Good news at last! Poundland have Gizeh Silver Tip tubes again at £1 for 200. That’s a thousand for a fiver. Best stock up before they vanish again.

They also sell lighter fuel (both kinds) and packs of cheapo lighters for emergencies such as when I forget to fill the Zippo and they have ashtrays with ‘no smoking’ signs in the bottom, just to make visitors do a double-take when they’re about to stub one out.

More good news – Morrisons have Aberlour 10-year-old priced at £20 at the moment. It’s safe to let the news out now, I already have mine right here.

That’s the good news out of the way, now let’s have the end-of-news chuckle story.

Remember Pokemon, the pocket monsters? I think they are still around in some quarters.

Well now we have Pokenan, the pocket nanny. Yes indeed, someone has invented a pocket-sized nagging machine and they expect us smokers to actually pay to be nagged at. Well, we already do through exorbitant taxes so why not splash out on an £88 lighter (taxed via VAT, naturally) that will whine at you about how many you smoke and how recently you had one?

There are many, many reasons why not, of course. Then again there are reasons to have one.

“Blimey, my lighter says I haven’t smoked for four hours. I’ll never get my quota at this rate.”

“How many have you smoked today, Joe? Pah, is that all? Look, my lighter is already reading 47.”

You could cheat. Just spark up the lighter a few times, it won’t know you didn’t actually light anything with it. See if you can make it run out of digits and then post it to the website.

Oh yes, there is a website. This silly machine is supposed to help smokers quit but it’s an ideal tool for tracking smokers. It also has bluetooth – walk past a smokewarden and his hat will light up, alerting him to the presence of a feeelthy smoker. Don’t we have enough things tracking us now? Ooo, is there a way, with all these different tracking things, to appear to be in five places at once? I’m sure there must be.

I have sometimes wondered what it would take to disappear, and it’s surprisingly easy so far. You buy a ticket to Penzance with your credit card then go to another window and buy a ticket to Thurso with cash. You turn on your mobile phone and drop it into the back of a long distance truck as it passes under a bridge. If the ‘They’ were after you, you could be tracked moving at speed in all kinds of directions at once. None of these directions would be the one you were really moving in, of course. If you do it just right you won’t need to move at all. You’ll be in the one place that the authorities aren’t.

When the contactless cards become implanted chips as is inevitable – the technology to do it has been around for some time, it’s just a matter of convincing the drones and that’s easy – then you’d have to drop your whole arm into the back of that truck. Inconvenient, to say the least.

I wonder if you could get a lighter implanted in your thumb? That would be pretty cool. Oh wait. Stan Laurel’s family has the copyright on that one.

I will not be forking out £88 for a lighter that is going to nag me every time I use it. I don’t even want to be given one. I will never charge it up because that is a waste of energy when I could be burning organics instead and I do not have, and never will have, an iPhone to make use of its ultra-nagging facilities.

Besides, it’s a heated-coil lighter. That’s no fun. The fiery lottery of striking a Zippo in the wind and not knowing if you’ll get three feet of horizontal flame just adds to the thrill.

I have no idea how many I smoke a day. I make between five and ten at a time using the tubing machine, as required. I keep no records. Then there’s the rollups and the pipe. Cigars are less than one a day by a pretty long chalk. Cigars take even longer than the pipe to smoke, I need a good long relaxing time for those. Some long summer evenings would be appreciated, so if Thor could be sedated for a while that would be good. Somebody give him a box of cigars and a bottle of whisky, it’ll calm him down.

Anyway, the world now has the first Pokenan in it. There will be more. There are already pocket breathalysers and pocket blood pressure monitors (every Daily Mail reader really needs one) and those pocket blood-sugar tests for diabetics will be rolled out to the generally gullible at vast profit soon.

We’re going to have to find names for these new Pokenans and someone is going to have to draw all the cards and cartoons for them. Beyond my skills, for sure.

Since practically everything is an arrestable offence now, it surely can’t be long before a Council Git pulls out a Pikanose to attack a motorist.

You all do it. You think nobody can see you mining mucus in your car but that glass is not one-way. I am not offended, I find it hilarious (except when you eat it – I have eaten horrible things but really, even I have limits).

Your lighter will not stop you smoking. Especially if you have paid £88 for it. You pay that much for something, you are going to use it to the max. You are not going to pay that much for a thing and a week later, throw it away. Not unless you are a politician, in which case someone else paid for it.

If you want to stop smoking and are finding it hard, it really isn’t. It’s all in your mind. You are not addicted, you have just been convinced of addiction. If ASH had any real people in it, they would tell you that. But if they did it might stop their gravy train.

If you want to stop and can’t get past that ‘addiction’ nonsense, try an Electrofag.

It’s a damn sight cheaper than an £88 nagging machine that pretends to be a lighter. What’s the betting that within a year, it will only light so many smokes per day and the number it will light will reduce every year?

The dicks who think themselves intelligent won’t even imagine that we can light extra ones with matches….



15 thoughts on “Pokenan.

  1. XX Morrisons have Aberlour 10-year-old priced at £20 at the moment. It’s safe to let the news out now, I already have mine right here.XX

    FUCK! Twenty fucking quid!!??

    Just got Terry Pratchetts newby “Raising steam.” I noticed that THAT is also 20 quid!

    What the HEL has happened to prices in the U.K in the last 16 years????


    • They’ve pretty much doubled? O_o

      Cheers for the Aberlour tip off though Leggy, I’ve filled my boots at my local Morrisons. 🙂


    • At least doubled. Five years ago, with twenty-odd quid, I’d be eyeing up Ardbeg. Now I’d need thirty-odd even to make it worthwhile looking at that shelf. There are bottles in Tesco (Yes, Tesco, the ones who claim to be cheap) priced over sixty quid!

      The local off-licences are gone. Out of business. Nobody can afford to keep them in business. Tesco can leave a bottle of whisky on the shelf for months while they profit from other sales – an off-licence can’t do that.

      The only expiry date on a bottle of whisky is the date you gave it to me 😉


  2. Dear Mr Leg-iron

    “– then you’d have to drop your whole arm into the back of that truck. Inconvenient, to say the least.”

    Might be worse if Revelations Ch.13 v.16 has it right:

    “16 And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:”

    Having to drop your head in might be slightly more inconvenient.

    Re your last paragraph – fear not, matches will be banned, as will sticks and boy scouts.



    • I’m using Revelations in ‘Panoptica’ – but I have microchips in hand, head and heart. Haven’t decided whether to include religion much, the State of that time has everyone worshipping (so far, things are still changing) The Windmill of Power. It never actually moves, but I have a plausible reason for it to not need to move to (ahem) ‘provide them all with power’ (it doesn’t).

      But I’m giving away too much. If I blab it all, nobody will need to buy it!


  3. Actually, Pokenan isn’t a bad idea; it just needs a few minor changes to make it perfect. Simulated emotions, to be precise. It starts out smug, then overbearing going through strident to panicked all the way to a mental breakdown by way of paranoia, a persecution complex and other simulated mental disorders.

    Imagine, if you will, the fun that you can have. Compete with your smoking friends to torture this electronics into the most entertaining mental abherrations and learned mental tics! Show off the most entertaining tantrums online! Save copies of the most twisted electronic mental states (I would recommend a small FPGA circuit to better simulate a neural net, the better to simulate things) for bragging rights online!


  4. Terrible, strange news;
    US drinkers have for the first time overtaken the French as the world’s No. 1 wine consumers, a report showed on Tuesday, with Americans developing a greater and more refined taste for France’s national beverage.

    Golly gosh, those awful, loud, brash and self-important people are no longer the worlds biggest wine drinkers ? That is hard to believe from here in Paris where a Chateau Mazails medoc is yours for 6 Euros (Cost in UK £20). I must say its going down well with a baguette well spread with roquefort. Luckily I had the presence of mind to buy 2 bottles as the first is almost gone.

    Does that smoking nagging machine/app also have the same but for drinking ?


    • There isn’t yet a drink counting machine although I understand pocket breathalysers exist. I don’t want one of those either unless it has a limit beyoind which it self-destructs.

      None of these things work. I saw an electronic road sign that lights up as you approach with the speed the car is moving at. Boy racers use it to prove their speed to their mates and try to push it beyond the two digits it has available (It’s in a 30 MPH zone in Wales).

      The ‘units per day’ is seen not as a limit but as a challenge. How much salt can you get on your chips and still be able to eat them? How much sugar in your tea? All these ‘limits’ instantly become ‘the minimum’ or you’re laughed at.

      This lighter will have the same effect. It won’t cut down smoking. It will cause smoking competitions.

      And there is a country drinking more wine than France? Buck up your ideas, France, you are slacking here.


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