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Dreadful Nonsense

"I've read your blog. it's really funny. you should write a column." - Jon Ronson

It'll be my two week anniversary tomorrow, two weeks since I gave up smoking for no particularly good reason other than the whole you-die-a-horrible-death thing. Didn't think I could be bothered to last a day, let alone two weeks, so it's all going fabulously better than expected. Although. The cigarette fairies are starting to play tricks on me now.

I got on the bus to work this afternoon, sat down happily upstairs, surrounded totally inexplicably by a massive group of Russian students who all got off at Stillorgan and just stood at the bus stop until we left, every last one of them gazing in to the middle distance and standing almost stock still. I don't know where they were going, and none of them seemed to know either. When they got off the bus, I moved in towards the wall, so as to put my bags on the seat beside me and block off any unhygenic UCD students from sharing my bus space. And there, sitting happily on the seat, and waving at me with their happy nicotine hands, was a full - FULL- packet of Russian Marlboro Lights.

Russian ones. Covered in exotic Russian writing and filled with their lovely tasty Russian tar, tobacco, wood scrapings, noxious poisons and of course lovely lady nicotine. Every smoker knows that foreign fags are the greatest things in the world. This is because (a) they're white-tipped rather than brown-tipped, leaving you all fancy like the smokers in 1940s films about crazy killer women and men who mutter and don't move their heads much; (b) the writing is indecipherable, which means that they won't kill you or do you any harm whatsoever (this is based on the same rule as "if you can't see it, it's not actually there"); and (c) they taste all funny and are loosely rolled and are just generally better all round.

And even more than all of that - they were free. Free. I'd not bought them. No one would know I had them. I could smoke them on the sly, lie to all my friends and family, have lovely secret smokes - because the only thing better than foreign smoking is secret smoking. No cigarette is better than the cigarette you have on the sly when no one is looking, it's so darned naughty.

And do you know what I did? I didn't take the moral high ground and reject the fags outright. I didn't break them all up then and there on the bus, yelling loudly about how I was saving myself and all others from their evil poison. I didn't sneak them in to my bag, and smoke every last one, one after the other, while standing in the middle of Temple Bar and weeping. I didn't put them carefully in my pocket to bring them home, put them in the drawer of my desk and leave them there to lurk until finally the temptation became too much and I'd crack and smoke them out the bedroom window, feeling giddy and alive and slightly nauseated. No.

What I did was, I forgot they were there and got off the bus, leaving them on the seat right where I found them.

I'd like to think that this was a decision I made on some level, that I've decided that this giving up smoking lark is really for me, and it's all going so well that I passed up free fags and everything, but honestly, I simply forgot they were there before coming to any solid decision.

My memory problems may yet one day save my life.


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