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Wednesday, 6 June 2007

Proof That Smoking is Bad For Your Health

I’m a smoker, a fact that I’m not particularly proud of. I have tried on mainly occasions to give up, but have always failed. The main reason I have failed is due to lack of willpower. With the up coming smoking ban almost upon us here in England it really is about time I tried again. Perhaps if I referred to it more positively it might help. Maybe trying isn’t good enough. Giving up would be a better phase to use.

This morning a couple of colleagues of mine joined me for a smoke, which takes place in a small bus shelter in the office car park. The three of us entered the shelter while chatting, when suddenly a Chav stuck his head round the corner and said to me “Got a spare fag mate?”

I replied, very politely “No. Sorry I haven’t” and proceeded to continue my conversion. I had expected our guest to accept my reply and shuffle on his way, but he had other ideas and retorted with “But you’ve just put a pack of 20 in your pocket”. I responded by repeating my previous statement, but he was still insisting that he deserved it more than I.

Annoyed by his constant pestering, I told him that there was a shop around the corner that which would be more than happy to sell him some. Unfortunately I may have sounded a bit sarcastic in my reply and he came back at me with some very offensive abuse. It was at this point that I realised that the situation have suddenly become dangerous and I was aware that all other conversation in the shelter had ceased. I could see out of the corner of my eye that my colleagues were slowly, but surely moving toward the other end of the shelter.

When he shouted “Do you think that I’d be scrounging if I had money?”, I really wanted to reply that if he got a job he would have the money he needed for his purchase. However, it occurred to me that comments like that wouldn’t help in diffusing the situation and a tight lipped approach would be better. At this point I decided to say no more. After he had ranted for a while I think he realised that I was not going to respond further, got bored and walked off with a Chav type swagger in his step.

I was very glad that I still retained all my teeth and limbs after our little chat. But I was visibly shaken by the whole experience. It took me quite a while to calm down and I kept thinking of people who lose their lives in similar circumstances. I was also reminded of the joke,

Q – Why did the Chav cross the road?

A – To pick a fight with a complete stranger.


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  1. You should have stated the obvious Chris, to a smoker there is no such thing as spare fag.

    Should have told him, if you can't buy you can't try.

  2. Dear Blogger
    Sorry to here about your experience, but don’t you think you’re being a bit judgemental?
    You say the man was a Chav? Was it because he was wearing a tracksuit?
    You say he became abusive when you refused him a cigarette?

    Picture this: -
    A young modern gentleman leaves the gym; this is the second week after he stopped smoking.
    Just after he leaves the gym he receives a mobile phone call from his wife.
    She tells him that his Nan has just passed away.
    The man is devastated by the news, he loved his Nan deeply.
    After a few minutes wait he continued his journey home. While walking along and thinking about his departed love one his cravings for a cigarette overwhelm him. Unfortunately he never takes money to the Gym.
    By chance his journey takes him past an office where some smokers are having a fag. The young man calms his grief and asks the nearest smoker politely “could you spare a cigarette”?
    The smoking man judges the young man on his appearance and says no.
    The young man is desperate for a cigarette and asks again.
    The smoker sarcastically informs the grieving, track suit wearing young man who doesn’t have any money on him that there is a shop round the corner!!

    The rest is history.

  3. Pete,

    Perhaps I was a little judgemental, but yesterday you suggested that I should have beaten him to a pulp. That's not really my style now is it?

    When I was a regular rail commuter I was constantly harassed for cigarettes and became fed up with it. After one particular nasty incident I took to carrying around an empty packet to show would be scroungers that I had none.

    My philosophy for life is to treat others the way I wish to be treated. I don't go around abusing other people. I always try to be polite and courteous as I feel it makes for a better life experience all round. I was brought up to be courteous and that it costs nothing.


  4. So what about his dead Nan?

  5. Pete,

    I don't suppose she will be too mad with me as she's probably too busy chatting with St. Peter at the gates.


  6. Reminds me of a less inflammatory situation that I found myself in a few weeks ago. Walking home from work a couple of youngish Lidl denizens impeded my progress.

    The first asked me if ‘I had a fag mate?’ I politely explained that I didn’t smoke (whilst keeping my hand on my wallet).

    A slight pause followed then the second asked if I ‘had a light mate?’.

    I do despair sometimes, I really do.

  7. Whether or not someone has a dead nan, it is not a strangers obligation to soothe the ache that their pocket cannot.

    Where I am, if someone is that desperate, they will offer to buy a cigarette out of your pack for up to a dollar.