This is a post for smokers. If you don't smoke - leave. No, really. Get out. You're not wanted here. This is a smoking zone. If you're not puffing contentedly on a Marlboro, get out of my site (see what I did there?). I'm not writing this so that some mewling little scrotum with an immortality fantasy can sit there and say, 'oh, you're a stinker! You reek of cigarette smoke!' or 'Excuse me, could you not smoke while I'm trying to eat?' or 'please god, stop stubbing that cigarette out on my eyeball, I'm so, so sorry!'.
Actually, I made that last one up, but it's only a matter of time, believe me.
This is what I think. Lots of non-smokers don't go to pubs. The reason? 'Because of the smoke. It smells and it makes me cough and...' - shut the fuck up. Really. SHUT UP. Non-smokers don't go to the pub for one reason and one reason only - because it's full of charming, amusing, good-looking people quaffing alchohol, smoking tasty cigarettes, munching yummy pig-based snacks and, above all, HAVING A GOOD TIME. And that's what non-smokers don't like - having a good time. Whining, miserable, depressing, sour-faced fuckers, all.
Have I evidence to justify that? Hell, yes.
Southend-on-Sea, Essex. My home town. A non-smoking pub was opened several years back. Absolutely no smoking allowed. Don't even think about it. In fact, if you even have a stub from someone elses cigarette stuck to the sole of your shoe when you walk in, we'll cut your fingers off, paint the stubs with vinegar and slam them in a car door. That's how much we hate cigarettes.
The result? It closed down after about six weeks. No-one went in there. Why? Because who wants to spend an evening in the company of non-smokers? Nobody. Even non-smokers hate other non-smokers! Irritating, smug bastards, the lot of them.
So, on to my point. I wish to start a revolution in the field of smoking. It's not been done before, but I really think it could work. Here it is:
As a smoker, have you ever been in that situation where you light up a cigarette and you get a strange taste in your mouth? Something goes wrong with your withered, blackened tastebuds, an electrical impulse gets screwed up on its way to your shrinking oxygen-starved brain, and your cigarette doesn't taste like, well, a cigarette. It tastes like something else. This has happened to me a number of times. Once, whilst waiting for a train, I lit up a cigarette and, I swear to God, it tasted of cream cheese. Another time, I had the flavour of honey-roasted ham. It's happened a few times over the years, and it's always a pleasant surprise. After a while, it's almost like eating a bag of revels* - you're never sure what flavour it's going to be, but the anticipation gives you a buzz. You see, even after smoking them for years, cigarettes still occasionally pluck something new out of the bag. They're like a friend who on an impulse decides to buy you a present to say 'There you go. Just felt like letting you know how much I love you, man'. Cigarettes are our buddies and always will be.
So, this all got me thinking and I decided that if you can have cigarettes that taste like Polo's (for anyone not from the UK, insert the name of your favourite minty thing) why not have ones that taste like, say, a good steak dinner. Or maybe a peanut butter sandwich flavour cigarette? Not allowed to drink? Doctor forbidden it? On anti-alcoholism medication? 'Hey, shopkeeper, gimme a packet of those burbs will ya?'. Hey presto, bourbon and coke flavour ciggies. Mmmm-mmm. All the flavour, none of the random vomiting.
And of course, it would only be a matter of time before science, wonderful thing that it is, synthesised the taste of Angelina Jolie and incorporated it into the tobacco. Man, I'd be on 80 a day...
* Revels. For non-UK readers, these are a sweet confection consisting of a variety of different tasty centres all wrapped in chocolate. The Malteser is easy to guess because it's the size of a baby's head. Same thing with the Minstrel-thing due to its distinctive shape. The peanut, similarly, is easily identified. The confusion and sense of anticipation comes with the toffee, the orange cream and the coffee cream because they all look alike! Genius! But now, they've introduced a new Revel! Oh yes, each packet now has a new 'mystery' sweet inside. I looked at the packet and was instantly hooked. A new flavour? Wow, what could it be? Strawberry, perhaps? Or blackcurrant cream? Maybe a nice white chocolatey thing? Perhaps a gooey liquer of some sort, cointreau or amaretto or something?
It's a fucking raisin.