The day has come where I’m finally contemplating quitting smoking. I haven’t fully had the contemplative chat yet. The one where I tell the smoking me that the non-smoking me is getting tired with his shit. That it’s time we stop ending every hard swimming session with a congratulatory smug smile and two cigarettes in a row on the walk home.
I’ve recently discovered those electronic cigarettes. You inhale, hold the ‘heat up’ button and take in what appears to be a concoction of nicotine and water vapour. You get that hot thing against the back of your throat and that. It’s pretty good. Especially when you’ve previously been smoking a Malay brand of cigarettes called Bingo’s – whose chemical ingredients have most probably been used by the military police to evict squatters in large numbers… or perhaps just on the odd occasion in international warfare.
Being a cheap-skate bastard, I wanted to know more before I fully give up cyanide, carbon monoxide, tar and uranium. So I called the helpline and asked where I can and can’t ‘smoke’ them. Will they indeed satisfy my craving for lethal toxic substances?
It went a bit like this.
Can I smoke them at work? Yes of course. In an office? Yes. In bed? Yes. In the shower? Yes. Wow, on a plane? It’s up to the discretion of the airline.
What the fuck? “If there is nothing being ‘smoked’ then what’s the problem?” It will make my long flight to Malaysia this Winter bearable if I can fake-smoke, you see. So I said, “Well, can I go in the toilet and have a secret fake-smoke?”
She basically said that if I was really that pathetic and desperate for one, then no one would know. Result.