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

This entry was posted in From Working-Class Hero to Absolute Disgrace (A Memoir and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

42 Responses to Nicotine

  1. Pel says:

    Wow! Well done, keep going! I gave up some years ago now. I loved smoking and still miss it sometimes, especially when I’m being creative. I always have one or two on my birthday, not long now, the only consolation for being another year older. x

  2. judith says:

    Hello Stephen, I am re-reading “And She Laughed No More” to give me heart for the last few matches of the season, one day in the magic future our beloved team may make us secure right at the beginning of the season instead of nail biting right to the end, what do you think? I am trying to get your books into our local SCFC shop (Newcastle-under-Lyme) they are so good, and I really enjoy your novels too. Best wishes Judith

  3. Stephen Foster says:

    I like Nessa in Gavin and Stacey (being totally up to date with popular culture I’m just watching it for the first time on BBC 3 or wherever it is). O, Nessa smokes non-stop but treats herself to a cigar at Christmas and a pipe at Easter : )

  4. Stephen Foster says:

    Hi Judith, welcome to th blog and good luck with your promotion of titles by S Foster in the local shops \o/

    We should register a win today really, shouldn’t we … I mean if Wolves can beat them, anyone can … but the absentee list doesn’t look to promising and urges feelings of caution. I won’t be putting my £2.50 weekend bet on it anyway : )

  5. judith says:

    Hello again, this is my first attempt at a blog, I was inspired by my daughter Jane who wrote to you from Canada, she too is a devoted Stoke fan married to a dedicated Liverpool fan so the two don’t really clash!!! except of course twice a season. I don’t know about today’s match, I am never entirely sure until the result is in, I think being a fan for 64 years has given me this un-certainty :-))), my Dad used to take me to the Victoria ground at a very early age which is why is is bred in the bone I suppose. I am half way through “And Along Came Dylan” it is so good, I have to admit I am a cat person, don’t recoil in horror please, however I can appreciate a good dog story and having a cousin who is devoted to Springers and is in the same position as you, a rescue dog and an un tried puppy I know exactly what you are writing about.

    Fingers crossed it will be at least a Pulis binary score of a draw, I just love that description and it has entered into my vocabulary. Bye from Judith

  6. calvininjax says:

    I hope you don’t start wafting the air with your hands when you read my tobacco-inspired comments. 😉

  7. Stephen Foster says:

    God no, I’m sniffing your comment in the hope of a crafty passive whiff of Winston even as I typo : )

  8. OS says:

    Welcome to the blog, Judith. OS is short for OldStokie. 😉

    Calvin is my hero. I read his blog every day and his words of wisdom re smokers makes me feel good about myself. I’ll be seven oh next year and have smoked since old Uncle Tommy Lion Tamer Wooldridge sat me on his knee and gave me my first ciggy when I was seven years old: a Woody Woodbine. A real fag.

    And now I see on the tv that they’re trying to stop me smoking in my own car. Are there no lengths these anti-smokers will go to curb my freedoms? I was brought up in a family where everyone smoked. My bro is seventy two and still going strong, and, like me, he’s smoked all his life.

    My mate from when we were kids never smoked and neither did anyone in his family. He played football until he was fifty and then died of a heart attack when he was fifty six. I suppose I’m to blame for his death. We spent a lot of time together so it was passive smoking wot did it.

    I have my own theories about smoking. Yes, of course smoking isn’t good for your health, but one positive about smoking is that it relieves the biggest killer of all: stress. In my opinion, the positives outweigh the negatives. And I also think that the propensity to dying from cancer is determined more by your genes than the actual tobacco you smoke.

    Two things.

    1) I wonder if these antis would have dared tell Winston to stop smoking?

    We all know the answer to that.

    2) I loved it when one of the old vets of WW1 was interviewed on his 100th birthday and was asked what he thought was the secret of long life. Quick as a whistle, he said, luck, plenty of sex and twenty fags a day.

    I could have hugged the old warrior. 🙂

    Why are you stopping smoking, winger, you bloody MCG wimp? I hope Trezza isn’t joining you.


  9. OS says:

    BTW … we won. Pulis is our king. 🙂


  10. OS says:

    PPS: I always spell fourty as ‘fourty’. I get p****d off when ‘MS Word’ keeps telling me that it should be ‘forty’. How can four become for? Grrrr. 😦


  11. makemeadiva says:

    Fivety. That’s pretty old.

    My Great Uncle worked for BAT as a tobacco buyer. You could sue him but he’s dead.

    I tried to take up smoking, I tried quite hard actually:

    Lambert & Butler (my nan’s)
    More’s – the long brown things (my mum’s)
    Gauloise – on a French exchange
    Marlboro – hanging with the village toughs
    Those menthol ones that make you sterile…

    None of them agreed with me. I am a hopeless case.

  12. Stephen Foster says:

    It’s an experiment.

    I note I have rarely seen you dragging your arse round a squash court either you rancorous old fart.

    I look forward to T speaking for herself on this matter : )

  13. Stephen Foster says:

    I can totally see that Mr Nic-o-teen is totally dealing with your stress in this post OS : )

  14. Stephen Foster says:

    You have messed up there, Diva. You have to start on ten Players No 6 tipped. Otherwise you’ll never get going.

  15. makemeadiva says:

    You remind me. I tried roll-ups. I couldn’t manage those either. I am just a non-smoking anorak with a B for effort.

    No wonder I took up with Class As.

  16. Stephen Foster says:

    Though you failed with the Craven As : )

  17. makemeadiva says:

    Cheap & Nasty with tacky packaging. If I could smoke a Delegator then I would.

  18. chiffs says:

    Sovereign. Now there was a fag. Players No 10 was an everyday choke for the schoolgirl, No 6 for high days and holidays.
    Newsflash: I will be giving up the fags any day now (like, 1st April)

  19. Stephen Foster says:

    Sovereign: sweepings up from behind the back of the B&H machine; why am I not surprised?

    * Cough, cough *

  20. chiffs says:

    “sweepings up from behind the back of the B&H machine; why am I not surprised?”
    Thus speaks the working class hero from Stoke.
    B&H? Poncey fag, that. Nothing wrong with a Sov. *cough* *splutter* *carp*

  21. judith says:

    They must be safe now, 39 points, is it relaxing with a Mayfair White time now?

  22. judith says:

    Thank you for the welcome, I don’t really know how to blog. Are you the Old Stokie who is in the books? Judith

  23. OS says:

    Indeed I am, Judith. A hero in my own right without the international recognition winger has landed me with. I didn’t need that. But I’ll forgive him for that error because I love him as if he were my own son. My own son loves him like a brother, too. And then there’s Mr Pink and Eli Grumpy. Now I have four boys. We is family in a mafia like way. And it becomes extended because there are the children of and the spouses of who all come under the umbrella of yours truly, the Capo di tutti capo – Godot style. Sometimes it’s hard being boss of bosses. So much responsibilty. It’s a good job I smoke. 😉

    NB: Your blogging is fine.

    Capstan Full Strength. Now there’s a proper fag.

    Cough cough.


  24. OS says:

    I always do this: leave summat out. Or somebody. There’s five boys now. I forgot Mad Philip, the brawler of Naaarwich. Now he’s a guy who is really worthy of international recognition. There isn’t a pub or a church in Naaaarwich that he hasn’t been banned from at some time. He smokes rolleys.


  25. OS says:

    Anger is good if it’s well directed. ;-0

  26. OS says:



  27. OS says:

    Diva…at least you tried. Take an imaginary nicotine point.


    NB: I ‘m still fuming (haha) that I didn’t put my house on Redballoons. 😦

  28. Stephen Foster says:

    If you keep spamming my thread I’ll send him round with a packet of Diva’s Nan’s Lambert & Butlers to sort you out.

  29. chiffs says:

    Roses! *swoon*

    The Wizard of OS

  30. OS says:

    Ahhh…Spam. Now there’s another thing close to my hart. Four rounds of Spam and a rolley is all I need to live a completely happy life. That and Sigur Ros.

  31. Stephen Foster says:

    I can do you spam fritters with the Aunt Bessie’s oven chips when you come over if you like – I’ve got a tin in the pantry, in case of nuclear war.

  32. judith says:

    What happens to this tranche of messages, does it just go on or does someone change it? I am trying to learn the ways of the blog. Wasn’t that Fuller goal a gem? Judith

  33. Stephen Foster says:

    The messages stay here forever, Judith. I could delete them all actually, I have the power, but that would seem a shame.

    People start responding to newer posts (or not, if they’re very boring : ) and the whole thing keeps moving with time.

    The goal was magic; Fuller really is an amazing player, isn’t he. If he didn’t blow so hot and cold we’d have lost him a while back, I think, in a way we should be grateful for his flat spots. Nice that he scored from the same position that he was ‘flattening’ Griffin last year too 🙂

  34. Daftburger says:

    Once a smoker always a smoker. The stress of trying to give up and the following chest problems, colds. flu isn’t worth the effort.

    I read somewhere that smoking kills 70% of germs that you may carry in the body.

  35. judith says:

    OS thank you for the description of your family, it is nice that they live so close, my two flew the nest to the Colonies, one to Australia and one to Canada. Thanks to my magic PC I can keep in regular touch and see them on video

  36. judith says:

    Thanks Stephen, I will get to know the protocol eventually.

    I am all relaxed about the team now, I don’t think there is much danger of them slipping too far now, fingers crossed.


  37. Stephen Foster says:

    Helpful stuff, burger 🙂

    I suspect you might be right but we’ll see. I think I am on day 16 now. I find that so long as I have a beer every time I fancy a cigarette I’m fine 😉

  38. Stephen Foster says:

    If we go down I will eat OS’s pants.

  39. OS says:

    >If we go down I will eat OS’s pants.

    I don’t wear pants. I wear boxers.

    Judith, it’s good to talk…pc style. The world really is our oyster now wherever they may be. I’m still a bit old fashioned. I just shout over the wall and “they come scuttling round here for their biscuits and toffees. Most of it is cupbord love. 😉

    *they…the bloody grandkids.

    Hey ho, they’re here. 😦


  40. OS says:

    Oi, Daftbugger. Good find. I’ll have a better look at that when I’ve got rid.

    Captain OS.

  41. judith says:

    That sounds lovely to have the family so close, it was like that when I was growing up, I was born in Cliffe Vale and most of my aunts and uncles were still living at home, talk about crowded, but it was great.


Comments are closed.