Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Hands Across The Border

With the smoking ban about to come into effect in England, I thought I'd offer some thoughts on my experiences with the ban in the frozen north.

Most importantly, I'd like to say this to smokers - however bad you think it's going to be, it's actually going to be far, far worse than you could possibly have imagined.

I'm not talking about being driven outside for a cigarette, which isn't much of a hassle in the summer months, but rather the attitude of your non-smoking friends and family. It won't be enough for them that you've been cast into the street, while they enjoy their blissful immortality fantasies - they will expect you to be grateful for the experience.

Take it from me, quiet acceptance of your outcast-status will be insufficient. You will be expected to agree that the ban is a wonderful idea and that it has "made socialising so much more pleasant".

Thankfully for the disgruntled smoker, there are ways to deal with such conversational gambits. You should print off the following guide to dealing with the snotty and self-righteous, and be sure to follow it to the letter.

Flying Rodent's Guide To Surviving The Ban

"Don't you find that it's so much nicer coming home from the pub and not stinking like an ashtray?"

Easily dealt with and surprisingly common, all manner of non-smoking acquaintances will engage you with this classic. Simply nip to the gents, buy a pack of three and return toting the Pish Balloon.

Aim, throw, then stand back to admire the results. Simple, yet effective, this is a good starting point for beginners.

"I think this'll really help you to give up smoking. Did you know they're giving away nicotine patches on the NHS?"

Slightly more tricky, such a presumptuous statement must be dealt with politely, but firmly. Quickly squirt a stream of Lighter Fluid onto your friend's lap, then chase him around the pub with a match.

"I think that this is brilliant for the nation - imagine how much money the NHS will save now that we'll all live so much longer!"

Defcon Three on the Fuckwit Scale, this line shows disrespect both for you and your intelligence, and you should retaliate accordingly - drop to your knee and deliver a sharp Cock Punch to emphasise your strong disagreement.

"I don't think it goes far enough - I reckon the government should just ban cigarettes altogether, and force you all to quit."

Be warned - behind his chummy demeanour, your acquaintance has just metaphorically dropped his fly and taken a leak in your drink. Drastic measures are required - bring the argument to a decisive conclusion by belting out your finest Bruce Lee scream and unleashing the Flying Nunchaku Decap-Attack.

It's the least he deserves.

"The waste product of your cigarette is second-hand smoke, whereas the waste product of my beer is urine. If you don't blow smoke over me, I won't piss all over your desk."

Make no mistake - anyone deploying this argument is telling you that he has had sex not only with your mother, but also your grandparents and quite possibly your distant ancestors.

Only the most brazen and self-important prick would dare trot out this line - annihilate the motherfucker with Mula Ram's Cardiac Splatterfest. Few are the men who could look upon their still-beating hearts without recognising the error of their ways.

And remember - just because you've officially been declared fair game, a hanging pinata for the entertainment of arseholes, doesn't mean you have to take it lying down.

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