Monday, January 05, 2004

Well isn’t it nice to be back at work after all this time off. No I actually mean that and not just because I can now blog away ;-) I actually quite like my work sometimes – not as much as lying on the sofa watching the telly but even that can pall after a while.

One reason for not enjoying this as much as usual is because I ‘m not drinking right at the moment and I have . . . the horror . . . not had a fag for 5 days!! I’m taking it one day at a time but this is good. Haven’t felt the harsh word of Dr Nic-O-Teen being put upon me yet but that’s probably partly because I’ve spent 3 of the first 4 days of the year confined to bed with a stinking cold – sneezing, coughing, aching joints, temperature, earache etc so the urge to fill my lungs with carcinogenic raspy smoke has been naturally reduced. Overall it’s good to haul my complaining carcass down the stairs and back to my place of employment to make some much needed cash. And cash is another very good reason for not drinking / smoking. There are 4 (yes 4) letters for me from the bank sitting on the table at home. So far I’ve had the courage to open exactly none of them. I know I must but all the same . . . they scare me.

I’ve tried giving up smoking before and never succeeded so I’ve made a little list.

Reasons why smoking is bad :-

1) Gives you cancer of absolutely everything – lungs, mouth, oesophagus, bladder, penis, vagina, you name it.
2) Gives you heart disease.
3) Whole selection of other unpleasant diseases – emphysema not least amongst them.
4) Makes your breath smell.
5) Makes your clothes smell.
6) Stains your teeth / hands / hair (yes I’m afraid so).
7) Very expensive – at least in the UK (£5 for 20).
8) Socially excluding.
9) Unpleasant for non-smokers.
10) Requires living with substance dependency (constant fear of running out of fags, like junkies always worrying about where their next fix is coming from).
11) Puts money in the hands of multi-national right wing mega corporations eg Philip Morris, BAT etc.

Reasons why smoking is good :-

1) Tastes fucking fantastic.
2) Looks cool.
3) Non-smokers often a bit whiny / holier than thou.
4) Best gossip and access to preferential relationship development available in smoking rooms (Smokers are a bit like The Masons - we protect out own).

OK – technically point number 2 is the result of 100 years of tobacco industry advertising saying : “Smoke fags kids – it’s cool!” but I still think there’s something a bit backward about anti smoking campaigns aimed at stopping teenagers from starting smoking in the first place. Telling them it’s really dangerous is only going to encourage them to start, and seriously, any 15 year old that is swayed by a warning that doing this will give him an 8% increase in the risk of developing a coronary thrombosis by the age of 40 should get out more. Now by the time you’re 30 all those picture of people having their voice boxes ripped out and their legs lopped off start to look a bit more threatening, esp with 15 years of gaspers under your belt. Guess it depends how much of a hypochondriac you are. And when you’re younger you don’t care about the smell because everyone you know / are likely to get off with is a smoker and smells of Old Coughs already. And let’s face it – go into a pub anywhere and you’ll end up smelling of fags regardless of your personal consumption.

Actually the worst non-smokers for the holier-than-thou “do you know how much this is damaging you/me/ my unborn child” routine are the ex-smokers. Ughh. Anyway I guess I must resign myself to joining their ranks. People who have never smoked tend to be remarkably tolerant of our filthy habit – it’s simply a non issue for them. I guess it’s the difference between someone who has been brought up within a religion and sees it as an integrated part of their life and the religious convert who feels a constant need to prosetalyze and proclaim their belief as a means of bolstering their faith and silencing cynics. I wonder if an addiction to fags is replaced by an addiction to smiting smokers - they do say that some people just have addictive personalities.

I’ve got to stop writing about this . . .

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