(A quick acknowledgement to Anonymous in the comments here for the tip.)
Where I live, there are many old people. It's like living in God's waiting room sometimes. They get in the way, pretend to be deaf, pretend they haven't seen you when they're battering through with a shopping trolley or one of those electric pavement cars that turn them into wrinklier versions of Davros, they shout when they feel like it and hog the bar in pubs and have half-hour conversations with post office staff but only if there's a big queue..
I'm looking forward to getting old. You can be an absolute swine and nobody can touch you for it. I can't wait to sidle up to young girls and say with a plastic-toothed leer, 'I'm eighty-six you know, and it's all working downstairs'. One wink, and watch them run. Hey, I'll pretend to be senile and get away with it every time. They all do. (if I should come across one who doesn't run, I'll die happy).
With a high population of oldies comes a large amount of ground space devoted to old folks' homes. They look awful. Oh, they look very clean and well kept, with trimmed lawns and very well organised flower beds - but the folk who live there aren't allowed to touch them. A building full of people who'd desperately like to have something to do, and these places hire someone to look after the gardens. Meanwhile the residents die off one by one, mostly of boredom and outdoor refrigeration. These 'homes' look like places to store coffin-filler and nothing more. I'll die in the gutter before I go into one of them.
The smoking ban, so far, has not extended to your own home. Unless your home is in one of these depositories for the nearly departed. I regularly see eighty-plus-year-olds standing outside these places, puffing away and shivering. There's not even a shelter - and there's snow on the ground now, and the brass monkeys have wisely gone south until May. There'll be fewer wrinklies here when they get back.
So why can't they smoke indoors in what is, in fact, their home? Because despite the fact many of them are paying with their childrens' inheritance, it's not regarded as theirs. They occupy storage space for undertaker's stock. They are not allowed to smoke in there in case it shortens their lives. I think boredom, and standing outside in the snow will probably be far more effective in that respect and part of me thinks well, maybe that's the idea. The Righteous are nothing if not utterly merciless.
As evidenced by the story tipped by Anon, in which those dying of things like lung cancer are shown no mercy by the Righteous Doctor Chris Spencer-Jones, a man surely descended from Vlad the Impaler himself but with less compassion.
The dying, in their final hours, must drag themselves with numb fingertips from their beds and out into the car park to smoke. The morgue is going to seem like a heat wave to them and Righteous Chris is the man they'll thank for it. They can also thank him for hastening their arrival there.
This is the NHS. The ones we pay into throughout our working lives so they can look after us when we're dying. The Righteous Chris calls himself 'doctor' when perhaps 'inquisitor' might be more appropriate. What's 'compassion', Doctor Chris? Something frogs do when mating? You clearly have no idea at all and you don't care as long as your morality trumps the world. Doctor Chris, look up sociopath.
Well, Doctor Chris, I have here, in a fridge downstairs, something that can clear a Clostridium difficile infection in under a week, and no recurrence. I hope and pray you catch that when you're old and frail. I hope you read and remember this message. I hope you ask for it.
My response? Sorry. I'm not allowed in your hospital. I'm a smoker. All I can do is watch you die through the window.
Something you regard as fun at the moment. Remember, one day, that you said this:
Bureaucrat Dr Chris Spencer-Jones, South Birmingham public health director, ranted against the renovation plans, saying he did not care if lifelong smokers were dying, he still didn’t want them smoking indoors.
The Righteous Doctor Chris Spencer-Jones. A 'man' who puts his personal morality above the last moments of those dying in pain.
And to think, the devil thought he was the most evil creature ever. Righteous Chris has just trumped him.
Local shopkeeper Harbinder Samra, known as Danny, from Samra’s News and Booze, in Tessall Lane, Northfield is used to seeing relatives buy cigarettes for cancer patients at the nearby unit in Sheldon Drive.
I know it's a little callous of me to digress under the circumstances but one day, I really have to visit this shop. What an absolutely fantastic name for a shop. Tesco, go to hell. Morrisons, you have no imagination. Asda? What's an Asda? Samra's News and Booze should syndicate worldwide. The best name for a shop ever.]