Rambling About Smoking
Has anyone noticed that there are more and more smokers around these days? Especially female smokers. This government long-term campaign thing really isn't working. Oh, I think there was a time when it really did, a coupla years ago. It was the time when cigarettes cost a mere two times as much as what they cost in Malaysia. Back then, people were quitting smoking in droves. Then, they increased the price further and banned it in most public places, and suddenly, everyone starts smoking. It's the fucking cool factor effect. See, I think that most people have an unconscious resentment of authority, hence anything that the authorities frown upon is instantly perceived as being cool.
I think that is so silly. I, for one, agree with everything that the authorities does and I think that authority figures are uber cool. And who can deny that anti-smoking posters are pure fucking genius? I mean, can you look at the (ahem) dashing guy below and not want to be him?
I think not.
Personally, I had my first puff way before I was ten years old. I remember it rather clearly, though I do not remember exactly how old I was. See, almost all the males in my family are smokers. There was this one time, at a family gathering, when my uncle was smoking while he read the papers. He left his cigarette on an ashtray and, since he was reading the papers and not watching us, we figured that it would be a good opportunity to taste the forbidden fruit. So it was that my cousins, my brother and I, afire with the curiosity of extreme youth, surreptitiously grabbed the smoking fag and took a puff each. And that is the story of how I started smoking.
Some of you may be shocked that we started so young, but seriously, it was for the best. After all, second-hand smoke is supposedly more harmful than first-hand smoke, right? I think that it's better to smoke than to passive smoke, especially given that the typical face of someone at one of our family gatherings looked something like this.
Ah, the things we did when we were younger, eh? Anyway, so I have been smoking on and off basically since I was 12. I started to smoke really regularly when I was about 16. Before that, I was just a social smoker. Yes, I do realise that was a redundant statement, because I think all smokers started off as social smokers. In fact, it was the Blinkymummy
who told me that last night. Then I said in jest that, you never know, some people might have actually made a conscious decision to start smoking just as others make a conscious decision to stop. So Joe Non-Smoker, who has never taken a single puff in his life, may wake up one day and go, "Ok, that's it. I've had it with being a non-smoker. From now on, I'm going to be a smoker and smoke my fucking lungs out."
Smoker goes out and buys a carton of cigarettes and just starts smoking two packs of cigarettes a day. He's pretty regimental about it, too. He smokes on the dot every hour or so, just so you know he means business. He even keeps a schedule of it.
However, I digress. I was talking about how I started smoking. You know how many people started smoking regularly because of peer pressure? Well, I didn't. I started smoking regularly because of family pressure. It's practically an unspoken rule that males in my family have to pick up smoking once they reach an uncertain age. Some of us start even before that. Frankly, I didn't really give a shit about my peers, because at that age, just about every guy around me was a fucking idiot. I did, however, give a shit about my cousins and my brother, so we just basically all started smoking together.
This habit has stayed with me for about ten years now, more if you count the years I spent being a social smoker, and I must say that it has been an extremely enjoyable habit. Because of smoking, my cousins, my brother and I maintained our bond throughout the years. Because of smoking, I met the One True Buddy of my army life, erm, let's call him CBB. Because of smoking, I got gold in IPPT in the army (that's the fitness test, in case you didn't know). Yes, almost all the smokers I knew in the army got silver and above for IPPT because they felt a pressure to excel.
Oh, wait, what was I talking about? Oh, yeah. Smoking is baaad. I do not really want to quit, but hey, if you haven't started, don't. I mean, sure, breathing like a dragon looks fucking cool. Sure it probably won't kill you for years to come. Sure, there are many social benefits. But hey, yellow teeth are so icky. And besides, the authorities tell you not to, so it must be wrong.
I'd say more, but I have to go take a smoke, so I'll leave you with this quote."Oh dark mother, once again I suckle at your smoky teat."
- Gunther, Friends