Roof Bloke called around yesterday.
There is a tricky bit of work to be done Up There. The water cistern sits on top of the flat roof and is encased within a cabinet, and the latter has finally succumbed to old age. Seeing as it mainly consisted of chipboard and has lasted nearly fifty years I think it deserves a good funeral? I would have replaced it myself [seeing as I built the original] but when it comes to waterproofing roofs, I prefer to leave it to the professionals.
Anyhows, we went up to the roof so he could take measurements. He admired my building work and I admired his steel tape and then we repaired to the kitchen for a cuppa.
I don't know how the discussion started but we got onto the subject of smoking.
He apparently gave up recently. I said fair play and was he now using electrofags? He replied that he was tempted but that he had heard that they were as dangerous as ordinary fags.
I asked what he had heard.
He said he had done some searches around the Interweb and that a whole load of sites were saying that they were as dangerous or in some cases even more dangerous than the smoky type. He even mentioned Popcorn Lung.
I had to laugh, but in a sad sort of way and not an hilarious sort of way. I explained that all those "studies" about Popcorn Lung and the cries of deadly danger were from the Anti-Smoker Lobby who for some inexplicable reason were dead against Electrofags. I told him that the "studies" were full of crap, exaggerated and in most cases downright lies.
But that makes no sense, said Roof Bloke. Why on earth should they be against them if they are so good at helping people quit?
And here's the rub. How do you explain insanity to a sane person? How do you explain colours to someone who is born blind? How can you possibly give an answer when trying to explain the inexplicable?
I told him I didn't know. Furthermore I said that I doubted the Puritans know. My guess is that they are furious that they have been blindsided. They had their nice roadmap set out for a tobacco-free world and that everything would be done their way, when suddenly a device comes along that not only isn't on their roadmap but is far more effective than they ever were at getting people off the smokes. They could see a future where they weren't needed any more and didn't fancy giving up their fat salaries and research grants.
He thought about this and agreed it made sense in a perverted sort of way.
As the conversation progressed it transpired that he too is an Anti-Nanny in a huge way, and his bugbear is Big Pharma. I have a funny feeling we are of similar minds.
He's a nice chap is Roof Bloke.
I don't do this often but I might even let him off the bill for the roof.