(That 60-sample thing is going to happen again next week so I have to get as much out of my system as possible).
An interesting conversation at the bus stop today. One of those that isn't enclosed, just one panel up and a roof. They are illegally designated 'no smoking' because they are not enclosed.
The harridans normally fake some kind of lung seizure if they pass me smoking in the open air. Now they are becoming more bold, encouraged by the State-sanctioned abuse of anyone the State disapproves of. They expect smokers to cower when confronted, to tug the forelock and apologise for being offensive. This particular harridan met me.
I was under the shelter, next to the illegal 'no smoking' sign. It's only a matter of moving a yard to get out from under the shelter so it's no effort to avoid that sign, and the constant rain has finally stopped here. As a non-smoker once said when I explained this - "so you can't be in the shelter blowing smoke out, but it's fine to be outside the shelter blowing smoke in?" That's about the size of it, yes. This time the harridan started even before I had finished rolling a cigarette.
In her best 'I am Righteous' voice, she pronounced: "This is non-smoking, you know."
"Good thing nobody's smoking then," I said and licked the paper.
"That's a cigarette."
"Your powers of observation are impressive indeed. Do you work for MI6?"
She folded her arms. "Don't you get cocky with me. You can't smoke that in here."
"Actually, I can, but I wasn't planning to. In fact I had planned to move downwind of you before lighting it but I think the upwind side of the shelter is closer." A yard, that's all I had to move. No longer under the harridan's personally-declared dictatorship zone, I lit up.
"That's disgusting." She waved her hands around and wrinkled her face which gave her the appearance of a bulldog having a fit. "I don't want your cancer."
Now this one, I have practiced for, long and hard. So I can now deliver it deadpan.
"I don't have cancer. Smokers don't get it. The smoke has to be metabolised in the smoker's lungs before it becomes cancerous. Only the smoke coming out is dangerous and I'm blowing that away." Well, the Righteous have conditioned people to instantly believe any old tosh so why not make up some of my own?
"You're blowing it at me!"
"No, the wind is doing that. I'm just blowing it away from me because it's really dangerous."
The look on her face made it very difficult to hold my composure. It was somewhere between realisation and terror. "You're giving me cancer!"
"No, you're getting it yourself. I'm just blowing it away from me." Now, keeping a straight face was really hard. She was, genuinely, trying to dodge smoke. Harmless smoke that would blow right past her if she just let it alone. Smoke that, if she had left me alone, wouldn't even be heading in her direction. I'd have gone downwind of her out of general decency if only she had not taken it upon herself to accost me.
"Don't you care?" I think the last word was 'care'. It was delivered at a frequency that's at the very limit of my hearing range.
"No." I took another puff.
Still doing her little dodge-the-smoke dance, she came out with 'How can you do this to me?"
"Because you want me to. Because you consider me subhuman and inferior. Because you think it's fine to attack me when I have never done anything to you. Well, now I'm doing something. I'm acting like this because it's what you expect. It's what you wanted. Now you have it."
Her bus came at that point and my, she was sprightly when it came to boarding it. I didn't get the chance to point out that all I was doing was messing with her mind, that second-hand smoke has never done more than inconvenience anyone, that she really wasn't going to get cancer from the few molecules she might have inhaled as the wind took it past her.
Thinking back, I'm not even sure I would have. I might instead have expanded upon the various lingering deaths she could expect from that one picogram of tobacco smoke that might have stuck in her hair. Antismokers have had it all their own way and I'm not playing that game any more.
They deserve the stress and the fear. They deserve to worry themselves into psychosomatic illness. They believe that we can kill them with a breath, so let's do it. Compromise? We tried that. They refused and now there can be no compromise. Talking to Government? We tried that too. They deleted us.
All we are, are human beings who happen to smoke. Some people don't like the smell and that is the total of their reasoning for treating us as filth. There is nothing else. So act like filth. They expect us to be selfish, so be selfish. They expect us to give them a long and agonising death, so let's do that.
It's what they want from us. Give them what they want. Give them terror, give them high blood pressure, give them heart attacks and yes, give them cancer. None of it caused by smoking, all of it caused by their own terror of smoking. Smokophobia can kill. It's better than Kung Fu. You don't even have to touch them.
Practice is essential. Nobody can deliver those lines cold and keep a straight face when you see them believing it.
Oh, I am sure antismokers will be along to call me evil and twisted but again, that's what you expect from a smoker, isn't it? I'm only acting the way you want me to act. I'm only doing what you want. I don't want to disappoint.
You made me, antismokers, and every day you reinforce the monster you created. Every day you make me more twisted, more evil, nastier and less caring. So my made-up nonsense could make some of you ill and might manage to kill a few. Watch me not care. I will treat you as you treat me. With utter and absolute contempt.
You, antismokers, are subhuman and must be denormalised. No, don't get hysterical, I am not proposing to force smoking on anyone. Nonsmokers who are not antismokers are not the enemy. The harridans and the Righteous are the enemy and the fewer of them I have to contend with, the happier I will be. If that means scaring them to death well, so be it. I have no other recourse. The government has declared me an unperson. They will not listen. The councils will not listen. Even the pubs, places I used to be able to go, decry their losses while pretending that the absence of smoking customers has had no effect.
There is no alternative avenue open to me. No more options. Direct retaliation is all that is left and no, I am not going to resort to violence. I'm too old for that. All I have are words and words can cut deeper than any knife if wielded correctly. I did not condition these people to believe in utter rubbish but they are conditioned now and I will make use of that.
Today's stitch in the monster's skin comes with the news that a 70-year old woman has been fined for littering for dropping ash. Not a cigarette. Ash. Sterile fragments that disappear on the wind and are lost in a moment among the natural dust of the world. I put mine in the compost along with cigarette ends. It's good fertiliser and it contains a natural insecticide. Everything in a cigarette is of plant origin. It's vegetarian and biodegradable.
If it comes to court, Anna Raccoon plans a fund to pay her fine. I'll be donating.
I didn't start out as an enemy of antismokers. I didn't set out to start a war. I was happy with smoking and non-smoking segregation. I didn't demonise or denormalise anyone. I never considered anyone as subhuman and I never took it upon myself to decide anyone else's life choices for them.
You antismokers did that. You made me.
I hope you're happy with your creation.
UPDATE: Another stitch. Building a big monster, aren't you?