Monday, June 25, 2007

Hurrah for The Daily Telegraph...Again!

The Daily Telegraph has been one of the most consistently smoker-friendly papers in the UK. An excellent little sketch and cartoon in The Telegraph Magazine for 23rd June (2007) outlines this fact perfectly and gets Uncle Blad's vote of the week. Anyway, here it is:

Social stereotypes The anti-smoking bore. By Victoria Mather.
Drawing by Sue Macartney-Snape.

Deirdre is an exhibitionist anti-smoker. She flaps her hands, sighs, coughs theatrically and excuse-mes if anyone lights up within breathing distance, even outside on the breezy terrace of Le Coq au Vin. Her shock-horror glare and pursed lips convey a flashing think bubble of 'You are indulging in a filthy, odious, vile habit' towards the offender. Her emission of tsunamis of self-righteousness imply that the pariah might as well be indulging in Polonium Marlboro.

July 1st is going to be Deirdre's D-Day; a triumph of Nanny-knows-best over reckless individualism. Since Deirdre thinks Hyde Park is a confined space, she will be doing her tobacco traffic warden act if she detects a persecuted puffer sneaking a fag while feeding the swans on the Serpentine. Deirdre can detect a whiff of cigarette smoke at a million paces; it kickstarts her diatribe about the 'invisible killer' and how 85 per cent of the smoke you don't see or smell is just as deadly as the smoke that you do. She rejoices in the £80 on-the-spot fines, and it can't be a moment too soon before drivers are condemned for smoking at the wheel. Deirdre's friends are extremely wary of asking her to supper since, even at a barbeque where smell is just one big carcinogenic holocaust, she'll still tell other guests that they stink of fags - an accusation that can be misinterpreted in a crowd - and did they know what pressure smoking is putting on their hearts to pump oxygen round their bodies? Deirdre may even hold a medicated wipe protectively over her nose while imparting these intimations of doom. Carbon monoxide particles in the blood...clogged arteries...blocked circulation: Damien should really get a counsellor through QUIT.

Damien now wants to smoke four cigs at once and stub them all out on Deirdre's face. She's saying 'It is people like you who are threatening my attempt to get pregnant net year', while he's thinking the old bat's probably one of the smoke police infiltrating restaurants who are slapping an extra quid on his council tax.