It has long been a mantra of the Dreadful Arnott and her distorted minions that ‘half of all smokers will die from their habit’. The other half will die of being harrassed by antismokers and snubbed by the NHS. Dying of smoking actually sounds like the easier option here.
The antis have now upped the ante. Two-thirds of us will now die from smoking. Soon it will be all of us, as if it isn’t already. Die as a result of having a grand piano full of lead dropped on you from a skyscraper, and if you smoked, it’s a smoking related death. The antismokers are slowly raising the bar but the slapped quackside of the medical profession is way ahead of them. If you’re overweight, had a beer and a smoke, and fail to get out of the way of an out-of-control bus, your death will be smoking – alcohol – obesity – lack of exercise – related. You only had one life but you’ll have four deaths.
Nonsmokers will never die… oh really? The straight edge people will die just as surely as the smokers. Just… from something else. Maybe they think they’ll die of old age but nobody dies of that any more. Cause of death is never ‘just had enough of it’ these days.
Modern medicine seems baffled by death. Why do people persist in doing it despite the best efforts of medicine to keep their crumbling, wasted frames in zombie-like stasis for eternity? Why don’t people seem to want that?
Medicine used to be concerned with quality of life. Now all it cares about it quantity. You must not enjoy this or that because you’ll be alive for less time and then we can’t put you in a ‘care’ home and beat you and humiliate you and poke and prod at you to see how death can be thwarted. Why is it that so many people resist reaching those years of frailness and daily ritual humiliation? Don’t they know that we know best?
Get it into your heads. You are going to die. It might be anything from seconds to decades away but it is coming and there is nothing you can do about it. I might die before I finish this post or I might write a thousand more. I don’t know. So stop obsessing about it because you can only die once. This isn’t Playstation. You don’t get three lives, you get one ‘Game Over’ and that’s the end of the game.
It’s easy, too. You don’t even have to try. It just happens. It’s much, much harder to make it not happen.
You can choose to be ‘straight edge’ which I recently discovered means no smoking, no drinking, no drugs, etc. Well, if you enjoy life that way, go for it. It’s not for me. I don’t bother with the harder drugs – caffeine, alcohol and nicotine are all I need – but they are things I enjoy in life.
I know I’m not addicted to any of them. I spent many years decaffeinated and really didn’t notice all that much difference, but later I took a real liking for espresso. I still have alcohol-free days if I have to get up early for a morning shift because my current job (like pretty much all the others) is not one you’d want to do with a hangover. As for tobacco, I have no problem with travelling by train or plane without smoking, I’d just prefer not to. Sitting around doing nothing, feeling relaxed, is when I’d quite like to enjoy a smoke. That’s what killed pubs for me. The ‘relax’ and the ‘smoke’ are entirely separated now so all the fun’s gone out of it.
You anti-everythings can pretend I’m addicted to all of them if you like. I don’t care. You’ll end up just as dead as me in the end. A hundred years from now your cheeldren’s cheeeldren (assuming they’ll still teach reading in school) will look back on the Dark Archives on the Internet and think ‘yeah, he was a smoker and a drinker and he’s dead now. He could have been 155 in a month’s time if he’d been straight-edge like us’.
Oh they won’t live any longer than we will. They’ll just believe they will live forever. There are those who already do.
I don’t know Death personally. He’s a friend of a friend, but he cannot be outrun. He will get every one of us sooner or later, no matter how we live our lives. We might be lighting a cigarette from the candles on our 100th birthday cake or dead of a pure-life brain haemorrhage at 40 (I recall this happening to someone I knew, about 20 years ago). There is no way to know.
All I really have to say on the matter is that I have one life. One go at this game. I’ll play it my way and maybe I’ll get it right, maybe I’ll get it wrong. That’s my business. Your life is your business. I am not interested in controlling your life, I have enough to do trying to control mine.
Maybe the Puritans will be smug at my graveside one day. Maybe I’ll flick ash on theirs. There is no sure and certain way to predict it, either way. Statistics are meaningless here because statistics do not apply to chaos, which is what life is based on.
I wioll not live as directed by someone else. As Bill Hicks said, we get only one go on this ride. Enjoy it or don’t enjoy it, there is no second ticket. Do it the way you want to do it but remember that no matter what you enjoy, no matter what you deny yourself…
…this ride will end.