[think spaghetti western music]
In the dusty streets of Stony Stratford, one week from now, there will be a showdown. The clicking sound will be lighters, not spurs this time and the smoke won't come from gun barrels but from cigarettes.
ASH take note - Cigarettes are far less dangerous than guns. Actually, Dreadful Arnott, they are less dangerous than you.
Nobody will die, unless a rabid antismoker believes themselves dead and the death of one more spiteful and useless moron is no loss to the world. Nobody will die as a result of smoke because if that were the case, the residents of Tombstone - erm, Stony Stratford - would all have died the moment the first diesel-powered vehicle passed through town, or the first time a tarmac road was laid. But let's not complicate the issue because the simple minds of the antismokers won't be able to cope. For them, as long as nobody is burning a little bit of dry leaf in paper, the air is perfectly pure. No other contaminant exists for them because they can't cope with the idea of more than one.
Another note - Cigarettes are better for you than idiocy.
The town marshall, Wiry Twerp of the Bartlett clan, along with Doc Horrible of the BMA, will be incensed. This weekend they are filling the streets with diseased plague carriers but that's okay. Next week there'll be a few folk having a quiet beer and a smoke, and that, to them, is unthinkable. What Wiry Twerp hasn't realised yet is that Doc Horrible's agenda goes further than just pretending there's a problem with smoke. The Doc plans to pretend there's a problem with beer too. She has more, once she's done those two. More things to control in other people's lives. It's what spiteful people do for enjoyment.
CAMRA take note - you'd have had some support on the forthcoming booze controls if you hadn't shat on us so comprehensively and encouraged our removal from pubs. And if you hadn't so obviously enjoyed it.
A bloodless showdown will ensue. Nobody will get asthma because smoking has never caused a single case of asthma. No children will be harmed, not even those that deserve it, in the making of this small event. I can't be there because I have a 50th birthday smoky-drinky on the 18th, then have to be somewhere else on the 20th and somewhere else again on the 21st. In the meantime I have to do stuff that makes money because I don't have very much of it.
Pity. I would have liked to see Clint Puddlecote in full gear, with poncho, chewing the stub of a cigar in Tombstony Stratford's high street while facing down Wiry Twerp in his black hat.
"Go for your lighter. Oh? You don't have one? Too bad. Get ready to inhale my smoke, pilgrim."