Wednesday, May 16, 2007


Lovely fags

I started smoking in 1988 when I started university. It was South Africa and the little bastards cost in real terms 45 pence for a pack of 30. What was I supposed to do, for God's sake?

Between 1988 and 1993 I'd smoke anything. If it was tubular and went between my lips, I'd set fire to it. (Just as well I wasn't gay, eh? Ah ha ha haaaa!) Mostly it was legit cigarettes or cigars, pre-packaged ones or roll-ups. Sometimes - depending on if I was trying to get it on with some high-class earnest type of girl - it was revolting herbal stuff. More often it was that other stuff what you get in them Amsterdam coffee shops. Crack wasn't big in South Africa then, so I never ventured down that alley, and my brain thanks me for that even today.

I quit the nicotinic bastards in 1997 and apart from the odd relapse over the next two years have been celibate ever since. It's the best thing I ever did: my skin is smoother, my lungs are more elastic, my arteries are less clogged with sludge, my hair stinks less, I'll probably live at least three years longer, etc., etc., etc., blah, blah, blah.

But I still crave the little creatures.

Yum yum. You buy Winstons in a crinkly red and white pack, like the American packages, not like the hard cardboard packs you get over here in Europe. You're lying on an acid-white beach in Cape Town on an early December day, six weeks of sensuous Christmas summer holidays ranging ahead of you like a highway. Above you, the sky is a bleached bowl of pure blue. At your elbow is a six-pack of Castle lager. In your hand is the paperback you've been wanting to read for months.

You fire up. The flame rustles around the paper and then catches the leaves. They crackle at an accelerating rate as you suck the first drag deep into your throat. You're not looking to burn your trachea - that can be fun, but you want Camels or Marlboros for that - but something as soft as Silk Cut won't do.

Then the nurse comes and tells you there's a new non-smoking policy in this hospital trust and you start arguing and before you know it there's been a fight and you've been given an injection but at least you got a sly fag in, ha ha haaaaaaaaaa...
What are your favourite smoking stories?

Well, there was that time I tried to smoke but it all ended with people stamping on me and flinging water at me the flames.

I don't have any proper stories of smoking, I'm a-big-ole-fraid. I tries a few times in my yoof but one of my best friends had had a collapsed lung in her early teens so we never really pursued it. That and the fact that it made me feel sick and sore-throated and fiery nostrilled.

I never could do pot for the same reason - I just wasn't cool enough to learn smoking. The few times I had it I ate it in a cake. That was cool but not as cool, I'm told.

I drank plenty but I never did any other drugs for various reasons that are hilariously mooted now. When my kids are grown and gone I mean to hit my crazy middle-years mentally surfing on something very groovy to make up for that. (I've got to learn the lingo first, obviously.)
I started smoking at the tender age of 12.

If I was out of my own cigs, I'd steal my parents, filterless Kools, and put a teeny, folded piece of toilet papet in the end as a filter. One little puff would produce a huge cloud of smoke on the exhale.

I quit smoking 5 years ago, but I sometimes have an urge to get a pack.

I swear I'm lighting up again in my 80's. I may even do heroine; I don't know.
I've tried quitting but never got anywhere. The last time i tried i asked a friend who had been smoke free for over ten years how she felt, she said "every day was like the first day". Fuck that thought i and havent tried to quit since
I quit in 1990 and went through sheer hell. However, I then met my wife who was a non-smoker and our relationship would never have developed if I'd started up again.

As for stories and substances - did you every try smoking dried banana pith? There were all these stories going round when I was a teenager saying that it was a high better that pot but completely legal. It was all hushed up because the goverment couldn't afford to ban bananas. So my mate Brian spent weeks trying out different ways to dry out the insides of banana skins. Tasted vile and only made us feel sick, not high.

Don't try this at home, kids.
I smoked on-and-off for years; I can take it or leave it. I quit for good, with no problems, in 2000, as the Spouse Sparrow is a vehement non-smoker.

I don't really miss it. The first drag off a cig was always the best, it's all downhill after that first hit.

I do miss smoking cloves. Late nights and early mornings in clubs, my youth completely wasted, metaphorically and otherwise, before I even had a legal I.D., smoking cloves the whole while.

Cloves are lovely. Sweet and harsh, like sugared incense, with the taste lingering on your lips like honey, transferring over to whatever boy I happened to be kissing at the moment, and counteracting nicely with the sting of the lines I had just done, while at the same time numbing my bottom lip that had just been teasingly bitten by said boy....

Damn. I miss cloves. But I think I miss being young even more.
My smoking story:
    So I got these new worsted wool dress slacks, and was just sitting there on the beach, trying to get a farmer's tan. I was using a small magnifying glass to examine the local flora when I nodded off, leaving the lens lying in my lap.
   It was only after a few minutes of direct sunlight that I found myself smoking...again.

"I tried to smoke but it all ended with people stamping on me and flinging water at me the flames."
Sam, you are way faster than I.
I too started smoking when I was 12, and 25 years later I have no intention of giving up. Especially not now that cunt Blair wants me to. I'll have the last laugh, even if it's a wheezing blood-flecked phlegmy one.
I started smoking when I became a man aged 7 everyone said it made me look older and cooler, I lost my virginity soon after, fuck I hate priests and their lying but skillful tongues.
SaM: perhaps you should start before your kids have gone; they might be able to help you with the lingo as well as the gear.

JG: taking up lesbianism in your eighties? Go for it, girl!

Manuel: it took me about three years till I stopped craving them badly.

Kim: did your friend consider peeling them first? Thanks for the tip, by the way.

FS: cloves? That's just weird. Think I'll try it.

SafeT: don't worry about coming second, it was still a good one.

HB: our next Prime Minister seems like quite a free-spirited, fun-loving hippy type, so you may be all right.
Mr Knudsen: you're in luck - I've found your virginity. Email me with your details and I'll post it to you. It's a bit dried-out, mind.
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