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This is a question Your first cigarette

To be honest, inhaling the fumes from some burning leaves isn't the most natural thing in the world.
Tell us about the first time. Where, when, and who were you trying to show off to?

Or, if you've never tried a cigarette, tell us something interesting on the subject of smoking.

Personally, I've never ever smoked a cigarette. Lung damage from pneumonia put me off.

(, Wed 19 Mar 2008, 18:49)
Pages: Latest, 17, 16, 15, 14, 13, ... 1

This question is now closed.

Ending The Smoking Debate
If, like me, you're a staunch non-smoker tired of hearing the (unprompted) rantings of smokers over their right to smoke, do what I do -- repeat their own arguements back to them, but replacing the words "smoke" and "smoking" with "wank" or "wanking". As in...

"It's my legal right to wank in public."
"The government shouldn't be able to tell us where or when we can wank."
"I should be allowed to wank on the bus/train/plane."
"If non-wankers don't like me wanking they can stand somewhere else."
"Who says wanking sections in restaurants put people off their food?"

Now, inevitably these people will point out, probably in a self-righteous or disgusted fashion, that smoking and wanking are two entirely different things. In response you can tell them you agree, because --

1. No-one ever died from second-hand wanking.
2. Wanking never gave anyone a terminal disease.
3. Except in extreme cases, and every human being between the ages of roughly 12 - 16, wanking isn't addictive.
4. Millions of pounds of our tax money doesn't get wasted each year helping adults that should know better to quit their wanking habit.
5. Very few people wank around their children and claim it doesn't do them any harm.
6. The government can't levy a tax on wanking.
7. When enjoyed responsibly, wanking doesn't make your hair, clothes or breath smell, and any stains are machine-washable.

Now, I actually don't have anything particularly against smokers, but it's always amusing watching the more self-righteous amongst them struggling with the undeniable fact that my filthy habit is no worse than theirs when you get down to brass tacks...
(, Sun 23 Mar 2008, 19:56, 10 replies)
Parents thought I was chasing the dragon...
When I was 14 my folks found small sheets of tinfoil and matches in my bedroom and instantly leapt to the conclusion that I'd taken up smoking skag like Zammo- they sat me down in grave silence and asked if there was anything I wanted to tell them- well, being a naughty kind of child I could think of ten things to which they would be referring but played mute innocence- until they said "We know you've been using matches and foil. Care to tell us what for?".

Oh shit.

The truth was, I found that if you scraped the heads off the matches into a little pile (about 5-10 was best) and then wrapped them up in tinfoil, then hit the pile with a hammer you actually got a pretty decent sounding bang.

I explained this, ashamed, as their eyes got wider and relief cut in that I wasn't on class A drugs after all. A lengthy silence ensued and then the biggest anti-climax of all time.

"Well- stop it".
(, Mon 24 Mar 2008, 15:31, 27 replies)
You’ve touched a nerve I’m afraid…

I am borderline OCD when it comes to smoking…or rather NOT smoking. Now don’t get me wrong, I am not one of those ‘Urrgh!!! Put that out, it’s a disgusting habit’ mouthy wankers that gets on the funbags of people who are perfectly capable of making their own choices in life. Nah, that’s not me.

Besides, I have too many friends and family who smoke like troopers; yet I happen to love them so I don’t really want to piss over their collective chips. I am in a band so have regularly been in pubs and clubs my whole life. Also, I am way too sociable a person so I understand that if you start lecturing people of the ‘Evils of the demon tobacco’ etc you just make yourself look like a proper twat.

So I put up with it…but I hate it. Smoking is just something that I don’t do…and will NEVER do…here’s a couple of reasons why.

First…of course I don’t like the smell etc – the way it sticks to clothes and walls, it gets in my throat makes me gag etc., but by far and away the worst things about it for me are the memories that are triggered in my mind when I see and smell it.

At the merest whiff of cigarette smoke I am metaphorically transported to the back seat of a shit heap old Hillman Avenger in the 70’s. I am about 5 years old and I am surrounded by the foul cloud given off by my chain-smoking parents. I was always told on every journey that I wasn’t allowed to open the window because the car would get too cold. I was regularly as sick as a dog with somebody's fingers down it's throat. That’s where my revulsion begins.

Aged about 7 I was told by my parents that I had to learn to play the trumpet. I had no choice in the matter – they had spunked about £40 that they couldn’t afford on a trumpet for my brother who had proceeded to try it for 5 minutes before getting bored with it. They weren’t going to waste the money, so they chucked it at me and said ‘Learn that fucker!’.

I actually enjoyed it and was quite good (taught myself the Star Wars theme and everything) I ended up in the Coventry Youth Orchestra and would take lessons with two other kids every week from a man called Mr Baird.

Mr Baird was a giant of a man in size and personality. He was probably only 6’2”ish, but to a little Pooflake he seemed like Hagrid from Harry Potter. Barrel-chested and with a cavernous, booming voice that would put Brian Blessed to shame, he taught with an enthusiasm and patience that you get from only the finest teachers.

So it was a bit of a surprise to see this gargantuan fellow come into school one day looking like a drained shadow. He sat before the three of us and broke down in tears. As he sobbed, he informed his three shocked students that he had just that minute returned from the hospital where he had watched his best mate die. He described how he stood helpless as his friend tried to cough his own intestines out through his mouth and went into full gruesome detail about the poor bloke’s struggling last moments alive. His sorrow then turned to anger as he pointed to each one of us and bellowed “IF I EVER CATCH ANY OF YOU SMOKING I’LL…..I’LL…..please kids….just promise me you will NEVER smoke”

Terrified, and as a tear ran down my cheek, the three of us shook our heads in silence.

(Why he came straight back into school after that experience I have no idea, but Mr Baird was a professional so he probably felt that life must go on and all that. He’s a braver man than I).

Of course, the hardest time to ‘resist’ smoking is when you’re a kid and everybody around you starts to experiment with it. Fortunately, by this time I was already a devout non smoker and after a couple of simple refusals, people simply stopped asking me if I wanted a cigarette. Even kids can tell if you're serious when you say ‘No thanks’. Peer-pressure wise; I reckon I got through that period in my life pretty easy.

I lost both my Nans to smoking-related cancer. I was informed gently and thankfully spared the details. Mum & Dad though, like I had mentioned before, continued to smoke like chimneys on a veritable sponsored smokathon. 60 or so Dunhills a day was a staple of my mum’s life – my dad rolled his own. But smoking hit my mum eventually…pretty hard.

Firstly, she developed emphysema which I believe is relatively par for the course for heavy smokers…I remember her face as she told me on return from the doctors once how she had taken one of those 'lung capacity' tests and it had hardly registered a reading.

One of my most vivid childhood memories was bolting to the stairs in our house (to run up them using my hands as well as my feet of course) to be confronted by my coughing, spluttering, wheezing mum. She had needed to stop to catch her breath halfway up. After half a fucking flight of stairs! Again, at that point something triggered in my tiny mind that smoking is not all ‘fun fun fun’. I cried as I started to come to terms with my mum’s mortality, however, mum was too knackered to even come and give me a cuddle.

She later developed cancer. She was lucky. She beat it. She’s never actually told us where the cancer was because I think it was in an embarrassing place and that’s what she’s like. Somewhere during her treatment she had the inevitable conversation with the doctor that goes something like:

“You have to stop smoking, you stupid mare. Now. From this moment on. None of this ‘I’ll cut down’ namby-pampby bollocks. Just stop. Straight away. No excuses. Never have another cigarette. If you do, you are going to die VERY soon.”

I’m proud to say that she listened. She stopped. With willpower alone and from that moment on she has never smoked again. Of course, she’s still a physical wreck, but she’s stayed alive long enough to go mental. Fair play to her.

My dad quit too to support her. However he only lasted a couple of months before going back on the baccy. He still smokes heavily, but also drinks enough cheap scotch to sink the Ark Royal. Somehow, he is the longest ever surviving Male Pooflake in history. I imagine his insides must be like ‘The Thing’ from Fantastic 4. His coughing fits are the stuff of legend though – when he starts hacking you know you’re good for about 5 minutes of constant spluttercack and rattling, ear shattering snorts etc as he attempts to dislodge his lungs again.

When it came to actually being an adult and trying a spliff I was in more fear of the smoking than the draw. It put me off the whole experience…so it’s been hashcakes all the way with me!

I don’t even like to touch cigarettes or hold them for people – even in a packet! I don’t like songs with smoking references in them – For fuck’s sake I don’t even like typing the word! This whole QOTW makes me shudder. I know it’s completely irrational so that's why I compare it to an OCD…a phobia...and as phobias go I suppose it’s not too bad a one to have…and with the exception of this post I normally keep pretty quiet about it.

So no, I’ve never had a cigarette. I don’t mind people who smoke but it doesn’t stop me feeling a bit smug when I get the constant stream of ‘Oh I wish I had never started’ speeches that I get from friends etc., as I watch them suffer physically and financially because of smoking.

Besides, I have plenty of my own vices so I’ll never be hypocritical enough to preach at anybody else’s.

Apologies for length...but this has actually been quite therapeutic for me. Thanks if you made it this far without a fag-break!
(, Thu 20 Mar 2008, 12:28, 9 replies)
allegory alert
It was a typical day in the forest. Barry Squirrel was scratching his nuts; Edward Badger was humping a rabbit corpse, and Gunter Magpie was re-ordering his collection of milk-bottle tops and stolen jewellery. Birdsong and the lazy hum of bees filled the cool, green shadows.

"Christ, this is boring!" said Edward, disengaging from the dead bunny. "There must be something better than this. Why don't we have a competition to see who can come up with a better way to pass the time. The prize will be a bag of whatever you like most."

Barry imagined a bag of crisp acorns. Gunter imagined a load of necklaces and coins. Edward imagined a bag of hallucinogenic mushrooms. And so they set to work.

After a week, Barry presented his invention: a rudimentary see-saw with a bowl of acorns at each end. This was universally derided as a piece of shit by his friends. Gunter had created a kind of assault course with a variety of baffling obstacles for them to leap through. But being a bird, he was able to cheat and was mocked for his pathetic attempts to win. Edward Badger, however, had created something entirely new.

"It's a piece of paper filled with dry leaves," he said. "You set fire to one end and breathe in the smoke."

"Why would you do that?," asked Barry. "We all know that breathing smoke will kill you. Look at Henry Cow or Brian Ferret - they both inhaled smoke during the barn fire and they died. I think you had sex with Brian's corpse, Edward."

"Ah, but it's fun," said Edward. "It will make us look cool. We can make everyone else do it and we'll be the kings of the forest. Here - try it for yourselves."

So the three friends all put the burning leaves in their mouths and they all agreed that the experience was very unpleasant. Barry coughed and then vomited. Edward just vomited, and Gunter croaked for days afterwards. It was broadly considered to be a piss-poor invention. "But we'll get used to it!" urged Edward.

"Why would we want to? I wouldn't like to get used to cutting my paws or banging my head against a tree," said Barry. "If you don't like something, there's no reason to try it again."

"But what if everyone else is doing it?" asked Edward. "And what if we put a tiny amount of magic mushrooms in each one so the other animals won't be able to stop themselves? And what if we advertise our invention throughout the forest? We'll pay Harvey the Owl to smoke some - and everyone respects his opinion."

"Won't we all die?" asked Gunter. "Inhaling burning leaves for a while can't be good for you. And the magic mushrooms will probably cause long-term cerebral damage."

Well, there's was no arguing with Edward and he went into full-scale production. Soon, all the animals in the forest were inhaling burning leaves. Everywhere one looked, there were animals with tubes of burning leaves sticking out of their mouths. A few wildfires destroyed parts of the forest, and a number of animals dropped dead, but it was such a popular craze that Edward did indeed become very successful. Nobody seemed to mind that everybody smelled of burned leaves and that the once peaceful forest was full of coughing, phlegm and discarded butts.

Eventually, all of the animals died from the effects of inhaling smoke, including Edward. Even those animals who'd never smoked were affected by the smoke from others. As Barry Squirrel gasped his last on a ventilator, he suddenly had a great idea - which he passed on to his squirrel kin gathered around the hospital bed:

"Wouldn't it be great if we could ferment acorns and produce an alcoholic beverage? We could all drink it until our internal organs rot, and we'd have a great time as we all drank too much and got into fights at the weekend. We'd leave our partners, fall out of trees, vomit and piss away our lives because it would be cool and everyone else would be doing it, too!"

Barry's young son Hermann looked sadly at his father. "What a fucking dickhead!" he concluded.
(, Tue 25 Mar 2008, 11:11, 8 replies)
Smoke, pills and passion thwarted
I was very religious until I was 23. That meant no smoking, no drinking, no girlfriend (when I was kissed on the cheek by a girl at university I prayed for about an hour afterwards), but worst of all, no bacon. Imagine that.

When I stopped being religious I knew that my life would be turned upside down if I went on a long-overdue binge of booze, sex and drugs. So, beyond developing a taste for beer, and meeting a lovely girlfriend, I haven't really experimented. So, to this day, I haven't smoked cigarettes and haven't tried drugs.

Apart from one day.

My girlfriend and I were at a beach party. The sun had set, but the glow from the moon and the lights on the ferry pier illuminated the beach with a soft, blue light. We were far enough away from the main stage for the distant thump of bass to blend nicely with the waves lapping on the beach, with the rustling of palm trees singing a whispering song.

I was laying on the sand, chatting with a group of Germans I had met on the ferry. The beers were kicking in beautifully, and all of us in our little group were wrapped in the perfect feeling of contentment that bathes you at that stage in the evening. As we started heading our separate ways one of the Germans offered me a cigarette, and, glowing with bonhomie and a taste for something new, I took it from him, placed it between my lips and pulled the smoke slowly past my throat, trickling it slowly backwards to prevent myself from spluttering. It was a little harsh perhaps, but the dark hit perfectly complemented the beer.

Later my girlfriend and I were standing by the shoreline, watching revellers splashing in the sea by moonlight. At that perfect moment I leaned in to kiss her, but alas, she recoiled at my smoky breath. Frustrated, I stared moodily at the palm trees.

As I was staring, a young man skipped past, beaming from ear to ear. He reminded me of Puck from a Midsummer Night's Dream. He met my eye, broadened his grin and traipsed towards me.

"Hey there! You don't look terribly chirpy! Have one of these," he says, dropping a white pill into my hand. He skipped away before I could respond.

I was at a crossroads. Should I consume a pill from a strange man at a party? Am I ready for this? What direction will my life take if I put it into my mouth?

After wrestling with my conscience for a second or two, I popped it onto my tongue, not knowing what to expect.

It was a Mentos. I got my kiss in the end.
(, Mon 24 Mar 2008, 4:58, Reply)
Smoking Nazis
I fucking HATE the smoking police. You know the type, the kind of people who are 'trying to make the world a better place' by pissing you off about your smoking habit.

"Don't you know how bad it is for your health?" Well, yes actually, I do. And I choose to do it anyway. Do I stand over you when you're having a drink, yelling, "Don't you know what that's doing to your liver?" or sneak up behind you while you're starting your car, and scream, "Don't you know what you're doing to the environment?" No, I fucking don't, so what gives you the right to lecture ME about MY health, you cunt?

"But it's antisocial." No it fucking isn't. I have met two (now ex-) girlfriends and numerous one-night stands while outside the pub having a smoke. I've chatted to strangers, told jokes, and have even had a conversation with a random Frenchman about wine (I advised him he should try Buckfast, seeing as he'd never heard of it). Also, I work in a place where most of the workplace smoke, and it's actually antisocial not to smoke, seeing as you're sat in the canteen yourself like a lonely twat.

"It could kill you" Well so could crossing the road, and I'm not going to stop doing that. Many things in life that are enjoyable could kill you. Extreme sports, for one, but I don't see you harrassing sky divers or rock climbers. Prick.

"I used to smoke, and..." What, like that somehow gives you the right to lecture me on my habits? I'll give up when I choose to, just like you did. Now fuck off.

The health education boards adverts are the worst - they seem determined to portray us smokers as evil, baby-killing, disease carriers who will burn down your house if you're not careful. And, before anyone accuses me of being insensitive, I do know someone who died of lung cancer - my Gran, in fact. It wasn't pretty, but I've also known someone who died in a road traffic accident, and I'm not about to stop driving a car.

At the end of the day, I enjoy smoking - it relaxes me, it tastes amazing after your first pint or a big meal, even better after sex. It can be a tool for contemplation, it can be a morning pick-me-up, a piece offering after a big fight, an excuse for a natter, and many more things beside.

So it may smell, and yes, it may even kill you, but nothing's perfect. I'll just come out and say it - I love smoking!

This post was paid for by the American Tobacco Association
(, Thu 20 Mar 2008, 2:41, 19 replies)
My first, and my last
I remember it well – I was in my late teens, and the relationship started, as many do, when I was drunk. She looked so alluring – long, slender, and blonde. How could I resist? The truth was I couldn’t. I was recently out of a serious relationship, and was feeling a bit battered and bruised by the experience. When she pressed herself to my lips, the experience was dizzying, electrifying… it took my breath away.

This was a new experience, and one that I quite liked. It made me feel liberated, somehow; carefree. More importantly, it took my mind off things, and I was grateful to her for that.

It was not to last. Whether it was because my head was somewhere else, I don’t know, but I awoke one afternoon to find that I wasn’t thinking about her anymore, and took it to be a sign that it was time to move on. For the next 13 or so years, I forgot all about my short but tender experience. That is, until my marriage crumbled around me, and I became a pale, nervous shadow of my former self. For two months I could barely face anyone, until one day resolve took hold of me, gave me a much needed slap and forced me to have a good look at myself. I straightened myself out, and took a friend up on his offer of “anytime you fancy a pint, just ring”.

So at 5:30pm, on a Tuesday evening, I did just that. Conceding the point that 5:30 on a Tuesday was a bit early, we met some 3 hours later, and drank and talked and laughed. I felt relieved at facing the world again, and found myself enjoying the company, but the return to an empty house served only to plunge me back into a pit of misery. The next day she walked mysteriously back into my life. Only this time, she was no longer blonde, but a kind of light brown with highlights. It suited her.

We took up exactly where we left off – not a word was spoken between us. There didn’t have to be, and for a few months I took comfort in her. Then, as suddenly as before, she was gone, and I thought no more of it. But then, I did have other things to consider, such as setting up temporarily in a flat of my own, whilst also looking for somewhere to buy. And so another year or so passed without a thought of my slender companion, until one night she was thrust upon me once more. This time it was different though, as we only saw each other at weekends – I was going to savour her companionship, give myself something to look forward to. It was OK, for a while, but I found myself missing her, and would sneak her into my house midweek, then one more day, and another… My friends grew concerned. Soon, she was even following me to work, where we’d sneak off to a small room a couple of times a day (she had reverted to being blonde by this point). The small room was available to us for about a year, until we were forced out by some Health and Safety nonsense, and we found ourselves taking refuge outside, at the end of the building.

My friends continued to warn me about her, but I didn’t listen. You don’t in these circumstances, do you? I was blind to what was happening to me, often found myself scraping a fiver together so I could see her again. When I look back now, that was pretty desperate. However, only a few days ago, it hit me, out of the blue – she was fleecing me of about £120 a month. It would go missing from my bank account, just small amounts at a time, so I wouldn’t notice until suddenly I was into the overdraft. And I realised that she wasn’t good for me. The strain of her company was starting to get to me, and I was having difficulty in sleeping. My mouth became dry, and I couldn’t taste things in the same way. And I realised that she had become a habit, devoid of any enjoyment. The bitter taste I had felt after her last kiss told me that it was time to walk away.

So, on Monday night, I pressed her to my lips one last time. “This isn’t working”, I whispered to her, my breath catching on the cold night air as I did so. With that, the last dying flame of our passion went out, and as I turned on my heel and closed the door, we said goodbye forever…
(, Wed 26 Mar 2008, 10:37, 14 replies)
Damned Weed
I suppose you could say I was a late starter.

My little pink lungs were smoke vigins until I smoked my first joint when I was 17. I can't say I remember much of the experience as the Red Lebanese resin turned my young mind to mush for an hour or so.

For the first few weeks of my introduction to smoking spliffs, I just smoked spliffs ... nothing else. 3 or 4 spliffs over a weekend.

But then, as I suppose is the same for many, the nicotene monkey was on my back and I started buying and smoking regular cigarettes to tide me over during the week until I would have my weekend spliffs.

It started with a pack of 10 bensons on a monday morning, which would last at one or two a day until the weekend.

Then of course, that rapidly grew until within 6 months of my first spliff I was a regular 20 a day joe!.

I gave up smoking marijuana by the time I was in my early 20's, but the nicotene monkey was well and truely entrenched on my back and as a souvenier of my heady pot smoking teens, I had a 20-30 a day cigarette habit.

I thought nothing of it to be honest. I met and married my Wife, she did not smoke, so I restricted my habit to the basement.

Once we found that my Wife had fallen pregnant, I moved my smoking habit into the garden where it stayed for a few years.

Then came the fateful day!.

I was bathing my Daughter (now 4 years old) and she was playing with some foam letters that stick to the side of the bath. She picked up the letter "I" and put it in her mouth and said " look Daddy, I have a cigarette just like you".

I took her out of the bath, dried her off and sent her down to Mum, then threw my cigarettes in the bin, followed by lighters, ashtrays etc and had a little wobbly teary eyed moment.

I have not smoked since ... no patches, no gum no nothing ... just the memory of my dear little girl sat in the bath pretending to smoke "just like Daddy" is enough to keep me stopped!.

Almost a year since I quit, best thing I ever did.

I totalled up how much money I had spent over almost 25 years of smoking.

(, Tue 25 Mar 2008, 14:21, Reply)
It's not cool and sadly, it won't impress your friends. Or your Mother...
I was a spectacularly uncool adolescent (who has morphed seamlessly into an equally uncool adult) and thus the whole “smoking’s cool – it will impress your friends and the boys will think you’re sexy” was pretty much aimed directly at me.

So I bought a single Benson and Hedges for 10p down the newsagents (showing my age a bit here), lit up and thus began a love affair which has lasted for 15 years, on and off. Well, if by love I mean that the object of my desire makes me throw up, get irritable, smell like crap and feel awful first thing in the morning, but so, so much better after a beer, then yes, a love affair it is. Actually, come to think of it….

Aged about 19, I was sat in the hairdressers, (in those unenlightened times where it was perfectly fine to spark up while having the latest perm / flock of seagulls sweep / quiff applied to one’s barnet) and I decided to have a smoke. I stuck my head down, lit up and sat back up to see myself in the mirror, taking a good drag on my cancer stick.

And my mother stood directly behind me.

My mother does not smoke. My mother’s father died of a smoking related heart attack aged 45. My mother is unaware of my filthy habit… Till now.

Her first words were “How long have you been smoking for?”

Like a total utter chippy fucking 19 year old, instead of either lying, crying or apologizing, I took another drag and responded…

“Not long, I’ve only just lit it.”

My mother turned on her heel and left and that day I learnt a) that my mother has a surprising temper for such an outwardly calm lady and b) that I’m a fuckwit.

Anyway, I’ve had a couple of attempts to quit, one lasted a good 18 months, I’m now a few months into another, spurred on by an aggressive resident at my local clinic who recited a litany of horror stories of pulmonary embolisms and necrotic lungs in women my age, that I was finally forced to sit up and take notice.

If I could go back, Bill and Ted style to the teenage Rakky and tell her two things they would be one, to never, ever start smoking in the first place and two, don’t piss your mother off.

And maybe a third thing. That haircut I was having? Don't. Just don't...
(, Thu 20 Mar 2008, 21:45, Reply)
Nicotine patches
If you want to quit, nicotine patches really do work. Stick them over your eyes so you cant find your fags!
(, Mon 24 Mar 2008, 3:41, Reply)
Let's get it over with
What a crap QOTW. Can we just cut to next Wednesday?

I got soaked to the skin going to church parade with the Scouts when I was 11. That was my first soggy rite.

I saw a french policeman hold up a train in Germany when I was 12. That was my first Zug arrete.

I was accosted by an amiable Liverpudlian drunk when I was 13. That was my first sick "a'reet?".

I iced a cake to look like my face when I was 14. That was my first sugarhead.

I broke the spine of a paperback when I was 15. Saggy read.

Given a parsnip by David Bowie. 16. Ziggy root.

Coach tour of pensioners on the A1. 17. Saga road.

Shot by the ex-king of Albania in an archery competition. 18. Zog arrowed.

(, Thu 20 Mar 2008, 10:04, 8 replies)
How to stop smoking
I lived with S and J while an undergrad. S told us one evening about her grandmother, an inveterate smoker who, as a result of her habit, had developed poor circulation.

How poor? So poor that a toe had had to be amputated.

Followed by another toe. She continued to smoke.

The rest of the toes went soon after. The cigarettes, by contrast, stayed.

The latest amputation was a foot. Still, S's grandmother refused to give up the fags.

J was not always the brightest person in the world. "They should cut her hands off next time," she offered, helpfully. "That'll stop her."
(, Thu 20 Mar 2008, 13:01, 4 replies)
At school
A teacher showed us an experiment which involved cigarettes and some of God's (unfortunate) creatures.

6 worms in a jar were placed in the fume cupboard and a whole cigarette's worth of smoke pumped into the jar and sealed in.

After roughly half an hour, the worms were dead.

The teacher was quite smug about this and thought the demonstration spoke for itself.
Damn bloody right he was smug and so was I, because I had sussed the whole thing out.

I started smoking the very next day, safe in the knowledge that I'll never have worms.
(, Thu 20 Mar 2008, 9:33, 1 reply)
One time when I was 17
I thought I'd try smoking a cigarette.

I suppose you could call it MY FIRST CIGARETTE
(, Wed 26 Mar 2008, 16:43, 2 replies)
My first cig...
...was a pipe.

My grandad smoked a pipe, and my dad picked it up from him, so I grew up around pipe smokers.

Pipes are a bit more interesting than a cigarette, so when I was 6 or 7 I liked playing with them. Only a matter of time really before I put some tobacco in the bowl and tried to light up.

My mum walked in to find the youthful me, in my pyjamas and dressing gown, puffing away on a badly lit pipe like a junior Leslie Philips.

My mum told me off through tears of laughter.
(, Tue 25 Mar 2008, 21:29, 1 reply)
teenage party
I was about 15 and at a party of some of the coolest people at school. There was also Jessica, the hottest girl in my year with the body of a grown woman and the sexual appetite to match.

Everyone was smoking. Everyone but me. I was dreading being offered a cigarette, because I'd have to refuse out of principle and then look like a dick. So when Jessica sidled up to me with a cigar between her full lips and offered me a pull, I had to lower my eyes and refuse, knowing she'd think me a nerdy little tit.

"I respect that, Frank," she said. "Any other guy here would say yes just so they could get in my pants. But you have principles. Come with me and I'll show you what I can do with my mouth."

She led me to a an empty bedroom and took off my trousers. My dong sprang forth and she clutched it in her slender fingers. "A fine cigar should first be dampened," she said. And she ran the tip of her tongue around my throbbing tip. I thought I would come there and then, but I controlled myself.

"Then you have to hold it delicately in your mouth," she said, taking the head between those impossibly soft lips and closing them around it. I felt the tongue at work and closed my eyes as she began to suck gently, coaxing the raging torrent of jis from my swollen scrote to lash madly across her tonsils.

But I screamed in terror as the lighter sparked up under my testicles and the reek of burning hair and flesh wafted into my flaring nostrils.

I was her first cock cigarette.
(, Tue 25 Mar 2008, 17:32, 4 replies)
My granddad smoked unfiltered woodbines his whole life - 60 a day. He started when he was 3 and was still smoking them at the time of his death... at the age of 129! All this nonsense about cigarettes being bad for you - there's no proof! My uncle smoked 20 a day while he was in the womb, then he started work in a pub aged 4, smoking a pipe in addition to breathing in the fumes of a hundred other people. And he lived until he was 99, wining an Olympic gold for the 100-metres hurdles aged 78. He could hold his breath for 20 minutes and was strong as an ox. Great uncle Harold not only smoked, but was a laudanum addict and drank 4 bottles of spirits each day. He injected pharmaceutical nicotine into his aorta for breakfast and ate cholesterol sandwiches washed down with hydrogenated vegetable oil. And he lived until he was 4000 years old. But my grandmother took vitamins every day, drank blueberry smoothies and did at least 30 minutes of aerobic activity daily. She was a fitness instructor and climbed Everest with her arms and legs tied behind her back. And she DIED aged 34 because a plummeting pheasant landed on her head, breaking her neck. Enough of this fitness nonsense, I say! Any one of us could suffer a muscle spasm while pouring boiling water and gush the scalding liquid into our eyes or on our baby. While chopping onions, any one of us could suffer a psychotic episode and slaughter all of our extended family. Accidents happen, and inhaling toxins is the least of our day-to-day worries. My cousin Bob was killed when a splinter from a fencepost he was fixing turned out to have been dipped in cobra venom. He was dead in 30 seconds - whereas my brother-in-law Miroslav survived being mauled by a bear because he was smoking crack ...etc etc etc
(, Tue 25 Mar 2008, 14:42, 3 replies)
I doon't smooke da reefa!
Long ago, before PJM became the resting pulse obsessed gym-junkie he is today (forty nine bpm, as measured on Friday night), PJM put much effort into pursuing as hedonistic a lifestyle as finances and a self imposed embargo of mind altering chemical substances would allow.

As I have mentioned in previous posts, several summer holidays during my college years were spent in a pleasant boozy haze of bars, clubs and teenage parties habitually not getting much in the way of lady-action.

September 1993, some McJob colleagues of mine threw a farewell bash for those of us departing to universities anew. The venue of the farewell bash was a large suburban home of a private schoolgirl we knew, with parents who spoke with cultured, home county tones yet had obviously enjoyed the halcyon days of the late 1960s enough to let everyone be and seemed to tacitly approve of the potential tomfoolery as thirty five teenagers indulged new found vices. One by one we turned up, raggedly dressed in the self consciously fringe garb of the day with tee shirts bearing the names of obscure alternative rock bands in a what appeared to be a gauche contest of niche music one upmanship.

By eight o clock, I was happy drunk and was engaged in conversation with a young (but very legal) blonde lady who appeared to be enjoying my conversation if the amount of coquettish smiles and sideways facing arm touching was anything to go by. We laughed, joked, talked about our hopes for the future (the prediction that I would be running the country by the time of my 30th birthday did not come to pass, sadly. 30 was yeeeeeeears away). It was at that party I decided that writing was to play a big part in my life henceforth.

Although the steady and relentless sipping of beer had not yet taken its toll on my head, my bladder was signalling that the tub was full at this point, so I politley excused myself in the direction of the bathroom.

I returned twenty minutes later, having been engaged in conversation with several new arrivals on the way to find that someone had parked in my space. Said girl was hanging off the arm of an unkempt skater boi type, clad in a Levellers tee. Bah. Foiled again!

Such instances were hardly rare, I seemed to regularly make significant gains in the early stages of the campaign to be thwarted by unforseen and farcical circumstance before either phone numbers or spit were exchanged. However, this being a farewell do I can safely say I was a tad miffed at the fact that the powers of fate decreed that I'd fall flat on my face at the eleventh hour yet again.

Grumpily, I wandered out of the downstairs sitting room and headed for the garden via the cellar and reached for some meagre consolation. I retrieved a rather phat one from my shirt pocket, which had been carefully prerolled. I walked to the end of the garden, lay on my back on the top of a wall and alternated between sips of Castlemaine and puffs on the joint. I stared transfixed by the stars in the late summer sky, noting that the recent appearence of Orion was the harbinger of Autumn and metaphorically speaking, pointing toward pastures new, for a few weeks hence I'd be in a new town with new people propping up unfamiliar bars. Perhaps then fate would ordain a more satisfactory run of lady luck.

I must have lay there for some forty minutes, tracing the stars and puffing. Unfortunately the dark arts of smoking weed were a very new experience for me, a little smoke went a very long way so I became aware I was a tad disconnected with my surroundings when I felt myself having to stifle a giggle as my finger traced the outline of a large knob while playing celestial join-the-dots. Feeling slightly perceptually challenged, I clambered awkwardly down from the wall. I pushed my way through the shrubbery and made for the cellar to retrieve another yellow can of Castlemaine.

Whoa. What. The. Fuck...?

Six feet from my right side appeared to be a pale, vaugely familiar shape in the moonlight. In a moment of comedic double take, I stared intently at what appeared to be a pale blue lit arse hovering some inches above the ground and quivering slightly. Further concentration in the moonlight revealed that the arse was balanced atop a pair of dark blue denim clad legs and a Levellers tee.

The realisation of the identity of the lady-arse's owner came in a rush. My brain was slowed by the THC in my system. I blushed and scuttled away guiltily, with a dastardly plan formulating in my head.

I should be ashamed for what happened next. Instead of leaving the courting couple be, I snuck into the lounge, summoned as many partygoers as possible around me and we crept outside and erupted into spontaneous applause in the direction of the alfresco sex show.

Credit where it's due, they carried on without missing a beat.

The next morning, sober and up with the larks I'm helping the hostess's mother clear up the debris. I couldn't help but stifle a smirk as I scrape the battered broom across the buttock prints in the dusty concrete. The debris, dust and the remnants of my spliff ended up being swept into a dustpan, like the memories of the party.
(, Thu 20 Mar 2008, 17:49, Reply)
Curse You Wind!
A friend at work told me how her son was once walking home from a beery night out in town. It's about a three mile trek home but due to the crapness of local taxis it wasn't unusual for him to have to do it. So its after midnight , he's about half way through his journey and he's very drunkenly staggering down the side of a dual carriageway when he decides he wants a cigarette. Unfortunately the wind is quite strong that night and keeps blowing his lighter out. He turns his back to the wind, shields himself with his coat and finally gets his cigarette going. Whereupon he's so drunk he resumes walking, forgetting he's turned 180 degrees to light his smoke, and makes it all the way back into town before he realises.

(, Thu 20 Mar 2008, 14:39, Reply)
Ben was a fantastic guy, but, he was the type of person that was open to the power of suggestion. If you told him it is very cool to do something – he would do it – and fail.

We were all around 16 and it was the popular girl at schools birthday. She decided she wanted a 70s themed party and so her parents hired a hall, disco, lights and DJ. Everyone had to come in appropriate fancy dress. Ben decided that a sure fire way to pull would be to dress up just like John Travolta in Saturday night fever. He spent a week learning the dance moves. He got them perfect. He was going to be a star.

On the night he asked the DJ to play his song. As he was standing by the side of the dance floor I went up to him to try and sooth his clearly obvious nerves. “want a fag mate” I said. He looked at it and shook his head. “It will make you look even cooler”. He looked at the little white stick again and went straight for it. I lit it for him and he begun to smoke, coughed a little, then continued.

The Bee Gees “You should be dancing” started picking up. This was his moment. With fag in mouth he started his routine. Within seconds everyone was looking at him and clapping to the music. He had a crowd and he was at the very centre of it. He was cool. The girls were drooling. He was seconds from the finale which would make him THE fanny magnet of the night….


The still lit cig fell from his mouth onto his cheap rented white polyester suit.

Within seconds his arm was on fire. People standing close chucked there drink over him to put it out, this made the polished wood hall floor incredibly slippery and while manically flapping his arms like he managed to fall over head first and smack his head.
He went out cold for about thirty seconds.

I often wonder if he even noticed that the DJ had quickly changed the track to Disco Inferno.

I do know that he only ever smoked that one cancer stick in his life.
(, Thu 20 Mar 2008, 12:30, 2 replies)
my guilty pleasure
is answering previous QOTW's after they've closed...
(, Wed 19 Mar 2008, 18:54, Reply)
Crie de coeur

I believe it is customary to apologise for length. In that case, sorry.

I was born in Paris in December 1985, and my name is Jim - partly because my mother’s favourite film is Truffaut's 'Jules et Jim'. At the heart, it was always just me and Maman - though, over the years she had lovers who came and went, for longer or shorter times, sometimes she would find a new lover before getting rid of the current one. Some I liked, some I didn't. She is a liberal, an intellectual and a fun person to be around. I've got no complaints about her at all, she made me the man I am. Of course I was curious about my father, when I asked her about him, her eyes would go a little far away but there was always a smile, though sometimes a tear as well. 'He was an Englishman, a very nice Englishman. When you're older, I'll tell you all about him, when the time is right.'

When I was little, I hated my strange foreign name but, as you do, I got used to it - I grew into it. As I'd always knew my father was English, I'd always studied hard in my English lessons.

When I was 18 Maman thought that the time was right to tell me about my father. She took me out for a meal a few days after my birthday, we both drank a bit more than usual and then started on the tale:

It was spring of 1985. Maman had been living with Jean-Claude for about six years, he was 36, she was 30. For about three years they had been trying for a baby but with no success. They were not married, but Maman thought that when she got pregnant, then, perhaps... Anyway, things started to go wrong. Maman worked as a social worker in a hostel for young people, this meant that about two nights a week she had to sleep at the hostel. One day, as she got back to their flat after a night at the hostel, she noticed that both sides of the bed had been slept on. She had suspected for some time that Jean-Claude had been cheating on her, but now he was bringing his woman back to their bed. She confronted him, he denied it. Weeks went past, things were not right, Maman didn't feel the same way about J-C anymore. Things he did annoyed her, he became more distant - what to do?

And then it happened. One day at the hostel she spotted a young man talking with some of the residents. Her heart started beating wildly and she realised that she could not be in love with J-C anymore, as one sight of this man had made her feel like she did six years ago when she was young and beautiful and J-C was funny and sexy. She told me his name and that he was 21 years old, very handsome and English. He spoke very good French with a lovely English accent, she spent that night with him and that was night I was conceived.

Now she had a problem. The Englishman went home and so did Maman, but J-C could see a change in her. He choose this moment to announce that he was in love with a younger woman and was moving out. Maman swore and shouted a bit and said 'Hah! I too have a young lover, get out and don't come back.'

She wrote to the young Englishman, but didn't say that anything was wrong, just that she missed him and wanted him back as soon as he could. She was so mixed up she didn't know what she felt now. She was messed up over the break up of her relationship, she felt like a young girl in love with an impossible love. She wanted to declare her love but was afraid of scaring him off. Then she discovered she was pregnant and she knew it was his baby and she knew she wanted to keep it and to try to make a life with this man.

He visited her just one more time. Maman was so tense that she found she couldn't tell him her news. She knew that he found her attractive but was totally unsure what he truly felt. But then she found out very soon. He told her that he was in love with someone else, a girl in England and that he couldn't return again.

Maman was in shock a little. She found how deep her love was now, she knew she wanted him to be happy and that if she told him about the baby then it would spoil everything. It was obvious now that he wasn't in love with her, but she had the chance of keeping a part of him forever as well as giving him the gift of freedom and happiness.

When I was born and was a boy, she called me Jim, she thought that it was tribute enough to my father to give me an English name. She said if I wanted to know what he looked like then just to take a look in the mirror.

And that was the story she told me. And that was the night I smoked my first cigarette.

I matriculated in 2003 and applied to Montpellier University to study English, but first I decided to take a gap year, working and travelling around England. I waited at tables in Covent Garden, was a barman in Highgate and a few other places too. I stayed in Youth Hostels in Cumbria, Cornwall and Yorkshire; I ate Cumberland Sausages, Cornish Pasties and Yorkshire Puddings; I drank beer, beer and beer - from Royal Oak to Tetleys to Fullers London Pride via Jennings, Banks's, Shepherd Neame and, on one un-memorable night, I drank several bottles of 'dog'. I also had some lovely encounters with some lovely English girls - and one or two Scots and Welsh too. Oh, and some Irish.

One of the highlights of the year was watching the final 6 Nations game in my favourite Hampstead pub, with a few French mates and a lot of English ones, when Les Bleus beat world champions England to take the Grand Slam. 'Appy days, as we say. We were planning on taking a live rooster to the pub but when we couldn't find one, we made a compromise and left a box full of Kentuky Fried Chicken bones in the gutter on the way home in stead.

The second year of university (2006/7) I spent at Leeds University. What a year. What a year. My gap year and my studies had given me fluent English but when I was with women, I tended to pretend not to understand everything - that way I always knew who fancied me, who was talking dirty etc. and yes, I did take advantage - you bet. One memorable weekend I spent from Friday afternoon to lunchtime Monday in a house in Hyde Park which was shared by five female students. I don't remember much about that weekend, but I had some strange bruises and teeth marks on me by Monday morning.

But it wasn't all beer and boffing as they say in the Midi. I also used some of my spare time to search for my father and in February 2007 I registered on this fine website, for to improve my understanding of English as she is written today. At one time, I considered using the QOTW as the subject for my dissertation: "B3ta Question of the Week answers, and the insights they give us into the apparent polarisation of the written English language into the pre- and post-internet generations"; I may still do this just for a lol. Yeah, right. WTF?

To search for my father all I had was his name and address from 1985 - when I was a little boy I'd searched through my mother's drawers one afternoon when she was out, and I found a letter from my father to her - she'd written his address on the back of the envelope. When I knew I'd be in England for year, I made sure to copy it out. As you would expect, I found the house in North London where he used to live but the people there had never heard of him or his family. That was at Easter, then I registered with 'Friends Reunited'. There were five people with his name but only one fitted the age and location of my father.

His profile matched as well. He spent a few years 'bumming around Europe' after school before meeting his wife in 1985. And he had one daughter, born in 1987...my little half-sister. Should I try to contact him? The bad news was that he hadn't been active on the site since 2001. I started shaking so badly I had to go outside and walk around to calm down. I ended up at the pub slowly sipping a pint of Samuel Smiths at a corner table, thoughts whirring round my head. I stalled. Half of me wanted to drop everything and pursue him but I was scared. He was still married - at least six years ago - a daughter not much younger than me, a wife - how could I burst in on this? I stumbled home close to midnight and logged back on. I tried sending a very brief message just ‘do you remember me?’ It failed to arrive. Part of me was relieved, part frantic.

In the morning I was a bit calmer. OK, I had a lead now, there was no rush was there? I had a lot of work to do so I buried myself in it, I also drank quite a bit and found solace in the arms of some women. All too soon I had to return home. I decided to ask my Maman what I should do. But wait, was this a good idea? I felt she still held some feeling for this man, should I disturb her as well? Merde.

To cut a long story shorter than it might be...I finished my course at Montpellier and applied for jobs in the UK, got one working for a company in Manchester - moved here last November. I took up the pursuit of my father again and through Google, I think I found him. Where he now lives and works. At Christmas I went home to stay with Maman, determined to speak to her about the matter. I didn't tell her that I'd found him, just that I was looking - she wasn't at all surprised. She said she expected me to do that and that she could tell it was on my mind when I got back from my year in the UK. She wished me good luck and said that if I found him to please ask for his forgiveness for keeping the secret from him, and to send her good wishes.

I got back to Manchester and decided to book a week's holiday in March as work would allow me some free time then. I made arrangements, checked electoral roles. Then, at the end of January I was reading the QOTW as usual and the topic 'Stalking' came up. At last, I thought, I will tell the story of how I tracked down my father. I sat down and started writing - it was pretty hard, so I read some of the other posts and then I saw the story from Che Grimsdale and all of the pieces fell into place - I couldn't believe it - I had truly found my father.

I was going to send him a message, I wanted to post 'Therese's story' myself then and there, to tell you all my side of the story. But I bottled it. Apart from anything else, I was trying to erase some of the images conjured up - some things you don't wish to know. "You were conceived in Paris" is fine...intimate details? No thanks. I did print off all of Che's postings - nearly five years' worth. I read them non-stop over a weekend, I don't suppose many people know their father quite like I do - so intimately and yet not at all. At least once a week I sit down to compose a message but I haven't found the right words until now.

So now, Che - Dad, it's over to you.
(, Wed 26 Mar 2008, 8:51, 12 replies)
Often the subject of,
or original source of, many of my QOTW replies, my dad was a heavy smoker for 40+ years.

Just like smokers (or any drug-user, really) think, I too thought 'nothing bad will happen to MY dad'. To my shame, I even brought him rolling tobacco back from Spain, reasoning 'well, at least I know it's the real deal and not some fake crap swept up off a factory floor'. And 'at least it's saving him money'.

Back in August '07 he turned 65, and was well for it. Or so we thought. I'll never, ever forget him phoning me that day in November telling me he'd gone blind in one eye. I was at home, 20 miles from him, it was 10pm. I can't drive, and I panicked. He refused to call 999, didn't want to bother them. I begged him to call NHS Direct and he agreed. He rang me back ten minutes later saying a nurse would call him 'in the next two hours'. I said I'd get off the line.

An hour later, I was still very worried, so I called him. No reply. I started to panic at this point. 'If he doesn't answer in five minutes', I said to my fiance, 'I'm calling an ambulance'. (My dad's brother lives over the road, so he might have been over there).

I called a few minutes later and the phone (he only has a mobile) answered. 'Dad', I was shouting. 'DAD'. All I could hear were awful, sad groaning sounds. I was in shock at this point, I could hear the paramedics and a beeping machine, and then my aunt picked up the phone. 'We've found him on the floor', she said. 'He can't talk. Get to Pontefract A&E'.

I started to become hysterical. My fiance helped me get dressed and called a friend to go to the hospital, some 25 miles away.

That ride, in the dark, was and will continue to be the single worst moment of my life. I had no idea if my dad was alive or dead.

We got to the hospital and I was shown to a small room. My dad was inside, alone, stripped to the waist, covered in pads and wires and a breathing mask. I was, of course, overwhelmed to find he was alive, and awake, but he couldn't speak, could barely see, just made terrible, sad groaning sounds.

For the next ten days I was at his side in that hospital, losing two stone in weight and aging five years. He'd had a stroke, the years of smoking had narrowed a major artery in his neck, causing a clot to move to his brain.

My dad, once this infallible, brick wall of a man, lay in the hospital bed, unable to visit the loo, feed himself, speak or read. I cried in the hospital toilets, over and over, especially when he couldn't say my name. For weeks, communication was via a series of yes/no questions followed by grunts. It seemed unlikely he'd ever be able to live alone again, and I researched giving up my job to care for him full-time.

That was nearly six months ago. Now, he is back to 90% of his speech on a good day. He does get things mixed up (a common side-effect of a stroke), like the cooker and the fridge. (Edited to add - only when talking about them! He doesn't put chips in the freezer to cook!) He occasionally gets my name wrong, or wonky, but we laugh about that now. He walks with a stick, but is pretty independent. He can speak on the phone and go to the shops. He's blind in one eye, but as he says 'I've got the other'.

My dad will never be the same again, but I'm so happy he's the way he is, if that's all we get, we'll take it. He never said 'I'll never smoke again', because he couldn't speak. He simply got home, threw away anything remotely smoking-related, and washed out his glass ashtray. He now keeps mints in it.

I can't make people stop smoking and this story isn't a 'scare tactic' or anything. It was my dad's choice to smoke, and back then, it was promoted as making you strong and healthy. When people talk about smoking, I just can't understand why they do it - it's smelly, it's addictive, and it's bloody expensive. But each to their own. I'm just so fucking glad my dad is here.
(, Thu 20 Mar 2008, 13:48, Reply)
I was a late starter
18 I think, when I sampled my first Consulate.
19 when I had my first ham shank.
My first ever vibrator was purchased at the age of 20 and it distinctly resembled a cigar.
So, on that tenuous link, and as the qotw has changed earlier than expected, here is a story about

My First Vibrator

Most of us have been caught in the act of ultimate self-indulgence - by a parent / carer / proper grown-up at one time or another. Usually in our teens.

As I said above, I didn't discover the joys of creamy self love 'til I hit 20.
Cue purchase of First Vibrator.
It was hearing-aid beige and ribbed from root to tip.
Hours and hours ON END of pleasure.
Until it went for a shit.
Being an electrician's daughter, I had half an idea what might have gone wrong with toy.
Having already left home, I conjured up some lame excuse of wanting to catch up with my folks - why not make a night of it and sleep over?

I waited until both parents had hit the sack - gave them half an hour to doze off - then went in search of Daddy's Soldering Iron.

I was well-oiled in the use of t'soldering iron, had been "Daddy's Little Helper" since nipperhood.

Found the soldering iron. And the solder. And the bit resin stuff. Set about the surgery. Scalpel to the BOTTOM END, rotating 45 degrees.........

Expansion clamps in situ...........

Solder/surgery complete success. Bandaged the patient's wound with thick black NCB insulating tape.

I tentatively turned the end, not sure what reaction to expect.....

My beloved beige bell end sprang into life, growling Aston Martin DB9 style.

Eager to perform a test drive, yet anxious not to push me luck with the sleeping household, prudent methinks, to bide my time.......

Thus, I stole myself to procrastinate.
Proper grown-up-getty-up time the following morning, both parents exit to Downstairs.
Hoofuckingray! Nobody within earshot.

Jeremy Clarkson is about to test drive the DB9

The powerful engine springs into life!
Young Tourettes is literally in the throes of passion - ribbed rubber ruminator is doing it's thing.........






My mother enters the room.
What USED to be my room.
Tis now the spare room.

This is what she says.........

"I was about to go up the street for a bit of shopping.
I was wondering if you'd like to come.........????
(, Thu 20 Mar 2008, 1:10, 5 replies)
Here's a story from an ex-smoker which will probably make you cross.

After 25 years (ages 15-40) of enjoying a pack of Marlboro reds each day (two packs a day with the beer), time finally caught up with me.

I think it was the realisation that to smoke required my personality to exhibit the heady characteristics of stupidity, denial and weakness in varying degrees. It DOES cost a fortune, it IS appallingly bad for you, and you DO only do it because you are addicted and are not strong enough to stop. There's no way of putting a cynical smirk on it to recover dignity. To quote the Diet Tango ad: "You need it because you're weak".

So I set out to stop. It took three years to accomplish fully, with relapses, and it was SHIT. Giving up smoking is such a lonely experience, being parted from one's best friend, and being tempted every minute of the conscious day (and then subsequently dreaming about smoking).

I read in a book "each craving only lasts about three minutes". Maybe, but the next craving starts immediately afterwards. I also used to desparately crave one while I was wanking, which is not in any of the books, and made me lose my train of thought about Japanese ladies cosplaying as maids.

One day recently it dawned on me, after a busy week's work and a heavy weekend on the booze, that cigarettes had just not occurred to me all week. Three years of pain and tension is worth it for it for that feeling of joyous liberation and the reward of accomplishment, I promise you...

And to the girl who says she only smokes because she looks fucking cool: I don't agree. When I see people huddled in doorways dragging away in the lovely British winter, I think they look pretty damn pathetic really, and I am glad I am finally free of the cunting things. Choice? Pah! The choice of whether to be addicted or not is all they offer. Ban the bastards altogether!
(, Sun 23 Mar 2008, 18:56, 1 reply)
Like Burton & Taylor or Anthony & Cleopatra
myself and Lady Nicotine have had a turbulent, tempestous on/off relationship over the past 16 years or so.

My first seduction by Lady Nicotine was slow, and sly, I was a mere youth of 14, bright eyed, bushy tailed and heavily into my 60's music (Beatles/Floyd/hendrix etc) and my friends would have parties at a mates house, and these rolled up things that looked like cigarettes but smelt sweeter would be passed round, ah the herb, the sweet sweet herb, with just a smidgen of nicotine hidden in there to lull the unsuspecting cosmic traveller.

So i continues my dual existance paperboy by day, toker by night, sneaking out in the evening on a bike ride to the local picnic area near here(which is probably also used by doggers)and me and my pals would listen to music and smoke away those lazy. hazy summer evenings which never seem to end when your 14 and stoned.

The Lady was teasing me, but she hadn't got my heart not yet. As time when by and days grew shorter, I ended up working in a supermarket where everyone smoked, you opened the door to the canteen and were hit by a wall of smoke, and did I give in? did she have me in her grasp? No.

It wasn't until I was in my second term of my first year at Uni that I became a proper smoker, the first term was lost to me in a haze of dope smoke, alcohol and unsuitable and unmemorable women as one party flowed into another party until they all became just one giant cosmic party that never stopped. We had exams, we needed to pass so we didn't end up back at home reliquinshing the new found freedom we'd fought so hard to aquire, and so as brothers we all swore off the dreaded weed.

And the Lady pounced, she had teased me, seduced me slowly with her presence, and now at the end of the party and in the taxi home her lips and mine entwinned and she gave me her smoky kiss and made me hers.

In the end I left this lair of bacchanalian excess at the end of the first year, no longer a boy, but now a man, a man who needed two marlborough lights and a cup of strong coffee before he could face the day.

And so back home, my excesses curbed due to a combination of lack of income, and parental guidance I hid my cigs and invested in mints, my furtive smokes done on the back of buses between here and Sheffield where I had returned, back when smoking on the back of buses was big and hard and still allowed!

I was also working at a Motorway service station where not only was smoking encouraged, it was compulsory. So I waited, and cleaned and studied and smoked, the lady keeping me company and rewarding my loyalty with her smoky kisses, the yellow of my fingers atestament to her touch, the cough in the morning a sign of our love affair.

Suddenly tho' I got bored with the cigs, they looked so common, so cheap, my beautiful lady had gone from being exotic, mysterious, seductive, to being nothing more than a common whore, with a wiggle, a pout and a cheap come on. So we parted, my tastes seduced by a more exotic cousin.

So instead of cigs it was cigars, the slim little cubans in their metal tin made having a smoke an event, a ritual, not just something to do with the mouth whilst waiting for dinner.

It was like your birthday and christmas rolled into one, you could pause for dramatic effect, take the cigar out of the box, tap it. Smell it, ahhh nothing beats the smell of a good cigar, if you were drinking at the time (Port or Brandy..always port or brandy) you could swill the glass, then light the cigar with your zippo, and relax as you savoured the smoky taste, swilling it round your mouth like the finest of wines, before slowly exhaling.

The difference between the joint, the cigarette and the cigar like those between the street corner crack whores, the escorts in the back of a newspaper, and the finest courtesans.

Once you have tasted champagne would you ever return to meths?

But then C came along, she was real, she was cute, she was sexy, she was mine, and she disliked smoking, so without ceremony, without a decree absolute and without a pause for thought I stopped. I finished, i quit, all for the love of a woman who I ended up treating badly and who I never deserved.

She suspected me of cheating, and yes I was and not just with Lady Nicotine who had returned to my life, or had I returned to her like the moth to the flame?

I stopped, I started, I quit sober, and would wake up after drunken nights with no memory or what happened, occasionally a strange girl in my bed, a pack of cigs on the side.

The days of recovery take longer, the throat hurts more, the smoking ban ironically made me smoke more initially as it was either stay inside on your own whilst people smoked, or join the crowd or cold smokers in the temple of worship to our Lady Nicotine.
Cigarettes cost more, so I buy packs of ten and pretend I don't smoke anymore.

And like the girl in the pub who you won't sleep with when sober, but you take home when its getting past midnight, you're on your own and going back to a cold house fills you full of fear, and the lonliness becomes too much to bear, you know it'll happen again and again.

And now, as I write this I have no cigs in the house, I may open a nice bottle of wine, and know that whilst I say I have finished with Lady Nicotine I am sure that she hasn't finished with me.....
(, Fri 21 Mar 2008, 21:23, Reply)
One of
the best stand-up routines I've ever seen was by a guy called Adam Bloom. It goes something like this...

"So, you're going out with a girl, and you really like her, but you're scared that she'll leave you. And she doesn't smoke.

So, when she comes round, when you say hello and kiss her, stick a Nicorette patch on the back of her neck. When you say goodbye and hug her, you take it off.

So if that person ever leaves you they'll get an incredible craving, think it's love and come running back to you..."
(, Wed 19 Mar 2008, 20:28, Reply)
Not a shitty pun
Want a story that's on topic? Had enough of crap puns?

Alright *rolls up sleeves*

Well, I started smoking at the tender age of 13 - my parents were dead against it at the time (still are), so, like many underage smokers I had to come up with inventive ways to have a sly puff without raising suspicion. Luckily, we had a dog when I was younger, so for a time I must have seemed like the model child, always ready and eager to take Rocky for a walk.

The truth was, our 'walks' were really an excuse for me to stand in the fields beside our house smoking my little lungs out. A quick blast of Lynx and some chewing gum, and my crime was undetectable - after all, it's not like Rocky could grass me in, Lassie-style.

Of course, I wasn't quite the master criminal I thought - my comeuppance came one night, where, desperate for my illicit fag, I rushed out the door, calling to my parents that I was taking Rocky for his nightly walk...then returned 10 minutes later, lightly buzzing from the nicotine, to find my mother standing at the door, holding the dog on his lead. The dog I was supposed to be walking.

And that's one of the many reasons why I'd make a rubbish criminal
(, Wed 26 Mar 2008, 21:26, Reply)
Convent Girls Hide their Habits
As many of you will remember I attended a Convent school.

A very strict Convent school.

The type of Convent school where you are required to wear two pairs of knickers for PE.

The type of Convent school where they only employ women or men over the age of 70 or in total desperation timid men who bear more than a passing resemblance to Richard Richard from Bottom but without the leching or the charisma and sex appeal.

So, bearing in mind these facts, it will come as no surprise to discover that smoking was against school rules.

As was chewing or even being in possession of chewing or bubblegum - all down to a governor sitting on a gum incrusted seat and the school being charged the dry-cleaning bill.

Smoking however was the cardinal sin - not just against school rules, but even being found with cigarettes upon your person was rewarded with instant expulsion and possibly served with a side order of excommunication or at the very least a spell in purgatory.

In this harsh regime girls who were boarders had to find other routes and methods for indulging in their tobacco and nicotine addiction.

So what options are available to young girls?

Young girls who are endlessly resourceful.

Young girls who have a healthy disregard for social mores and love nothing more than to cock a snook at authority.

Young girls who already have the deserved reputation of being cruel and unkind to all - in particular to timid male teachers who resemble Richard Richard - whom they conspire to gently lead to having a mental breakdown by suggesting they were in love with him.

These girls used a simple but effective set of code words in order to discuss their cigarette stocks, requirements and future plans for enfumation down at the beach behind the huts and in preference in the company of a few of the boys from the next-door school run by monks.

The boys of course had no need other than that of their raging testosterone levels to smoke behind the beach huts as the monks in their infinite wisdom had provided a smoking room for the use of both Sixth formers and staff alike - rumour had it that a glass of port was also available to the upper echelons of the prefecture.

The code words used were all relating to a subject which was so taboo, so private, feminine, intimate and entirely natural thus leaving the guilty perpetrators both above suspicion and entirely without interrogation.

The word used in place of cigarette was tampon.

Many times in faux cockney accents home counties 'gels' could be heard calling across classrooms, "Oi! You got any tampons? I'm desperate for a slash!"

One of my friends decided she would like to become one of the Mockney 'in crowd' and take up tampon use. Unfortunately she thought that when they discussed boxes of twenty they were in fact referring to boxes of twenty Tampax or maybe even Lil-Lets.

My friend Ann dreamed of the day when she too could take up roller-skating - preferably being pulled along by a large slavering Dalmatian whilst she screamed from the top of her lungs something about "Waaaaaaaaaaaa! Booooooddddyyyyy Fooooooooorrrrrrrmmmmmm!"

So Ann, being a boarder and thus without ready access to tampons - real or smoked - employed another friend of mine, Jules, in her explorations leading to becoming one of the Tampon Users. Jules purchased a pack of ten for Ann and then retired to a safe distance (the common room) while Ann took her plan another step forward.

That afternoon passed without incident although Ann continued to look uncomfortable throughout. The following day all became clear and Ann gained for herself a new nickname - The Cardboard Kid.

For those of you unacquainted with the physics of applicator tampons, they come ready loaded, as it were, within a telescopic cardboard casing.
The casing is inserted, the lower telescopic tube then pushed gently within the upper tube thus expelling and correctly seating the tampon.
The cardboard casing, both tubes now one within the other, are withdrawn, leaving the user comfortable and able to take up roller-skating.

Unfortunately Ann had not bothered to read the instructions, so keen she was to become a Tampon User. This had resulted in her leaving the tubing in place.

All day.

Ann was put off tampon use for life.

She was already a smoker and continues to smoke to this day, the 'in crowd' however never took her into their inner circle so she like the boys next door had to continue to bum fags.
(, Tue 25 Mar 2008, 0:13, 20 replies)
I started smoking at the age of 17.
It was New Years Eve, and I figured I'd try it. I now smoke a pack a day.
But that's boring, so I'll tell you another story.

There was one point where only my stepfather (out of the family) knew I smoked. I was on the bus to college one morning, and delved into my bag for something. Lo, there's 10 B&H in there and I knew I hadn't bought them. Jubilantly, I bring them out but there's a message on the packet......

"I would love to kiss you all over your lovely body and I mean ALL over"

It was in my stepfathers very distinct handwriting. Now, he'd been abusing me since I was 13 and that was the final straw.
I got home from college and called the police, I then sat my twin brother down and told him what was going on.
Mum and the dwarf were out for dinner that night, so when mum got home my brother and I called her upstairs and told her.
The hardest thing.........."what do you mean you smoke? You shouldn't smoke!"

After that I left home that weekend. The evil fucker died 3 years ago (yay!!!!!!) of lung cancer.

The sad thing is, most of you know my mum died four weeks ago..........also of lung cancer.......I'm still smoking. Gah!
(, Sat 22 Mar 2008, 16:11, 4 replies)

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