Giving ASH what they deserve

Next Friday is [apparently] Black Friday.

This is yet another of those ghastly concepts which has spread across the Atlantic in an effort to squeeze even more money out of our wallets.

This is followed by Cyber Monday.  I haven't a fucking clue what that is but as it is yet another Mercan invention I shall treat it with the contempt it deserves and ignore it completely.

Then we have Giving Tuesday.  I confess I have never heard of this one before so it must be a new one.  Not content with trying to sell us every useless piece of tat they can think of, they are now trying to squeeze money out of us for no reason whatsoever other than apparent guilt.

I have to thank ASH for pointing me in the direction of Giving Tuesday, as they are using it to appeal for funds.  It seems the millions of taxpayers' money they already get isn't enough.

ASH appeal

I think for once, just in the spirit of Giving Tuesday I shall send them a donation.  Now my Deposit Account is a little threadbare at the moment but the dog has stepped up to the plate and offered me all her deposits so I shall happily forward them on to ASH.

I actually feel quite sorry for ASH.  In particular, ASH Scotland has just had a very hard time of it.

Their Sheila Duffy appeared before some committee or other and things didn't go quite as planned.  She rode in on her white horse in her guise as saviour of mankind presumably with the intention of ordering the committee [and the gubmint] to have nothing to do with the Evil Big Tobacco.  However she was [just a little] confused by the way things went.  It's well worth the watch.

Dick Puddlecote has already had a go at poor Shiela [as if she hadn’t enough troubles] but I would like to add one small observation, purely in the interests of honesty and accuracy which poor Sheila seems to crave so much.

In her opening propaganda speech she gives the usual guff about Big Tobacco designing their products to kill [blah blah]. she mentions that smoking kills one in every two consumers [with a dark hint that they may be planning to up that to two out of three].  She then goes on to state that tobacco is responsible for a quarter of all Scottish deaths, which confuses me a little.  Assuming a quarter of the population smokes, that means that all of them account for a quarter of all deaths?  This is in fact true – if a fifth of the population are readheads then a fifth of all deaths are redheads.  Right?  But being a redhead didn't necessarily kill them. That's called logic.

So if a quarter of the population smokes, and a quarter of all deaths are smokers then that would seem to imply that smoking was just as incidental as being a redhead or having blue eyes.  So using her own argument, smoking seems to have no effect on whether you die or not? What point is she trying to make?

Poor Shiela.  And on top of all that she is accused of being a part of the tobacco industry?  

You have to feel sorry for her?

I think I will add my own contribution to Penny's after all.

She seems to like wallowing in shit.


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An Irish Jamie Oliver

Ireland is on track to become the most obese country in Europe – it’s time to tax sugar.

Isn't that terrible news?

Except that it isn't.

Not only has it been the clarion cry of the health fascists for some time now, but the article itself would tend to show the lie beneath the screeching headline.

He quotes the department of health figures which state that 60% of the Irish are overweight or obese, and that if the trend continues Ireland will become the most obese country etc etc.  However the link he so generously supplied states that "It shows that obesity has plateaued and fallen slightly since the last survey in 2007 but 60% of people are still overweight."  So figures are falling [if you’ll pardon the expression] and if that trend continues we are hardly going to get the trophy for the fatties of Europe?

I am very disappointed in the author, James Larkin.  I did a little research on him and got nowhere.  He is either in Limerick University or Trinity College Oxford or else he is a dead trade union leader.  Whatever he is, I am disappointed at his complete lack of originality.

Taxing sugar, or taxing anything for that matter to try to solve a so called social problem is just going to screw everyone, including the skinnies amongst us and is going to hit the poorest the hardest.  Why can't they come up with some decent suggestions that wouldn't cost anyone a red cent and would solve the nonexistent problem?  I would propose a couple of simple measures.

First of all, all sweet shops [and fizzy drink shops] should be built on ten floor towers.  This would be excellent advertising for the shops as they could be seen for miles.  Obviously those towers would only have stairs so the customer will naturally burn off all that excess baggage on the way up and down.

Similarly all schools should be built at least three miles from the nearest road, with access only by a narrow footpath/cycle path.  As an added bonus, the school could be placed at the top of a hill.

All televisions, Xboxes, iPads and similar stuff could be easily modified so they are powered exclusively by pedal powered generators placed in the living room.  Imagine the fun deciding who is going to power the telly for the evening's entertainment?  Fun for all the family.  In fact a system could be easily developed whereby each member of the family gets to pedal, and whoever pedals the hardest would get their channel of choice.  No more arguments over whether to watch football or Coronation Street – just pedal harder.

Yet another alternative and the easiest to implement – just tell all these nagging Puritans to go fuck themselves and mind their own fucking business.

Problem solved.

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Legal discrimination

Over the next few months people will doubtless turn their thoughts to holidays.

If nothing else, it's a pleasant subject to dwell on in the dark cold days of winter?

For the last four years, I have gone to the same place in West Cork.  I go there for several reasons – it's an incredibly peaceful and beautiful location, the people in the local town are extremely friendly and the dog is more than welcome.  It is also a non-smoker cottage.  Now the agent who lets the place knows us at this stage so when she discovered that we were fumigating the place on a daily basis she just asked us to open the windows before leaving.  An eminently sensible arrangement.

But how does the smoker fare when it comes to booking a holiday here?

My pal John has just been on a road trip around Ireland highlighting the discrimination against smokers in this country.  Simon Clark gives a brief summary of the trip over at his place.  What stands out for me is the hostile reception John got when trying to find himself a hotel room for the night.  The anti-smoking laws here don't cover hotel rooms, or indeed rented accommodation but by all accounts hotels can hang a sign on the front door – "Niggers, Polaks, Pakis and Tinkers welcome but NO SMOKERS" and somehow get away with it. 

I just did a quick search on the Interwebs to see what kind of reception smokers get in self-catering holidays in this Ireland of a Thousand Welcomes.  It wasn't easy but I found a site that allows searches under various criteria. 

The site has the best part of eight hundred rentals so it should be easy enough to find a place that welcomes smokers?

Think again.

Holiday selector

Out of eight hundred locations, just five allow smoking?  Less than one percent?

This "denormalisation" of smokers has gone too far.  We have chosen a lifestyle which is perfectly legal and which has a lot more health benefits than they care to admit.  We are singled out for excessive taxation, legal discrimination, abuse from public funded qangos and abuse from the public who are egged on by those same qangos and "charities".  We are inundated with advertising and propaganda against us, and they take delight in dreaming up new ways to attack us such as banning smoking in our own cars, and ultimately [I bet] in our own homes.  If any other sector of society was subject to so much abuse there would be screams of discrimination which would doubtless end in the European Court of Human Rights.

Racism and discrimination exist in this country.  However there is a clatter of laws against said discrimination.  The law is fully on the side of the discriminated.

Except in the case of smokers where the law is fully against us.

No blacks, No smoking

One is illegal and the other is encouraged by the law.

What's the difference?

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Getting a blow job from Barney

I have a big problem with wind.

Wind of the outside variety that is, and not the result of a feed of onions and beans.  I have no problems with the latter.

Of all the various things that the weather throws at me, I hate wind the most.  I can tolerate rain and ignore the cold.  I can take frost or leave it and snow is always welcome provided I don't have to go out in it and so long as it fucks off quickly when I get tired of it.

Now they have this tacky thing of giving wind a name.

I haven't quite worked out the logic of naming storms.  Is it supposed to make them more friendly?  When a chimney stack comes crashing through my roof into the sitting room, am I supposed to think that sure, it's only Abigail up to her tricks and not a storm force gust?  Am I supposed to feel better about that?

I have a nasty suspicion that it's all part of this Interwebby thing where we are all supposed to be Twittering and Farcebooking and sharing every minute boring trite detail of our lives with the whole wide world.  Giving a storm a name is like giving it a "hashtag" [another word I hate] so we can all Tweet about it like it's some kind of fucking friend.

Actually, the storm we had yesterday was a very strange one.  They called it Barney; I called it a fucking annoying wind.  I was sitting here minding my own business dreaming and looking out the window.  It was nice and sunny and an absolute flat calm.  The leaves that still remain on the trees were just hanging there without a single stir.  Then there was a sudden breeze out of nowhere and within ten minutes the trees were bending over at forty five degrees and I was back to worrying that one of my magnificent birches would coming crashing down on a passing car.

During the evening the roof was giving distinct impressions that it was about to lift off and the storm was still roaring through the trees outside and suddenly, without warning, it stopped.  No more wind.  It was the most dramatic on/off storm I have ever witnessed.  One minute it's there; the next it isn't.

I see from their naming list that we only have nineteen storms left to go this winter.  They list 'em alphabetically and they stop at Wendy.  For some reason they skipped over Q and U which is a bit of an insult to all the Queenies and Unas ot there?

I suppose I had better go out and count my birches before Clodagh dumps on me.

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Spice is the variety of life

Now you're just taking the piss.

First you come after my smoking – bullying, nagging and trying to force me to quit. Well you can fuck off on that score as you have just made me more determined than ever to keep going.

Then you start nagging me about my sugar and salt both of which I now use more of in sheer defiance.

Then you moan and whinge about my drink intake, and set your own pathetic levels of what you think constitutes "safe levels".  Let me tell you, your levels constitute an aperitif to a nights drinking.  I would drink that much before I had even reached the bar.

Then you take a dig at my fry-ups.  They are carcinogenic you mewl in that pathetic wheedly tone.  I mustn't have more than a rasher a week, you "advise".  You can stuff that little bit of "advice" right into a pan full of smoking grease. Since that little nugget came out I have doubled my intake of fries and processed meats.

But now you are treading on really dangerous ground.

Now you are moaning about my curry.

You lot must lead a particularly dull monotonous lives.  No colour, joy or even a modicum of pleasure in case it somehow may prove at some point in the future not to be "safe".  Your lives are dictated by laboratory tests and recommended levels.  You daren't enjoy anything just in case it gives you cancer or may lead to an untimely death.  The only pleasure you get in life is nagging others about their pleasures.  I bet you pulled wings off flies when you were a kid?  Either that or you were mercilessly bullied in the playground?

I love my curry.  I love it hot and frequent.  I first discovered the delights of spice back in the sixties and have been upping my game ever since.  I have gone from mild, through spicy to Vindaloo levels that border on radioactive.  If I finish and am not sweating like a stuck pick with snots running out my nose then I switch suppliers for my next order.

So fucking what if "there is more than the recommended calories" in an Indian takeaway?  It really is none of your fucking business.  If I want to have three Vindaloos a day than that is my affair and you can stuff your recommendations right up your collective arse.  Anyway, how do you know how many calories I require?  You don't know me or anything about me.  You don't know my age, weight, height, level of exercise or metabolic rate so how in the blind fuck do you presume to know how much I can eat?

Out of all the substances that you claim are doing me great damage there is only one thing that makes me sick and that is yourselves and your fucking reports that try to suck every vestige of enjoyment out of life.  You try to justify your sad little lives by wrapping us all in bubblewrap and keeping us all "safe".  Even the name "Safefood" is nauseating and another little moneywaster from the EU.

So fuck off and leave my curry alone.  Go and have a pint and a cigarette.  Go and eat something that actually tastes nice.  Forget your "daily allowances" and "recommended levels" as they really are a steaming load of shite.

That's called "enjoying life".

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