Saturday, 4 September 2010

Today's smoking rant.

You knew there'd be one, didn't you? All through those last two posts you were thinking 'He hasn't mentioned smoking. It can only be a matter of time. He can't bottle it up for a full 24 hours'.

You were right.

However, I have to try to focus on the report that I'd like to have in the post (with invoice) on Monday so it's fortunate that Anna Raccoon has produced a concise history of smoking bans, and the Big Yin has raged at the cruelty of denying a cigarette to smokers trapped underground. So I can be brief. Well, I'll try.

I think the most stunning part of Anna's historical research was this - 1628, two Inn keepers in Norwich were fined 30 shillings each “for suffering parishioners to smoke” in their ale houses.

So we have been here before. Private businesses forced to act as unpaid enforcers is not a new idea. All of it has happened before. None of this ever appeared in school history lessons. Nor were we told about the total ban on smoking on railways and station platforms before World War One. We have been pariahs in the past and yet by the 1950's almost everyone smoked.

The encouraging part is that even though it has all happened before, it has always failed. It will fail again but don't get complacent. It will be back.

As for the NASA Nazi doctor, Mengele or whatever his name is, if I ever find myself trapped somewhere and you regard it as an opportunity to experiment on me, forget about digging down. I'll be digging up. When I reach the surface, that shovel is going into an orifice you would really prefer it didn't. It won't hurt. Well, maybe just a little. It'll probably sting a bit when I pour petrol over the protruding handle and light it but hey, causing people pain is your stock in trade so you won't mind.

Enclosed space? So they should go outside to smoke? I'm sure they'd love to but since they aren't likely to be out of there before Christmas then the non-smokers among them have bigger things to worry about than the fakery of second hand smoke. They have to worry about their heavy-smoking companions going postal, for one thing.

These men are trapped in a mine and are going to be down there for months. What are they to do? They have been denied booze and tobacco. Are they expected to fashion interesting trinkets from the rocks, or paint wonderful murals with their own faeces and the blood of the first non-smoker who tells them it is a good thing that they can't have a smoke?

I'd like to cover the NASAZI doctor in nicotine patches and then see what he thinks of this 'addiction' business. What? It's fine to experiment on human beings. This doctor says so.

Smoking and drinking are ways to alleviate boredom. If you are stuck under the ground, there is the risk of boredom. Once you have named all the grains of dust, you run out of things to do pretty quickly. A drink and a smoke and you're chilled, no matter where you are.

I just hope that NASAZI doctor is there at the minehead when these men finally get out. I also hope there's some heated tar and a big bag of feathers handy.


Anonymous said...

I doubt very much that he will be, though. Well, would you want to be, confronted with several burly, muscle-bound miners whom you, personally, had told that they couldn’t have any cigarettes at the time when they most desperately wanted them? Quite apart from the physical damage which this zealous little bully-boy might sustain (and I suspect that your own personal idea of punishment is nothing to what these miners might consider doling out) their predictable first act after their release - of lighting up, and savouring, their favourite brand of cigarette or cigar - will be the best possible proof of the lie of the anti-smokers’ rhetoric that “the longer you go without tobacco, the less you want it.” And he certainly won’t want to be around to answer any awkward questions about that. Oh, no – he’ll have scuttled back to his safe, ivory-clad tower long before any of these poor sods emerge from the bowels of the earth, just like the coward that he – and all anti-smokers - are.

JuliaM said...

"Private businesses forced to act as unpaid enforcers is not a new idea."

And the private businesses are learning from it...

Unknown said...

Thanks for the linkto leggy. There was a consensus that in case of methane gas they shouldn't be allowed to smoke down that Chilean copper mine. I've since found out that, unlike coalmines, copper mines do not have methane and the anti smoking doc from NASA would have known this.

You can find out more about mining and the hazards here, where I found out about copper and gold mines not producing methane.

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