouldn't enjoy it anyway. None of my friends will be there. Besides, I have other plans. If I go to hell, at least I'll be able to get a light.
I don't force smoking on anyone. I have non-smoking friends and if I visit them I go outside to smoke. It's their house and they're entitled to have it smoke-free. If they visit me I'm going to smoke indoors. They know this and accept it. That's why they're friends. One exception - one friend has asthma. I don't smoke in the house if he visits.
Yet the anti-smokers won't have it. If one of them visits your house they expect you not to smoke there. They don't expect to land on their backside in the street. Surprise!
You can't smoke in a pub here. Pubs are full of people who drink copious amounts of alcohol. Usually to excess. Many don't remember going home. Yet if I smoke in there I'm damaging their health. Newsflash: health isn't high on the average pub-visitor's agenda. They're not into jogging and salad, these people. They're into beer, pies, oblivion and early death. Most of them will be dead before I am (that's why I hand out business cards). A whiff of second-hand smoke serves only to cover the stench of stale beer, clothes that have been slept in for a week, and urine, that emanates from many of them.
Not for much longer. Pubs are closing. Not struggling, closing. Some tried to put up covered areas for smokers outside. Guess what? They were classed as 'enclosed public spaces' and nobody could smoke in them. Smokers had to go outside the designated smoking area to smoke. The whining anti-everything brigade, who said smokers were ruining their nights out in the pub must surely be delighting in the new smoke-free environments. Nope. Turns out they don't go to pubs. So many pubs are empty. Wine bars are still going, but that's not for me. I'll leave those places to the whiners.
And another thing. 'Give up smoking and you'll get your sense of smell back'. I did that once, for a month, years ago. This planet stinks. Towns exude a reek that can only be described as stomach-churning. It was one of the reasons I started smoking again - that, and I decided I liked it.
Now there's a blitz on fat people. The smokers have been hammered, so it's chubby's turn. Who's next? They've already started on drivers.
There is an entire sub-population of miserable, self-important, disgusting anti-everything nematode-brained idiots who actively seek out things to be offended about. They have no tolerance, no capacity for thought, nothing in their lives but a constant nose-in-the-air attitude to all around them. They will not be happy until we are all identical, a sort of communist-China, Orwellian world of unthinking, obedient, mindless and utterly useless clones. Then they'll complain there's no originality any more.
Everyone else, everyone who does not share their somewhat-blurred vision, is subhuman and they spend their days discussing which of subhumanity's evils must be banished next.
If I can think of something new to offend them with, you can bet I'm going to do it.
If I was allowed to shoot them, I'd buy a gun.