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If I Could Stop Smoking, You Can Quit Smoking Too

I was a great smoker.

I used to wake up in the morning, stretch, rub my eyes and say:

Morning again!  Time for a delicious, fibre-packed, vitamin-filled cigarette, bursting with all the essential nutrients an active adult needs!

Jesus, I loved them.  I often had three of them in bed before getting up.

Three!  Three delicious life-giving cigarettes!

Oh yes.  I was a world-class smoker.  I was such a heavy smoker, I used to light up a cigarette while I was already smoking.  I used to get up in the middle of the night to have a smoke.  I used to select only the holiday locations where I could smoke, which — to my astonishment — included Walt Disney World.  No white-water rafting for me, or bob-sledding.  No deep-sea diving.  No speleology.

For me it was strictly about lying on a beach in the Canaries, wrapped up snug in my duffel coat with forty or sixty Gitanes and a bottle of Japanese whiskey.  They wouldn’t let me smoke in the Louvre or the Uffizi, the bastards.  They wouldn’t let me smoke in Cologne cathedral either, nor in St Peter’s basilica, but I didn’t care.  I had my smokes and that was all that really mattered.

I didn’t care that a coffee cost 10 euros, because you had to have a newspaper and twenty smokes to enjoy it properly.  I didn’t care that a newspaper cost ten euros because you couldn’t read it properly without a coffee and twenty smokes.

And then, one day, I bumped into Dickler, who was as great a smoker as me.

Something strange about you, Dickler, I remarked, though I can’t quite put my finger …

And then it hit me.

Jesus, Dickler, there’s no cigarette in your gob!

That’s right, he said.  I don’t smoke any more.

I fixed him with a gimlet eye but he didn’t flinch.  He just stood there, leaning against the bar counter like an undelivered mattress.

But how ..? I was baffled.

Simple, he said.  I just stopped smoking.

Could it really be as simple as that?  Shit, if Dickler could do it, I could too.  And so, the next time I wanted to smoke, I didn’t.  It wasn’t too bad.  And then, the time after that, I didn’t again.  And before I knew it, I wasn’t not smoking any more. I just didn’t smoke, and I still don’t, five years later.

It came at the price of a bigger appetite, and I put on weight, which pissed me off intensely, but one day, when I had to visit a physiotherapist for an ankle injury, I remarked that my body had been taken over by fat aliens.

Could be worse, replied the physio.  You could still be taken over by smoking aliens.

Some people I hadn’t seen in a while were less sensitive.  (You know who you are).

Jesus, Bock, you fat bastard!

Not fat.  Cuddly.

Fat.  You’re a fat bastard, Bock.  Jesus, you used to be so lean.  So lithe.  So sexy.

So handsome?

I wouldn’t go that far.  But look at that belly!

This hurts, mostly because it’s true, and because I know I’m a lazy bastard as well and if I only put in a bit of effort I could return to being the suave, urbane, lithe, lean, sexy Bock of five years ago.

But that Bock was a smoker and this one isn’t.  I can work on the belly.

20 replies on “If I Could Stop Smoking, You Can Quit Smoking Too”

I know exactly what you’re saying there… Luckily for me, I had to quit coffee due to a reaction to caffeine, and that actually made quitting smoking a hell of a lot easier.

Ah, Gauloises.

Bock, though the wife has yet call me a fat bastard, but I would be seriously pushing my luck if I suggested to her that she should just consider me at worst cuddly!

Ah fuck, me and the “Innerer Schweinehund“ when it comes to regular exercise, low calorie diet blah, blah ……..

Belly? Skulling pints and Donkey Fords on the way home anytime!!!!

BD: Indeed. Whenever I was in France or Belgium, I used to buy Gauloises. I’d wear a sweaty white vest and not shave. I’d sit around at outdoor cafés looking sulky and enigmatic. Ah, Gauloises!

Aquaasho: The old knees are the problem there, you see. Too much squash in years gone by. And too much running.

Brian: Enjoy! Nobody here is saying you shouldn’t.

Mike: There’s only so much being a fat bastard anyone can put up with.

Are you finding you get irritated with everything also? the smallest thing piss you off ?
When I was forced to give up the wonder that is tobacco it took me a week or two to realize that for the first time in 30 year I wasn’t stopping every 15 minutes for a smoke (i.e. for a rest and a moment to think). No wonder I was knackered.

The realisation didn’t help, though, there is no substitute.

Become one with the bigger you and learn the guitar. It’s working for me.

God no. I found it was no problem at all to say goobye to the miserable bastards. In fact, when the smokes realised I was serious, they gave up.

It isn’t a real addiction at all. The whole thing is bullshit.

“It isn’t a real addiction at all”.

A strange yet interesting comment. I’d be curious how you’d define addiction.
Chemical cravings or personality “defect”.

“leaning against the bar counter like an undelivered mattress.”


What? That wee tummy’s nothing, you dafty! I wouldn’t have said you were overweight at all You looked perfectly svelte to me. Bet you feel better after all that smoking though.

Snookertony: Neither chemical nor personality. It’s a con-job. The industry wants you to believe you’re horribly addicted so you’ll be afraid to try and stop.

Sam PBC: Kind of you to say so, but a trifle inaccurate. I’ve become a bit of a fat bastard all right.

I’m an ex-Camel fiend myself. Two and a half years and about two stone is the current sityeeashun. My doc sent me a little note yesterday to say Mr. Cholesterol has been hanging round my door, so phase two may be about to start (no bikkies yet today at any rate).

I did the same thing and just stopped,to add extra stress on we were in the middle of buying our house at the time,Myself and Mrs Organ Donor just stopped buying them…
Worked a treat for a while a year and a half later i was back on them..i must stop them (after this next pack is finished) ..
hopefully this time i can stay off for good…

None so pure as a reformed hooker, and speaking of Flah, you heading to Coventry? Thos fez wearing fuckers are shite, you know this, I know you know this and the sense of anti-climax will be huge, huge I tell you.

Galwaywegian: Hmm. Cholesterol, eh? Not good.

Organ Donor: Why did you start again?

Sniffle: Pure? Me?

On rugby matters, I’m not going to Coventry but I will go to Cardiff with Bullet if we reach the final. I wouldn’t like to be as confident as you seem about Saracens. Bad voodoo, you know? (Even though they did get their asses whupped by Wasps at the weekend).

In my (amateur) profession.. the temptation was there..

playing a gig + Drink + whatever yourhavin yourself = Ah just the one..

Its a rocky road downhill after that,before i knew it i was buy 10 just for the night….

I am not proud of myself for going back on them.. but i’m confident i can do the same again…just have to convince my brain that they are surplus to requirements..

Bock, I know you weren’t saying that but the PC Stazi called me up and told me I was suppose to be offended. I politely asked them to Fuck Off so as to not offend them.

Organ Donor: Yeah. I know. It’s about mirroring what the other guys are doing.

Brian: You should get out your favourite rifle and run them down like the dogs they are.

I’m trying to see my screen here as I type but there seems to be a mysterious purple haze in the room…. mmm wonder what that is….. (reaches for another marlboro light)…..

I smoke therefore I am.

…CologneMike mentioned Donkey Fords – jesus I used to love that place. Best fecking chips in the world, none ‘o yer fancy curly chip shiteology!!! Please tell me they haven’t done it up and still bring out the chips from the back room in bucket?? I’d nearly drive the 160 miles for a bag and a battered sausage :-)

You said that you used to be a big smoker when we met in Dublin, Bock.
You weren’t kidding!
Three in bed in the morning?
Holy hell.
I smoke an average of 5-8 ciggies a day.
I’m giving them up next year when I officially become middle aged at 40.

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