so smoking then

Many angles from which to approach this one. Let’s try all of them at once. If it’s good enough for the proverbial bishop and his proverbial acting friend, it’s good enough for me.

This morning, at just after 6am, I crossed the road to avoid the vapour trail from someone smoking fifty yards in front of me. The air is still and the June sunlight promises us that biodiversity will be just fine and that no-one will ever commit an act of violence in the name of religion. Short Strand is being levelled in favour of a giant shopping centre. But those vapour trails kill all of that. They attach themselves to trumpet-tongued freshness and make it smell like it hasn’t washed for a week. True, the smoking ban in pubs has meant that you can now smell the competition between budget perfume and the toilets, but that’s a battle I’m down with. Let’s televise it. Preferable to the forthcoming Seb Coe Knighthood Show next summer.

Nearer to the station another torch bearer in the fight to give the world lung cancer squashed his latest flame into the specially designed piece of metal on top of a public bin. Cool. A sudden change in barometric pressure will woosh those babies into the face of a passer by, or more likely lodge them with their ancestors in an architectural space from which the wind can’t escape. Fag ends don’t degrade and they cannot be recycled.

I grew up with it. I’m pleased at the social progress which means that no-one would any more think of asking if they could smoke in your house than they would think of asking to take a dump in your garden. I’m pleased that ashtrays are now historical artefacts. I don’t understand why it’s the one habit that heroin addicts and alcoholics are allowed to keep. It certainly costs as much financially as either smack or booze. Freedom? I don’t think so. Not the freedom to give other people disease. Maybe if someone invents a perspex bubble for smokers to wear over their heads. Oh but wait. That would mean that they would soon run out of air.