by Sean Thomas
non-smokers and pubs vs smokers and pubs.
|‘Ah-hea, ah-hea, ah-hea’, goes the whining little cretin on the table next me, looking up with lifted eyebrows to face his equally indignant partner, as she turns her nose up at the slop wrapped in bread that passes for a sandwich these days, apparently only now too disgusted to eat her egg mayonnaise roll, which passed for the finest cuisine just moments earlier. Their hushed conversation of enthusiastic lust for each other quells and their voices take on the unmistakable tone of righteousness, all before I’ve even managed to fully exhale the first drag of the nations new pet hate.
Oh yes, a cigarette, that little bit of evil ruining every ones’ day, shortening their lives and generally just being the bane of their clean living, lamp-shade buying, guru watching, tonic water drinking, existence. And do you know what? Good. Because I’m in a pub. Not a damned health spa, but a pub. A place where people go to drink away the fug of despair following them around in their 9-5, 5 portions of fruit and veg a day, jogging pit of futile misery that the every day grind of life has bestowed upon the poor buggers. And this fog of cancerous smoke engulfing the room is an integral part of this pursuit of transcendence of the self, of escape from worrying about whether or not your going to slowly choke to death over many years in the grips of emphysema, rotting away on your four years free credit sofa, nursing your no claims bonus and watching late night quiz shows as your wife balloons in weight, apparently on a diet that involves eating more than most small countries see in a year and demanding absolutely no sex whatsoever. And to go to the pub to find yuppie, post-decadence, gob-shites pretending to cough, like a gymnast dancing around a cripple, claiming the pub (the pub for fucks sake!) as another safe haven of abstinence in this pathetically cautious world… Well fuck 'em. I was going to blow the smoke politely in the opposite direction, but now I’m going to solidly chain smoke, exhaling directly at them until they, and their nasal excuse for voices, piss off out of it and go act healthy some other place. Like the fucking gym. Me and my smoke won't follow them there.