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Gimme a Nail


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Can I switch from being a pack-a-week smoker to being a (temporary) nonsmoker? This would be just to help my wind a little over the next few weeks. Devil’s Advocate arguments arise: I didn’t smoke at all 15 years ago–well, hardly ever–and I didn’t run any better. In fact I ran rather worse, consistently. And there is no conclusive proof of long-term damage from light cigarette smoking.

Furthermore there is the moral argument. By keeping my Smoker’s Union Card active, I am helping to fight the good fight against the neo-Stalinist gang who endeavor to persuade us that pedophilia, miscegenation, and frottage parties on the town green are all perfectly fine; but people who enjoy traditional and moderate pleasures must be hounded like criminals.

So while I may shelve the minor pleasures for a little while–a useful discipline, in these last days of Lent–I don’t really see the point of doing it forever. I don’t propose to look down the long corridor of eternity and see nothing but No Smoking signs.

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