Monday, May 08, 2006

Smoking

Well, I've not blogged for a bit because I've been doing all sorts of things, like going to Barcelona, watching The Scotsman run The London Marathon in 4 hours 20 minutes, and celebrating my birthday.

I'm now 37. I still can't quite think of myself as 37, though. A lot of the jobs that I have had have been in industries where the staff are quite young (20s, I mean, I don't manage a branch of Claire's Accessories or anything), and people estimate my age as up to five years younger than it actually is.

I suppose it helps that I've never smoked, or used sunbeds. And, although only slightly overweight, I'm not thin, which can emphasise wrinkles. I was thinking about this, and it occurred to me that I've never really understood smoking.

I have had the odd cigarette, because it's a rite of passage as a teenager. It's part of the adult world, and I remember the frisson of daringly taking my first drag. Well, when you're a thirteen year old in 1980s Cornwall, it doesn't take much to get a frisson from anything. But I couldn't understand the attraction.

There's an obvious reason for taking alcohol and drugs; they alter your mood. Gambling is exciting, chocolate gives you a sugar rush. Nicotine doesn't. It doesn't even taste nice. So I left it at that. I tried a few times over the next six or seven years, because the sort of girls who smoked looked cooler and more self assured somehow, and the sort of girls who never smoked and would give people a lecture on their health were rather naff and prissy. The classier smokers had great paraphernalia too, like 1920s style holders and silver cigarette cases, but I never really took to it.

Occasionally I would smoke dope, but not very often, and there was more of an obvious benefit.

Today it's raining, and I know, when I get to work, that there will be huddle of people shivering outside, getting dripped on, because they want a cigarette break. Or rather they need a cigarette break, because nicotine is so addictive that the majority of people who smoke need to top up at regular intervals, starting in the morning.

It's strange, when you think about it. People take substances like alcohol and drugs, which can be addictive, but to be taking them in the morning, or at breakfast, or every couple of hours, you have to be in a small minority of hardcore addicts and alcoholics, heading for the liver unit, and very unlikely to be in a job. But there is an every day, legal substance, that is so addictive that you need regular top ups, and nobody is surprised.

I'm not against smoking, by the way. I'm glad I never really started, but I don't have a problem with being around smokers and I don't think the state should interfere with what people choose to do to their bodies. Free will and all that. In fact, I'd legalise most drugs. It's just something I've never really understood.

Must be off, haven't had a coffee yet this morning and I'm dying for one.

2 Comments:

Blogger Misty said...

I wondered where you'd gotten to!

Welcome back, and Happy Birthday :)

10:27 am  
Blogger TRT said...

HPBD!

10:39 am  

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