I’m not the kind of guy that regularly quotes Chandler Bing (‘Could I be anymore of a Friend’s nerd?’) but the character was rather on-the-nose with the statement:
“The bottom line is smoking is cool and you know it.”
He wasn’t wrong, and you know that too.
Smoking is cool.
This is undeniable.
One can gauge this from the perpetually fag-in-hand look-at-me nonchalance that the greatest heroes of our age have espoused because…they’re cool.
John Wayne (plus denim jeans).
These outstanding instances of masculinity/cool are the benchmark for our performance as a species. If we’re never going to be as cool as these guys were when they were smoking; shall we bother continuing?
Thus, we keep smoking.
Still, there are reasons as to why smoking is so darn cool, and I’ve just taken my dog for a walk and mulled it over aloud to him.
He agreed with me completely; and who are you to deny my dog?
So, to begin, it is chemical – smoking is a drug.
There is a BBC documentary in which the presenter investigates the pleasures of smoking.
He states he in his forties, never once having smoked and is now about to partake; sat in chair with multiple leads connecting him, shirt-off and via those sucky things, to computers that beep as though they’re pretending they know what they’re doing.
He ignites and is immediately coughing and spluttering (the only two things that are ever mentioned whenever smoking is initiated by the uninitiated) as though he’d never smoked before; which he hadn’t.
It cuts away and then back to him a moment later, reclining casually and with the smoke-filled lackadaisical grin common of those realising that this pleasure is relatively cheap, thoroughly enjoyable, completely legal and suddenly making him feel a good deal more-cool than he had ten minutes earlier.
He is converted to the factual pleasure of smoking by sheer experience. Well done him.
The rush of nicotine is one thing, but also consider that when smoking you’re not breathing and the lack of oxygen makes you a tad sleepy till the second second’s blast of nicotine hits again, the heart pumps and the pupils dilate and you take a moment for a breath of fresh and freeing oxygen before plunging back to the depths of the sedate-party that keeps you up all night.
If you hadn’t noticed by my prose, I used to be a smoker.
And now I’m distinctly less cool.
Then there is the pop-culture aspect.
Hemingway and John Wayne (plus denim jeans) – those guys, via TV, film, and the occasional strangely erotic magazine centrefold, emerging out of the mist, accomplished and horny (yikes) and ready to either gun you down like the script says to or write the script that says to gun you down; either way they’re smoking. And utterly cool.
And then one cannot deny the impact of the local popular minority, whom (at the typical teenage age) smoked themselves to blackened pieces in an effort to be an even more popular and more minor minority to such a degree that you wanted to be a part of it.
Their smoking was influenced and an influencer of all of the above and all of the below and if you didn’t start smoking because of other people standing near you then you’re an individual and I tip my hat to you.
There is also the mind’s being influenced by the physicality of smoking.
Don’t forget: sticks, stones and humankind were born perfectly for breaking politician’s bones and they’re wary of this.
One day, like guns and knives, the daily walking stick will be considered (rightfully so) a lethal weapon and shall be controlled by the central powers.
Holding a stick or a stone fills one with a sensation of capacity to affect.
With a stick or stone in hand, things happen as you decide them to, and the ancient feeling born from this is of confidence.
Have you ever held a handgun?
I have, and I felt distinctly un-fucked-with for those few minutes.
Smoking slots into this category, in terms of sensation akin to holding a gun/phallus and in terms of being removed by central powers.
Psychology all comes down to waggling your stick and waggling your phallus, in a smoking area or not. Man and woman, the cigarette is an emblem for the masculine phallus and it’s a pleasure to waggle.
Not only that, but a cigarette is a penis and a nipple.
Like a fish or a fat guy, having something in our mouths creates the illusion that we are safe according to the fact that we’re apparently eating.
The illusion of eating makes us feel better, and a cigarette re-enacts for us eating at our most secure; in our mother’s arms, sucking on her nipple.
In other words: smoking feels like home.
In additional other words: smoking feels like home and you also get to waggle your phallus around.
Cigarettes are one of the only things that you light on fire and then proceed to place in your mouth. And that’s cool.
Not to say that things are improved once aflame, but there’s no denying things become cooler when fire is involved.
It is natural too.
We are the sort of species to find something, plant it, grow it, eat it, wear it, smoke it, inject it, and plant it again. Ancient cigarettes, entirely made of leaf, are something I can create and thus relate to.
I cannot, however, create a vaporizer. And so, accordingly, I want nothing to do with them.
Plus they remove the masculine/slightly acrid flavour of old shag and replace it with the doing-no-good-for-anyone marshmallow-rainbow-blossom flavour whilst you also look like you’re sucking a robot’s dick.
And that’s not my kind of cool.
They’re not our overlord’s just-yet. Let’s hold fire on the robot-dick sucking. Your toaster doesn’t hold such sway at the moment.
Finally, don’t smoke; it’s not cool for people who don’t smoke.
“Oh I simply must have my noxious intake in which I brood; a 48-year old cool kid that’s standing up against THE MAN (who doesn’t want cancer)” is the pro-smoking argument and it can simply either grow-up, fuck-off, or fuck-off in a grown-up way.
It’s not so much the fear of cancer, or even the wimpy argument that comes from a determined smoker…it’s the large smelly stage effect that you’ve just heaved out of your insides floating its way towards me down the street as I exit the building.
And that’s not cool.
Ultimately, despite being distinctly uncool, smoking is perhaps the coolest things a person can do; and that is why it’s still here.
Whaddaya gonna do?
Apparently it’s also bad for you – so perhaps it’s best to avoid.
Either way; LIKE and FOLLOW 🙂
As I write this upon my commute to work, there’s a woman on this train whose whole head looks exactly like a fish.
Not just a fish’s face, but a whole fish.
Now, I’m not classless enough to take a public photograph of this woman to share it over the internet, so I’ll do what I can to tell the tale of her face.
You’ve probably already arrived there already when you read “looks exactly like a fish”; enormous lips.
What can you do? Enormous lips are a mixture of what you think of when you picture a fish-looking-female, add some DNA, a dash of cosmetic surgery and perhaps a whole splodge of poutiness; it’s just a matter of business between your nose and chin that is different for all folk.
I’d love bigger lips, for mine are very mere – thin and the part of me that even the neighbourhood cat wouldn’t start eating if it found me dead (he’d probably start with my cheeks – I’ve got plenty of those).
Although, it’s probably beneficial to have the thin lips I do as I’ve a smile slightly broader than my face and to have lips on a par with this fish-headed woman would result in confused headaches for all who happened to look at me.
Again; what can you do?
Aside from the obvious lip-factor, next come her ears. Her ears are like a fish’s fins and obliques, bejewelled with earrings and make-up like some precious fish’s shining and glittering scales.
Her eyes are bulging and yet fishily-expressionless; shaded with tropical blue and green. I can’t tell what’s nearer to the tip of my nose from ten feet away; her what-can-you-do lips or her ‘are-you-livid/aroused/hungry/bemused/amused//confused/proud/excited-eyes’.
Her hair colour is irrelevant; but the shape was not.
Both blonde and brunette hair, raised in a pony-tail (whilst looking entirely unlike a horse – to her credit…and mine; I’ll take credit for anything) yet dangling out the back and finishing with an upwards jaunty flourish…………………like a tropical fish tail.
Again; her whole head is shaped as though a whole tropical fish. And I’m not finished yet.
The shape of her head.
It was fish shaped.
I’ll leave this description at that point; the point I’ve ran out of things to and enthusiasm with which to describe and am pleased at this.
She looks like a tropical fish, but here’s the rub.
What is she like?
Is she extraordinarily nice, intelligent and funny, self-mocking of her tropical fish shaped head?
Does she hate it, does she laugh at it, does she do both?
It’s a common factor, I feel, that people look a certain way yet are in and of themselves not that certain way but rather another.
Caught her eye just then, shared a moment’s gaze.
Is she delighted at the prospect of an admiring glance, the prospect of someone finding her attractive? Or does she wonder what the fuck this ugly guy is staring at her for, eager to, rather than be stared at, head home to her local pub and grab a handful of the lined-up and dutiful boners awaiting her?
Maybe they think she’s gorgeous and there’s no real sign that she isn’t. Just, also fish-like.
Beauty is in the eye of whomever is going to fuck this fish-headed woman. I’m sure there’s a market for this sort of thing; and if she’s got a clever brain she’ll dip her toes in it.
Perhaps she’s a decade ahead of me in this thinking; she’s been herself for longer than I’ve considered her on this one-hour and 15 minute train journey.
Good for her.
Some folk are born to look a certain way, and we need to deduct that from our perception of their potential personality.
Imagine Brad Pitt growing up, if you weren’t already doing so as you became bored throughout the fish-head description.
Picture Brad trying desperately searching to find self-critical flaws, as is the habit of teenagers’ the world over and through time, yet he encounters a reflection of a chap so handsome he simply realises his life is going to be ok.
Maybe he’ll try acting.
With looks that good, one must presume that at some point you’ll be handed a large sum of money; just on principle. Ever seen a Brad-Pitt-good-looking homeless guy? I’m still looking.
Perhaps that’s because there is no one of Earth that comes close to Brad Pitt good looking.
I considered a young Johnny Depp, and then realised this was folly. The only person who comes close to Brad Pitt as he is now; is Brad Pitt at other points in his life.
He is a standard of good-looking guy that is unattainable for all others.
If you have a baby boy, you might imagine he could become President of the USA, be an astronaut and walk on Mars, maybe even be Bill Gates rich; but you’ll never even for a moment entertain the insane thought that he’ll match Brad Pitt in the face.
If you concentrate on the idea of beautiful women, 10,000 rush into your head, blurring and merging into the basically the same image.
Angelina Jolie looks like Gal Gadot, looks like Natalie Portman, looks like Keira Knightley, looks like Winona Ryder.
The most beautiful woman in the world; and there’s five of them.
When concentrating on a handsome bloke; you think of Brad Pitt. Sometimes you do it just for the enjoyment of it; why not? I do. It’s not gay, it’s human, like watching the Northern Lights.
No one on Earth is better looking than that guy, and he has to live with that.
Face it – there was only ever Brad Pitt.
And here, ‘face-it‘ doesn’t mean confront the situation, it means: do what Brad does.
Insert your extraordinarily-godly-good-looking face into your woes and watch shit get solved.
Brad Pitt got divorced from one of those many most-beautiful-woman-in-the-Hollywood-world, a real high-quality sort of wife that’s worth keeping for the kudos alone. A tricky divorce, kids, money, tabloids, and no-doubt some heartbreak to bitter-sweeten the hurt.
Know how he got over it?
He looked like Brad Pitt, and now all’s well.
It’s much later in the day now, and the fish-headed woman disembarked and went about her London day, and I mine.
I wish her well and hope she looked kindly on my ugly visage.
Here’s to her.
A whole new standard of fish-headedness.
And, honestly, kind of cute.
My beautiful wife has those same lips.
And I’m not Brad Pitt.
But, then again, no one is.
Only Brad Pitt was Brad Pitt and, really, Brad Pitt is all there ever was.
His face; onto the rocket it goes.
See you next time,
I hate the saxophone.
Especially when someone is blowing one, indeed – blowing any wind/brass instrument, whilst maintaining eye-contact with me.
Looking deep into my eyes and blowing (not going to call it ‘playing’) the saxophone is the one thing that creeps me out in the whole orchestra; even the wind-chimes don’t elicit such a response from me.
That aside, I also feel that the saxophone simply sounds terrible and has no place in my ear or on planet Earth. There’s just no need for it and I want it gone.
I hate the saxophone deeply, but not as deeply as the blowers of them looking into my eyes whilst they’re going at it.
It looks like a creepy thing to do, like when my dog holds eye contact whilst farting – not betraying the slightest hint of fart-awareness which I feel is ever-so-slightly what he is going for.
He doesn’t even wag his tail to aid in relocating the whiff.
I hate the saxophone. It tries too hard.
They also look stupid, like an alien willy that some megalomaniac elected to emboss with gold and make glint. Too many valves and too many fiddly-bits. This is not an alien willy I feel I can get behind, whilst also certainly not wanting it behind me.
Then there’s the sound.
Another passion of mine is hatred for a general consensus that I didn’t have a say in.
For example, Olympians being seen as heroes. They’re not doing it for me, are they?
They’re devastating their childhood in the hope of some on-camera human-interest moment that might hopefully lead to presence in a biscuit advertisement and a life-long career as a pundit. Olympians are not heroes; they’re admirable capitalists.
Now I’m grumpy.
My reason for mentioning this is that I also reject the notion that the saxophone is the sound of cool.
It’s not cool. It is the pantomime joke of cool.
It is the overly-archetypal noise that is penciled in as representative of moonlit rendezvous with the limp-via-emotion dame being held firmly in the five firm fingers of the cool guy in his American car that speeds out of town from behind this pool-club and into the next town wanky enough to be represented by the saxophone.
Pass me…the trombone.
Now THAT is an alien penis I can get behind (still don’t want it behind me though – I guess no one wants to be snuck up on by brass and jazz instruments).
The trombone is mighty; comical and hellishly resonating, requiring guts, pomp and proud forearms (essential) to play. It is a sound that represents “Uh-Oh!” and “Oh Dear!” and is quite simply the most hilariously erotic noise an orchestra can summon.
I love the trombone.
It is silly, funny (with a capital F, U, N, N, and Y; making it simply a loud-to-read “FUNNY”), jolly, erotic, proud, strong, bold, awkward and wholly unnatural a noise outside of our heads. It’s like a some surreal cow that knows you’re engaging in intercourse and wants the whole meadow to be aware.
Again, it also looks tremendous, requiring the forearm strength and depth of puff that makes a man a good one. It can be gold and shiny, but also looks tremendous when dulled; like it was carried into battle and has been found in an old veteran’s foot-looker.
Think of all the jolly and noble generic jazz you can conjure in your head. It’s not a saxophone – it’s a trombone that saves the day.
And I’ve been considering publication names; what do you think of this:
I figured it a great name for a publication, in the spirit of the famed ‘bugle’, and would be the daily trombone. Power, purity, dirt and hilarity, it is an instrument that requires meat-pipes and a good arm to commit to; plus it is the key to the classically comedic ear-filler of https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7GRnNzIvbh8, or simply the good-old https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tKdcjJoXeEY .
Whilst I feel ‘The Trombone’ would be a smashing name for a publication, I’ve begun to engage in another activity that sees me through the day.
Fortunately, I’ve begun to slap myself each and every day in the spirit of reality, atonement for unfulfilled ambition and having a palm-full of face.
The Daily Slap, another positive name for a publication, snaps you out of the bitter funk of boredom (the only bad kind – even a funky smell is a positive thing to have in your kitchen, wallet and wife) that will will you down, keep you blue and unsexy, and fuzz your head with as much unoriginality as a saxophone.
However, beware brain cells prior to engaging in The Daily Slap.
There’s always the issue that you may become good at this, and in doing so elevate your palms to the rush-impact standard of deducting yourself the crucial brain cells that enable reading and fucking.
If you can’t read and you can’t fuck; you’d better have a damn fine hairstyle otherwise you’ll never be popular.
Unless mothers and wide-eyed mummy-wannabies will gather you up in their arms and insist you cannot read and fuck to such a hopeless degree that the only real solution to the unpleasant future ahead is a blanket and the instruction to bury one’s head in it and suck whatever you can find to suck within.
And even throughout such a distant and roaming thought process as the above, I still find my hatred of the saxophone to be a prevalent part of my being.
The Daily Slap, I recommend, as it is a real means of engaging with oneself and shudders off the dust of lethargy and is a real kick in the trousers (in the form of a slap in the face).
So, ‘The Trombone’ or ‘The Daily Slap’ – either way; have a good day.