Monday, January 14, 2008


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.


Dr. Brainiac said...

Come to Texas - concealed carry of firearms is legal here - you can use mine.

Southern Writer said...

You make some great points. Personally, I think it should be illegal to ban smoking in bars, or pubs, as y'all call them. Sheesh. That's ridiculous.

Oh, and if you owe me mail, let's have it. :-)

Romulus Crowe said...

Dr. B. - it's actually much easier to get hold of a gun in the UK since they were banned. Illegal gun dealers are so blatant now they might as well set up stalls in the market. You're still not allowed to shoot at anyone although that doesn't seem to trouble most of the thugs we have here.

SW - I owe many, many Emails. I'm not at all affected by the current round of flooding since I live way up on a hill, but my ISP hasn't positioned its servers quite so sensibly. Cutoffs are frequent at the moment and we just have to wait until they wring the water from the circuitry. Never mind, soon be summer and the rain will be warm.

Smoking is banned anywhere the public might go, but not illegal. So we still pay tax on it, tax that pays a government who then pass laws to make those same taxpayers lives' a misery.

You'd be amazed how many of the Self-Righteous will cough and splutter when they pass a smoker in the street. The best one I saw was when a raddled old harridan passed some guy rolling a cigarette. She coughed and spluttered and waved her hand in front of her face. He hadn't even made the cigarette, never mind lighting it!

Ah, pre-emptive self-righteousness. That must save a lot of time.

All it takes is a trip across to France, stock up on cigars and home again. Decent coffee, a real croissant or two, perhaps a shot of Pernod and a supply of tobacco with no tax paid to those swines who take our money and slap us with it. See, it wouldn't be so bad if they weren't taking so much of the price in tax. Then, at least they wouldn't be two-faced.

Uh-oh, the rant is starting up again...

Dikkii said...

Having been a smoker for nigh on 12 years, I actually applaud efforts by anti-smokers to get rid of smoking...

However, I don't agree with the self-righteousness of it all. I do enjoy a smoke, especially a pipe. I never really got cigars, and find their aroma a bit on the, "Ja Rastafari Haile Selassie, what the fuck is that horrible stench?" side whenever I get downwind of one. But I'll still let a cigar smoker have his space outdoors. Anti-smokers aren't usually consistent, nor are they particularly charitable towards even outdoor smoking.

Incidentally, down our way, smoking was banned in pubs last year, and the effect was that pub patronage increased as people who hated the smoky environment headed back to the pubs to enjoy smoke-free drinking. Women, especially.

I notice, though, that cigarette companies are apparently offering pubs money to build covered outdoor beer gardens for use by smokers. Things have worked out quite well for publicans, by the sounds of things.

Enjoy your smoking

tom sheepandgoats said...

The way I look at it, this type of regulating is from a society who has failed at doing anything really important, so they redouble their efforts on nonsense. Eliminate crime. Provide for education. Provide for public decency/ morality. End injustice, etc. Not much to report on these fronts. Far easier to piddle away your time hassling others over trivial stuff.

Romulus Crowe said...

Dikkii - there are many instances of smoking bans I agree with, particularly restaurants and cafes. I don't want smoke around when I'm eating and I'm happy to go elsewhere to smoke when someone else is eating.

The UK has had non-smoking bars for a long time. Now they are all non-smoking, without exception, so smokers have to go outside. The bans came in in the summer, and everyone was happy until winter. It's hard to get a light in a blizzard at -20C. That's when the smokers stopped going to the pubs.

The trouble with those covered areas is that (in the UK) they become enclosed public spaces - so you can't smoke in them!

Tom - I think there's an element of truth in what you say there. The brain dead who constitute our government have to be seen to be doing something, so they do the easy stuff.

I don't believe any conspiracy theories. None of them. Our government couldn't possibly come up with, or carry out, anything that complex!

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