It’s two weeks now since I’ve had any. So far I’m okay, but I know it won’t stay that way. As a *forty-seven year old I am almost proud to say that I’ve smoked for 35 years: how old-school I am, how bad, in the Michael Jackson sense of the word. So I know what a brilliant, inventive and improvisational drug nicotine is. For instance I caught X, who is in the middle of a bad cold, smoking this week. Tsk, I said, nicely (trust me, I’m never doing to be a ‘quit-smoking’ evangelist git). That’s not going to help, is it, I said, still nicely. X replied, ‘Of course it will help: it makes me feel much better and also it will smoke the little bastards out.’
Even though as X says this X might know, deep down in the linings of X’s lungs, that this is (theoretically, possibly) not true, the much more likely fact is that it is true. This is the way nicotine makes you think. I have smoked in the midst of the Plague. Outside. In the rain. Not only do Marlboros make you feel better, knowing that you’re still alive enough to pull smoke into yourself and to exhale it back out into the solar system gives you the courage to go on. Smoking is key; nothing could be more worthless than a nicotine patch, I’d rather chew on Blu Tack.
* I have never once in my life typed this word without typing it this way first: fourty. Never mind, soon it will be fifty I am writing, God willing.
Zinedine Zidane calms his nerves just a few hours before he nuts Masseratti in the 2006 World Cup Final