Thursday, July 26, 2007

Smoking once more

I do like this article by Rod Little, which is worth reading; whatever your views on the man, he can write most delightfully when he tries.
Standing outside a London mainline station, waiting for a taxi, I lit my first cigarette for three hours, leaned back against the wall and inhaled a lungful of cool grey smoke and felt an agreeable tingling spread throughout my body. Do you smoke? You really should give it a go. Very agreeable experience.

“Excuse me,” the voice said, with studied politeness, “would you mind putting out that cigarette.” The absence of a question mark in that sentence is an accurate reflection of the tone in which it was said.

I looked up. It was a short, bearded cock of a man, swathed in self-righteousness. More to the point, he was an American.

“My family doesn’t care to breathe in your second-hand smoke,” he added. I looked around in mystification. What f***ing family? There was no-one in sight.

“Um, I’m sorry, “ I said. “but what family?”

He turned and pointed about forty yards away where two spoiled sub-teen female brats were sitting sulkily on a collection of luggage. This arsehole must have espied me lighting up and immediately sprinted the distance between us out of a sort of burning hatred or, as Slavoj Zizek puts it, an incalculable narcissism. Whatever way you look at it, his action was deranged. How on earth should one respond to people like this?

“F*** off.”

Only language they understand, really.

Bravo, Rod, bravo. Oh, and thanks for the drink you bought me at that FOREST dinner a few weeks ago...


Prodicus said...

He's been edited. First time I read this, the *** was an uck. I thought at the time it was a touch, ah, broadminded for the Times.

Neal Asher said...

Had this in the waiting room of a Greek airport. Certainly there was a no smoking sign, but the big ashtrays on top of the bins all around the walls were ample demonstration of how the sign was ignored. We were sitting smoking by one of these bins with others doing the same when a couple sat down nearby and immediately demanded we extinguish our cigarettes. I wanted to point out that telling a smoker who has been waiting five hours for a plane to put out his cigarette might be injurious to their health. I ignored them in the end - they certainly weren't going to get any joy out of the Greek airport personnel and police who were also ignoring the sign. Only in Britain to we obey such bollocks.

Roger Thornhill said...

The whole Smoking Ban is a salad of unintended consequences.

Unless we strangle the life out of the relentless Sociofascists, one day, it may all come to this.

Fabian Tassano said...

"as Slavoj Zizek puts it, an incalculable narcissism"

What a very learned [pretentious] reference. How mysteriously ineffable [vacuous] yet profound [dishonest] that Zizek is.

Sorry, but I think Liddle should stick to doing what he does best, i.e. being crudely anti-PC, and leave off the pseudo-philosophical references.


Wrinkled Weasel said...

Rod Liddle and others should stop whingeing and confront their lack of will power.

Fancy being in thrall to two and a half inches of dried leaves.

Only women, cab drivers and poofs smoke these days... Oh, and people who are pretending to be Jean-Paul Belmondo, by which this confederation of helotry is rendered a paradigm of Hell.

Is that brimstone I smell or a Lamber and Butler?

Devil's Kitchen said...

Ah, do I sense a non-smoker? Strange though it may seem, Weasel, I enjoy smoking.

Now, you may say to me, "no, you don't; it is just the evil drug making you think that you do" and I will happily tell you that you are wrong.

Sure, it's addictive, but so are lots of other drugs and I love them too.


Wrinkled Weasel said...

Being totally hypocritical, I like pipe smoke, and if I was diagnosed with a fatal disease tommorrow, I would smoke cigarettes again and roll an Old Holborn in a trice.

Proving there is no worse zealot than an ex-sinner.

Oh yeah? So what has happened for the last ten years, exactly?

Over at the ASI, they are posting some of the winning entries of the Young Writers on Liberty. One does not want to put such keen minds off,...