Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Ban the Butt!

'bane, acrid, tepid'


The bane of my life is cigarette smoke; I really can't abide it!
I only took one puff in my teens and regretted that I'd tried it!
The acrid smoke got in my throat and made me wheeze and choke;
While my eyes were red and streaming because of the awful smoke!
I bathed them in tepid water, but I couldn't ease the ache!
And I wondered 'Why does anyone ever smoke, for goodness sake!'
So I haven't smoked for sixty years! And that really makes me glad!
Why should anybody smoke? I think they must be mad!
If it's nasty when you start and it kills you in the end,
It seems that everybody should try to buck the trend.
As for a conversation involving smokers' breath,
I reel away from the speaker! The smell is the smell of death!
I don't feel tepid about it; I feel quite energised.
The bane of my life is acrid smoke!
There! That's been emphasised!

SMOG 1950

In my recollection
It was much worse than this!
I don't recall its coming.
One moment the air was clear;
The next we were enveloped
In a sticky yellow blanket!
Black. Yellow. And sticky.
Why yellow?
They said it was sulphur,
It certainly smelt like it!
It certainly tasted like it!
Clean Air was a long way off.
I have several clear memories
Of that unusual event;
The Great Smog of 1950.
I remember going to a dance
At the Kensington Town Hall.
Males and females sat
At opposite sides of the ballroom.
The 'ladies' waited to be 'asked.'
Only, on this occasion,
(And we were inside a building, remember!)
There was fog drifting between us.
I can smell it now,
I can taste it now.
And I can see it clouding the electric lights!
I can also remember trying to find my way home.
I couldn't even find the kerb!
I had to feel with my toes
For the edge of the pavement!
And great black bodies kept looming up
Right in front of me!
'I couldn't see my hand before my face'!
Not just a glib saying,
But a reality!
I recall hearing about the sheep.
There was an Agricultural Show
In progress.
Thousands of sheep died!
Finally, I remember the aftermath.
How the smell and taste lingered for weeks.
How all ones clothes were
Tinged with a yellowish grey.
How the 'fog' hung around in ones nose and ears
'For ever'.
It was a curse.
Yet it was a blessing.
Finally, London became


geraldgee said...

I well remember that 50s smog when a London bus tried to get in through the front door of my art school....happy days.

mark said...

Clever...and as a former smoker, I can relate.

Thom Gabrukiewicz said...

As anon-smoker, I truly appreciate your take on smoking. I just don't get it.

Robert Lloyd said...

I like the route you chose to go with these 3 words. Well done and honest.

"The acrid smoke got in my throat and made me wheeze and choke;"

Such an accurate desription of taht first drag and yet people try again... Thank you for sharing

Tony Noland said...

You captured quite well the way that old habit never really leaves you.

lissa said...

fun take on cigarettes, & I agree with you, I don't quite understand why anyone should smoke, of cause, since it is an addiction, like a drug, it really is hard to quit - so better not to start at all

& interesting piece- smog - must be a real event, though I'm not familiar with london history

Ann (bunnygirl) said...

Whenever I hear a smoker say they'll quit "when they pry the cigarettes out of my cold, dead hands," I think, no, you'll quit when they hook you up to the oxygen tank.

Regarding the Great Smog, I've read about it and I find it both fascinating and appalling. A lot of people died.

one more believer said...

very interesting post, especially so the great fog how you described the coming event... didnt see it coming and there it was...