by Robert Davison
Bahhh – the pleasure police are out to get us for everything these days. Call it the Calvinist / Protestant value system our modern day western cultures are ultimately derived from, but all that’s really expected of us is that we pinch pennies, subsist on lettuce and rain water, cultivate an appropriate glare of righteous disapproval and do our level best to never, ever enjoy ourselves. Never mind the loathsomely puritan obsession western society has with outlawing, demonising and severely punishing the users of any substance known to dispense any kind of gratification. Even the simple pleasure of placing an ignited stick of tobacco in our mouths and inhaling deeply of the rich blend of toxic chemicals, carcinogens and nicotine it joyfully emits, is frowned down upon as if it was the favoured past time of the devil himself.
Hey, you’re still allowed to do it – governments derive a lot of revenue out of those expensive cigarette tariffs – but only in the designated areas. Which is pretty much nowhere apart from locked inside your own cupboard while sitting underneath a ventilation system. The simple satisfaction of sitting in a pub or some other den of iniquity while partaking of your favoured beverage and puffing away contentedly on a death dart is an activity now consigned to the dustbin of antiquity. They’ll tell you anything to get you to stub your tab out. Lung cancer and passive second hand smoke and heart disease and whatnot. Well let me ask you this? Whoever heard of an Aztec warrior with lung cancer? Precisely. They even try to tell you that smoking is not cool. Well, here at The Grand Inquisitor we’re not having it. We’re here to tell you that smoking is, in fact, very cool indeed. Not only that, but we have irrefutable evidence to support our case, as you dear reader, are about to discover.
In order to ensure that our study is as non-biased as possible, we have taken a close look at two subjects. One of them is a smoker, and one of them is a non-smoker. Let’s call them Exhibit A and Exhibit B. Here’s what we discovered:
EXHIBIT A: THE SMOKER
This man is smoking a cigarette. He is a smoker. He radiates an inner confidence that speaks to every onlooker: “I am a man of affairs and I am taking care of my business”. He is surveying his surrounding environment with a steady and astute gaze. He is relaxed and collected in demeanor. His taste is impeccable, and he’s dressed elegantly without being ostentatious about it. He is appealing to members of the opposite sex. In fact, his problem is not so much attracting female companionship, as it is getting rid of womanly attentions when he has important affairs to attend to. As he inhales the heady concoction of burning dried vegetable matter and lethal carcinogens, coating his lungs with a reassuring sheen of sticky black tar, he reflects deeply on the nature of the world and of his harmonious position within it. He has nothing to fear and nobody to envy. He is a smoker and he is smoking. While he doesn’t have to draw any attention to himself, he knows that he looks damn cool when he’s doing it.
EXHIBIT B: THE NON-SMOKER
This man is not smoking a cigarette. He is not a smoker. Everything about this man speaks of malaise and social incompetence. His body language is sending a very clear message to the world. It’s saying “Please don’t laugh at me or beat me up.” He gazes out at the world with a forlorn resignation. He’s a jerk, and everybody instantly understands this. He is devoid of taste, and selects his clothing inappropriately. His choice of apparel stands little chance of attracting members of the opposite sex. It is unclear if he will ever know what it is to enjoy the pleasure of a woman. Even though he has elected not to smoke for reasons of health, he doesn’t present any particular image of radiant vigor, suggesting that the health benefits of not smoking have been drastically over estimated. His disturbing lack of a definable chin speaks of a deficiency in character. He has been brow-beaten into not smoking by a puritanical culture that pretends to be looking out for his best interests, while in fact doing its level best to demean and weaken him. He is not a bad man. Merely a pitiable one. He is a non-smoker, and nothing he could possibly do could ever be cool.
So there you have it. The evidence presented by the case exhibits is not only convincing, but indisputable. We’ve been lied to. Smoking is, in fact, very cool indeed. So next time you’re out and about, spark up a dart. Enjoy the refreshing feel of the burning tobacco rushing through your lungs. Delight as the smoke tickles your throat with a phlegmy tentacle of death. Exhale a lovely, billowing cloud of smoke into the air like a fat, happy magical dragon. You know it’s good for you really. It’s not giving a good goddamn that counts.