Friday, 19 August 2011

Stranger than fiction.

Via ManWiddicombe tonight, feast your eyes on these manifestations of malice. The Moose has the story too. As a writer of scary tales, I am in awe of the cruelty and viciousness these characters display.

Yes, the antismokers want to make cigarette packets harder to get the cigarettes out of. It appears they have never heard of the old 'cigarette case', once popular and likely to make a comeback very soon. I wonder if I still have mine?

I also wonder if I can get some cases printed with pictures of my hat?

Among the imaginative labels is one about cigarettes containing polonium. Well, no doubt there's an atom or two floating around, it is an element after all, but the label leads me to believe that there will be a measurable amount in each and every cigarette. If there isn't, it's false advertising and the label-maker should be sued. I doubt they have considered this.

As for the teeth and the lips, oh yes, I want one of each of those. I'd leave it on tables with a cigarette poking out or wear it as a mouth-mask.

These odd-shaped packets will be incredibly attractive to children. Collections and schoolyard swaps will abound. So, once again, the idiots have come up with an idea that will do much more to promote smoking than any tobacco company ever could.

Their comments are often along the lines of 'We must stop people doing what they want with their lives because they are not like us, and we are superior'. Except, evidently, in intellect. There is no foresight, no critical analysis. They think making the packs harder to fit in pockets and harder to extract cigarettes from will stop people smoking. It does not occur to them that it will be easy to tear the packet open and transfer the cigarettes to an alternative container.

The antics of the antismoker are now so ludicrous that only a politician could be taken in by them. Unfortunately, we are plagued by low-energy politicians because the EU has banned the old tungsten ones. The current lot take ages to warm up and don't do much when they get there.

So the antismokers, the booze banners, the fat haters and Graham the Desalinator have a willing parliament devoid of ideas and filled with people who failed the audition for a zombie part because they couldn't remember their lines. The insanity continues because nobody with any sanity is allowed into any position where they might inject a little sense. They are shouted down, just as those who questioned uncontrolled immigration were instantly labelled 'racist'.

There was a time, not so long ago, when those who derided the overweight were referred to as 'fattist'. Now they are called 'health professionals' or 'concerned citizens' - both rapidly becoming euphemisms for 'interfering git'. Interesting how language changes over time, isn't it?

So we can expect to see cigarettes packaged in plain boxes that you'd need a black belt in origami to open. Or a scissors. What's next? Booze bottles in logic puzzles? Oh, wait... It can only be a matter of time before these are standard.

Ready meals will be stocked in chillers with a fast-moving treadmill in front of them so you'll burn off more calories getting hold of it than you'll get back by eating the meal, and salt will only be available on prescription.

All these things are easily circumvented and some already have been. Salt is currently cheap and plentiful, lasts forever and is the only one you'd need to stock up with. Storage just has to be dry, that's all, no chilling required.

Tobacco grows, even north of Aberdeen and it produces so many flowers you'll never need to look for seeds again. Keep the seeds from the best plants. Beer and wine are a doddle to make, if they ban sugar use honey, if they ban honey grow sugar-beet. Beer yeast and bread yeast are the same species. Bread yeast will take a few brews to adapt but it will work. So only the dopes who support the bans will have to go without. They won't make any preparations because they don't think the bans are for them.

Some months ago, Tesco sold off their 60-watt light bulbs at 7p each. At one point they were selling for 1p each. I bought a good stock and it now looks like they were a better investment than gold. Much the same is likely to be true of tobacco, booze and salt very soon. Ready meals too - although you'd have to factor in the cost of keeping them frozen. I won't bother. At a pinch I'll eat the inspectors who come to check if I'm smoking in my own home. Well, I won't be able to let them leave, now will I?

Fakes and other dodgy black market products are about to take off in a big way. That's why I'm stocking up and growing/brewing what I can. I don't want to risk a repeat of US Prohibition when the government deliberately poisoned the alcohol supply to kill the drinkers. I don't want dodgy tobacco that's been padded out with lawn trimmings. Nor do I want salt that has been lifted from a council gritter.

Well, back to work. I'm building another short story book and this time I'll start with a very gentle, harmless and predictable ghost story to lull you into a nice, warm glow and I'll end by leaving you terrified of dust and rain. It's still all as nothing compared to the terror I can invoke in real life using nothing more than paper and a bit of leaf, but I doubt even Clive Barker managed to do that in fiction.

Maybe I'll write one about salt.


View from the Solent said...

There's a review of some good free proof-reading tools here which you might find useful.

Anonymous said...

I'm still not sure why the tobacco companies haven't started re-issuing the old-style tobacco cases. If they'd been quick off the mark, they could have issued loads of the old-fashioned metal ones before the advertising ban and thus their logos and brand names would have been around for many more years after the ad ban was imposed.

But needless to say, they did nothing. I don't understand the big tobacco companies. I don't for one minute expect them to fight for their customers - as long as we're buying their product they don't care how inconvenient or unpleasant the situations are where we now have to use them, and I quite understand that this is the position in respect of any large company or industry, but surely where their own business interests and profits are concerned, you'd think they'd try at least one or two ways to keep their brand names alive and their sales up.

Anonymous said...

I'm afraid I may have somebad news for you on the lightbulbs front, Leggy. Phillips are now making tungsten halogen lamps in normal bayonet fittings, which look pretty much like normal tungsten lamps.

They count as "energy saving" because the halogen thing lets them run at somewhat higher temperatures than standard tungsten lamps, so to get the same light you need a wee bit less power. They use a quartz glass halogen enclosure inside a larger normal glass bulb, so look more or less the same as the old tungsten lamps; they seem to last quite well too.

Now, they ain't as energy-saving as LED lamps are, but they give a much better light than CFL units do, and if you break one you're not reaching for the powdered sulphur in case of mercury spills (handy to have some powdered sulphur about anyway, for sorting out fungal infections of plants). Have a shufti round in the supermarkets; these sorts of lightbulbs are becoming more common, though the supermarkets do hide them below the CFL energy savers, as though they're embarassed or something.

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