Wednesday, August 01, 2007

smoking - a cautionary tale

Last night I was dancing around in a flat in Bounds Green (no, I didn't know where it was either, until I got there, and I'm still not sure I could find it again) one minute, and mopping up blood the next.

I was at the residence of two delightful Swiss German gentlemen whose exquisite taste in interior decor was only rivalled by their gardening skills. The Fine Artist of the couple had just introduced me to the breathtaking camp grandeur of a tune called Paroles Paroles by tragic French 70s pop diva, Dalida, and I was waving my arms about appreciatively, making shapes in sillhouette in the window glass, as you do after putting away about a bottle and a half of cava, joined by the Artist and another of his guests. Only then did we notice that the Artist's better half was mysteriously absent.

Moments later he reappeared in the flat with a bloody nose, a cut lip, wonky glasses and a big graze over his eye. Most distressing of all was the fact that he'd knocked out half of his front teeth. Had he been beaten up? No. He had been running to the off licence to buy more cigarettes before they shut when he tripped and fell flat on his face.

The real tragedy of the situation was that my fellow guest had a brand new packet of cigarettes in her car all along, so our host's mission had been completely unnecessary in the first place.

While I refilled our host's wine glass, my fellow guest carefully placed a cigarette between his numb lips, and lit it for him. He inhaled gratefully, and the soothing effect of the nicotine enabled him to calm down enough to recount his sorry tale. His companion then proceeded to tell him how unattractive his face now looked, while my fellow guest started lecturing him about the dangers of bad British dentistry, and recommending her own dentist in Milan.

Non-smokers frequently talk about the strange death-wish that drives us smokers to continue fuelling our nicotine addiction. It seems we must now add running to the shop for more supplies to the list of perils that assail us on all sides.

Naturally we will all continue smoking anyway, out of sheer bloody mindedness



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