Nowadays, this would be considered Eeevil! Not even Gary Glitter would dare cover this song.
The debate on whether smoking causes lung cancer continues over at Frank's place. I am still on the fence. It seems sensible to assume that anything unnatural taken into the body will carry some risk. Then again, the risk is demonstrably small, because 90% of smokers don't get lung cancer. That's better odds than crossing the road. Then again, we have only recently moved from coal/wood fires to central heating, so is smoke really unnatural to us? Tobacco is just a plant, the same as coal and logs and paper. Over the many years of fires in homes, we must surely have lungs that can deal with it by now?
One thing that has wandered into my Monkey Shouldered brain tonight is this - if the Green Men want us all to go back to living in one-room cottages, who is better suited to life in one room with a dirt floor, a fire and no chimney? Smokers or nonsmokers? Nonsmokers who collapse at a momentary whiff of burning leaf or smokers who deliberately infuse themselves with it? Who will best cope with the fall of civilisation?
A friend of mine is asthmatic. He loved pubs but we don't go now. Me because I will not go out into biting cold as part of my 'enjoyment'. Him because none of his friends go any more. Smoking never bothered him. He could drink me into oblivion and often did. Sometimes we had to stop on the way back from the pub because he had to catch his breath. Once, in Scarborough, we had to stop for a long while on the way up a steep hill after leaving a non-smoking meeting. We never had to stop for me. Asthma is not connected to smoking. It's a lie. So why should I believe in lung cancer and smoking? It is illogical, Captain, and if it isn't you can de-point my ears.
Then there is second, third and fourth hand smoke. Smoke causing inner ear infections and meningitis, which is biologically impossible. Everything from dandruff to leprosy. If smoking increases the risk of anything, it's lost in the noise now. Nothing is credible any more. There is so much utter and blatant made-up nonsense around smoking that emphysema has now become as scary as the common cold. Is that what the antismokers wanted?
So what do I think? I have just passed the halfway mark on this bottle of Monkey Shoulder and I know it's not good for my liver. I also know it grows back if left alone for a while. I have rolled another cigarette and I am certain it's not good for my lungs. Whether it's as dangerous as is claimed is another matter. I might not live as long as I would if I gave those things up, but do I really want to? Do I want those gibbering, incontinent years of extreme old age where I live in a regimented home of defined lunchtimes and bedtimes and no outside interests and pills to keep me from going postal on the doctors and hideously smug zookeepers telling me I'm such a good boy for taking my medicine and just waiting, waiting for that day when I no longer wake up to those beige walls and that Puritan world of just being nice all the time?
I don't want a long and protracted death so I smoke and drink. One day something will go 'pop'. One day, an essential organ will say 'I give up' and I'll pass out, never to awaken. To me, that is far preferable to the State alternative. I cannot live in an old peoples' home. Either they would throw me out or there'd be a coup.
Imagine this conversation:
Drone: Time to turn off the computer and go to sleep. Mr. Leg-iron.
LI: Time for you to fuck off and stick a burning candle up your ass, more like.
Drone: Now, Mr. Leg-iron, we have rules, you know.
LI: How much do you pay me to work for you? How much do you pay me to do as you tell me? Yes, that's right. I pay you. Now go and do something useful, like watering the third rail.
Drone: I see. I can make your life difficult, you know.
LI: I can make yours end. Let's play.
I like to smoke. It's part of my life. Some people don't like it and that's okay. I don't like marzipan but it's on far too many cakes. I avoid it or swap it for icing with the sugar-scared. I do not call for a ban on marzipan. I do not demand that all marzipan munchers go outside and then bleat about having to pass through the almond aroma on the way into the building. I don't pretend that marzipan causes mumps or malnutrition or meningomyelitis or any other disease. I don't like marzipan. I avoid marzipan. No further effort is required. I see no reason to invent second hand cake decoration or third hand pureed almond ingestion or anything remotely so absurd.
I don't like it. I don't want it. If you like it, you can have it.
Why is this so difficult?
All the antismokers have left is 'Meh, it makes my clothes all pongy'. No, it does not. That can
only be possible if you are indoors with a smoker and we're banned from indoors. Three years. Four in Scotland. Still the bleating is the same. Do you have no washing machines? Are you at the river, beating your Ralph Lauren on the rocks, drying them over the camp fire and whining about the smoky smell? Smoking cannot disguise your body odour any more so the stench you now experience is, I'm afraid, you.
There is no antismoking argument. None.
I put forth a challenge. Antismokers, tell me. What is your issue with smokers? Why do you care if I smoke? Why do smoking shelters have to be open to the weather? Why is it unacceptable to have any indoor smoking areas that you will never visit?
Why is it not entirely based on spite and malice?