Smokers Die Younger and so do Junkies, Piss-heads and Fatty’s
I have smoked since I was thirteen years of age, which means I have been smoking for 21 years! It was cool to smoke when I was a young’un, and I used to practise my smoking technique trying to get it just so, you know. I would adjust the positioning of my fingers trying to clasp it in a manly style copying some of my rock n role idols or film stars; jeez I dread to think of some of the people I used to idolise when I was growing up. Picture this then a grown man in tight skimpy cycling shorts who’s sporting a leather jacket and wearing some Doctor Martin type boots, to boot he has a long flowing mane and to top it all off, he has a personality that would ward off all advances from any decent minded beings; the only saving grace of this being is a voice box that can produce sounds akin to a witch who is doing some overtime on an ill-fitting vibrator. That was a short description of one of my former idols Mr Axle Rose god I used to think the sun shone out of his arse-well you know what I mean, I used to really like him, I think I would have even tried the cycling shorts look if I knew that I wouldn’t get beat up for it, but alas Bethel village is not equipped for this kind of rock n role behaviour. At any road smoking was cool and it was a past time of mine when I grew up, you know the learning how to smoke and looking cool at the same time, avoiding such things as blowing smoke into the eye whilst trying to show off in front of a girl and subsequently ending up looking like a dickhead, this kind of uncool smoking had to be evaded at all cost.
“Giz a stump on that then,” everyday down to smokers corner at school and this is what you heard the folks saying down there, if it wasn’t the stump it was the ‘little stump’ that you begged for. If you were really desperate you would ask someone who had the little stump for a stump of the little stump which was aptly named ‘letters’. Well if you were taking the letters you knew what you were in for, yes indeed all you got were the letters at the end of the smoke Marlboro, Regal, Embassy, but usually they were the cheapest fags going like Berkeley or Lambert & Butler that we used to buy. The letters were to put it mildly ‘fucking disgusting,’ it was a s hot as a volcano but with all the healthiness of a tramps armpit, all sodden with everybody’s spittle, I mean the life had been smoked out of this thing before it even got to you, the filter had been squashed from the previous smokers efforts of dragging the essence out of the thing exorcizing all remnants of the evil nicotine spirit within. We still carried on though, why I hear you ask? Well because it was cool and it was something to do.
The first time I smoked it was with my best friend at the time Lee, me and Lee had found a box of twenty Black Cats (rank) cigarettes. After finding the fags we headed on home to steal a box of matches and then headed down to our den to smoke them. Settling in with eager anticipation of doing a deed that we weren’t supposed to be engaged in, well we proceeded in lighting the cigarettes. One cigarette after another “watch out Lee it’s me dad,” we hit the deck as my dad went passed with my little brothers. Panic over and so we lit up again one after the other, Lee had gained a green colour to his face and I’m not feeling too smart, a deathly silence falls over us as we realise that we’re ‘fucked up’ off of the fags. “ I think I’ll head home now you know Lee” says I “yeah me too” he replies, none of us wanting to tell the other that we were sick from the fags. Sick may be the word to describe the feeling when one is slightly under the weather, but this on the other hand was one of those messages from the brain saying, “what the fuck have you done to me, shoving evil toxins inside me, that’ll never do!” The brain was right and the body was weak and feeble-like and withering with every passing second. “Toilet, toilet oh where for art though my beautiful toilet,” it’s coming pretty sharpish now, restrained heave after restrained heave and all of a sudden whoosh out it pops, the contents of my gut that is, or in other words spew! Hurtling out of me at breakneck speed with no let up at all, ‘twas revenge of the putrid fowl smelling kind laced with jewel like carrot entities winking at me with mirth in their eyes.
Fag after fag after fag after fag after fag habitually nowadays, that’s the routine anyhow, nervous well it’s time for a fag then, on the toilet it’s time for a fag then, in the car it’s time for a fag then, after climbing a big hill it’s time for a fag then, cup of tea time for fag then, cough well it’s time for a fag then, eaten crisps it’s time for a fag then, bored –well you get the picture there’s so many different occasions to break em out and everyone a celebration of, um something? The long and short of it is that I know I’m driving another nail into my coffin every time I start a puffin and a coughing, but I know that don’t I? So how come I have got to stare at a man with rotten teeth on the packet? O yeah it’s because the government wants to warn me of the dangers of smoking by sticking a picture of some thick cunt that smoked but coincidentally didn’t brush his teeth either. So I have to bare these shitty warnings that I know already, and if the government really wanted to stop us smoking, then why are they still selling them? Any answers? Oh yeah that’s it isn’t it, they make money off of them, lots and lots of money and if they didn’t have cigarettes to raise taxes on then they would have to raise them elsewhere; causing Joe public to grunt as if passing stones. I have to stare at this health warning every time you know, even though I am aware of the dangers. I am also aware of the dangers of sitting down on the couch for too long and rotting my brain away-where’s the health warning on the sofa then? And where’s the health warning on the T.V or MacDonald’s for that matter. By the year 2020 half of the U.K is going to be obese and not only will they be clogging up their arteries but they also will be clogging up the NHS beds at this point in time I can only hope that I do not double default and become an obese smoker. Pardon my French but je m'appelle Matthew, no really, what the fuck is going on?
The other day I was stood outside the University entrance and a jobsworth janitor or some fucking thing shouts over to me telling me I’ve got to be five meters away from the building because it’s the law. I ask him to tell me precisely how far five meters is, to which he replies and tells me to take five steps, and so I deliberately took five smallish steps. Well the upshot of it all was that I landed on the bottom step of the stairs, and so I shouted across to him “is here alright mate?” He told me that I had to get off the bottom step and then I would be complying with the five meter rule. O.K so that is what I did but I turned my head around and blew the smoke back into the five meter zone, contaminating all the fresh air that presided within it, I shouted over to him “what are you gonna do about that then jobsworth?” Jobsworth pushed off without a reply one nil for the smokers, I would have laughed in his face, if it wasn’t for the fear of setting-off my ‘death rattle’ cough.
Back to the present dilemma that nearly drove me off the edge the other day, I poppes into the supermarket to buy some fags right, and guess what? They had all been locked up, the display cabinet had now morphed into a lock-up for the fags, I couldn’t see them, and I instantly felt the urge for a cigarette draining away from my body, because you know that is what makes me want to have a cigarette, not the fact that I am physically addicted to nicotine, no no no it’s seeing them that does it for me. Yes seeing them instantly sets me off; “go and lock up the fatty foods then dickheads and the booze while you’re at it.” That’s what you think isn’t it, well I do at any road, and so, I stole over to the woman and say, “what’s with the fags, why you got them locked up? To this the woman starts going on about the government and blah di blah. I say to her “you know sometimes I like to see which fags I’d like to choose,” wham, out comes a great big list of all the fags you can buy there she hands it to me inattentively and starts to regard me with discontent. And so I just stare at the list I don’t really give a fuck about the list of fags by now and I was only trying to illustrate a point, and so I throw down the list and queue up behind some fat bird who obviously works there because she’s clad in the Morrisons attire. The fat bird must have been finishing her shift because she was buying some fags, I don’t know what fags she bought but the woman behind the counter opened ub the sliding door of the ‘cabinet of disgrace’ and gave her a box of twenty. “I saw them” I said to the lady behind the counter, “I just saw the fags inside, and I can see the fags now, why don’t you put them in a bag?” I said victoriously. At this point in time fat bird turns around grasping her name badge and indicates for me to look at it, “look” she says “I work here so don’t start” I think to myself that she doesn’t have to indicate that she’s working here by pointing at the badge as if it gives her some kind of authority, and also I can see that she works there because she’s dressed up in the Morrison’s greengrocers attire, unless she’s mentally retarded and likes to pretend that she works there. “It’s just bloody stupid isn’t it?” I say in a slightly peevish manner, all I wanted was for someone to agree and say that it was stupid, that’s all. Fat bird chirps up again saying “what’s stupid is the Welsh assembly making us pay five pence for bags,” to which I reply “no that’s better than having the countryside littered!” It was at this point that I decided to give up on the fat bird because she obviously didn’t go for long walks in the countryside otherwise she wouldn’t be al ‘Jabba The Hut-like,’ and secondly she is probably the type that jettisons all her sweetie wrappers from out the window of the car, on second thoughts I take that back, she probably eats the sweetie’s wrapper and all. I repeat myself this time to the woman behind the counter “It’s just bloody stupid isn’t it?” To which she replies “that’s just the way it is, there’s no point complaining you can’t do anything about it!” I just think to myself that all I wanted was confirmation at least that it is stupid and that it is not me just being a ‘pointless dickhead.’ Now I am the stupid one for even thinking to complain, in retrospect though, what I should have said to her was. “Picture this, it’s a dark Tuesday night and you have just finished your shift in your second job, and so you get home about 10 ‘o clock and have your supper and go to bed. Precisely 10 minutes after you have gone to sleep you feel a sharp pain right up your arse, as you awake you find it’s just ‘Dave the Fucker’ stabbing 7 kinds of shit out of you. Dave is a civil servant from the DFPA which is an acronym for ‘The Department for Fucking the Public up the Arse,’ so what do you do? Do you turn over and try to ignore it and get some shuteye? Or do you say this is wrong!”
By the way I have it on good authority (Arwel from the guitar shop), that there is an old guy in New York that is a 105 or so and has been smoking since he was 9 or so, and he still manages to walk around. They say that no news is good news, well good news is good news and you never get to hear it, so why don’t they put this New Yorkers face on the side of a cigarette packet with the strapline ‘smokers usually die younger, but not all the time!.’ I know it’s wrong and, all I am saying is that at least we should be accommodated the luxury of having a wind-proof shelter when we do have to brave the weather to get our fix. That is all.