When I was a much younger pup, I decided that smoking was for me. I would rifle through my mum's handbag for the gnarled and woody shredded-wheat bits of tobacco that had fallen out of the fabled Golden Virginia pouch, and with pieces of paper torn from my geography exercise book, I'd wrap myself cigarettes that were truly the stuff of the devil.
Hospitalised much? Yes, I was. But with it came a strong chest and an iron constitution that set me up for a lifetime's worth of smoking ol' glory: cigarettes of any brand. You see, I'm not closely associated with any particular make, model or type. Length, size, weight, width, colour - I don't care - if it smokes when you light it, I'll give it a puff.
And that's another thing that I find funny, all these 'comedy' allusions to homosexuality that you get when you're smoking fags. It makes me want to walk up to the nearest chemist and ask a few hard-hitting questions of the guy who's on work experience, and quiz him about the etymology of such words and phrases. Sorry, I digress but only in the name of giving you a complete impression of me as a rounded individual.
Anyway, all things being equal (and they're not) I decided from a very young age that smoking was right for me. Now, whether it was because of some universal humor to which I have not been oriented, or whether I've been struck down by an evil corporation that wants my soul so that it can trade it for whale meat - I got Everything disease. Now, you may laugh, as I know I did, but this disease is the worst that can possibly hit you. Oh yes, they tell you on the bag of fag packets that "Smoking causes death" and "The government will practice eugenics until you stop" - but you never believe it until it happens either to you, or to a celebrity smoker that you used to like in the 80s, like Bobby Davro. There I was, in jail hospital, when I was given the news that I only had three weeks worth of lung left.
Yes, it was shocking - and if they'd have thought about it they would have broken it to me gently. As it was, I needed a fag before I could calm down. Three weeks and all I'd have left inside would be something that looked like a can of tuna that's been dipped in some kind of barbeque sauce... possibly one of those sauces you get at TGI Fridays with all the Jack Daniels in it. Smokey! Sorry - I'm making light of my situation now which is foolish because you'll never understand now what it was like to be told that I had to either change my ways... or die.
I was distraught at being given such an option. I either stopped smoking and lived, or I carried on and choked - literally and metaphorically. Boy... what a dilemma! I mean, giving up in your own free time, that's one thing. But having some snot-nosed punk-ass forty-something doctor with a 4x4 and a slick haircut telling you to stop smoking - that's quite another!
In time I guess I'll learn to cope. And its thanks to give up fags that I will, I'm sure. Keep watching!