Saturday, 12 May 2007

The Autobiography Of A Non-Smoker Who Kind Of Smoked . . . Part One

I wouldn’t say I was ever a smoker; I had a few puffs in my time that’s all . . . quite a few puffs actually.

On the 1st of July 2007 a public smoking ban will be enforced in Britain. It’s about time if you ask me . . . filthy habit. This doesn’t mean that the public will not be allowed to smoke. It means that they will not be allowed to smoke in public. It pains me that I have to make this clear.

Apart from being able to leave a bar without smelling like cigarettes I’m not too sure how else this will affect my life.

I have fond memories of cigarettes, and I rarely smoked. I can vividly remember most drags and a little story that came along with it.

I had my first smoke in 1992; I was seven years old at the time. I was hanging out with my sister and two other friends; it was a cold and wet day. The kind of day where kids don’t play outside; they stay at home making noise and disturbing the domestic peace. We found our way outside though, for one reason only. One of our buddies had found a packet of cigs which had one remaining. I didn’t think to ask him where it was found, I just wanted in on the action. The four of us hid under a staircase which led up to a flight of flats where they lived . . . this was literally at the side of my house. Not a good move.

We sat in a circle and passed the cigarette around. It looked like fun until my turn came along . . . I didn’t know how to smoke. I sucked on the butt and nothing came out . . . lame. I exhaled anyway hoping that some smoke would appear . . . nothing. The cigarette was taken from me and I never held it again.

The fact that I never actually smoked didn’t stop my mum from giving me a beating for smoking. This was quite unjust if you ask me. We were unaware at the time but our friend’s mother had spotted us. Didn’t she know the street code? You don’t Snitch!

A Decade Later

My first real smoking experience never came until I was eighteen (early 2003). I’ve always had a firm personal stance against smoking, filthy habit. Drinking? . . . Now that was a whole different ball game. I would go to bars with my friends and get drunk; after I got drunk I would mellow out in a corner or facedown on a stool by a table and get all reflective about my life. PARTY ANIMAL!!! . . . not quite.

My best friend at the time had recently taken up smoking. I asked him for a cigarette and like most friends who want the best for you he obliged, and handed me a lighter with it.

It burned my throat when I first inhaled. He told me this was normal because I had ‘Virgin Lungs’ . . . meh . . . the next few drags felt better . . . then the next few cigarettes felt better.

This process continued for a few months. I would go out, get drunk and then mooch free cigs from my mates.

I was so close to becoming a smoker and I didn’t even realise until one day I strolled past a corner shop and wanted to go inside to buy cigarettes. I didn’t have enough money on me and was too lazy to go and withdraw cash. That’s when I realised that I had better stop all of this smoking nonsense before I actually became a smoker.

The problem is that I never had a serious problem. I literally quit just like that, it wasn’t even an issue for me. This is probably why I found myself smoking again two years later. It was nothing to me.

Two Years Later

A couple of years later I was hanging out of my bathroom window puffing on a cigarette that I had won the previous week. So shameful I know.

I had met up with my girlfriend (now ex girlfriend) at a bar. It was September 05, I was twenty-one, the sun was shining and I had recently graduated from University. Life was going well.

We chilled at an outside table chatting away about things I can’t care to remember. She pulled out a deck of card and we played a few hands while we conversed. I wasn’t on a hot streak that day; I was just so good that I didn’t lose. I was getting cocky now so we decided to make it ‘interesting’.

She never had much on her . . . a choc bar, comb, two lighters and a packet of cigarettes. I guess she thought that the laws of probability would turn and favour her . . .

. . . I won it all!

I cleaned her out and popped all of her things into a draw string bag. I had planned on returning them to her at a later date . . . but I ended up hanging out of a window smoking the cigarette in my bathroom. It was 1am and I couldn’t sleep . . . meh . . . I haven’t smoked since, high five anybody?
Part Two Coming Up Next
A to the . . .


Shrink wrapped scream said...

Oh, those freebie cigarettes will be the death of me!

I quit over 16 years ago, but for years could happily bum the odd cigarette, smoke it, and never feel the need for another. Until I went off on a girlies weekend, and felt shamed into buying a pack, to offer some back.

That was over two years ago..
Several thousand packs later, I vow every week, this has got to stop!

Lady_T said...

Hey AK, that aint you in the pic is it?

Please verify...

Anonymous said...

lol Lady T, it does look a bit like him doesnt it?!

Coincidence? i think not!

Ak-Man said...


That picture is me at an anti-smoking rally three years ago.

Back when hiking boots were the bees knees and everyone wore sunshades on a cloudy day!

My days . . .

Sebastien said...

I was kinda like that, haha, bumming cigs... fortunately it didn't get too bad for me. I've always been way into sports, and it's when I realized smoking was starting to slow me down a bit, I decided to never smoke another cigarette...

Joy said...

when I was a kid both my parents smoked and I thought it was absolutely revolting... fast forward to college and I started myself. I'm still smoking. I've quit for a couple of years at a time and then I go back. Ugh. Every day is "I'm quitting today" and every day I don't. I was smarter when I was a kid!