Today is Ash Wednesday.
There was a time many moons ago when you would almost get rocks thrown at you if you dared appear in public on Ash Wednesday without a dirty smear on your forehead. Anyone who dared walk the streets with a pristine forehead was immediately branded a heathen. Of course those of us who had forsaken the whole concept of religion had a very easy and readily available solution – a quick dip into an old ashtray and Bob’s your whatyoumaycallit..
Yes, this is another reason why the declining rate of smoking is causing a problem. Few houses now have ashtrays thereby forcing the devoted to attend Mass whether they like it or not. There again, I suppose if they were that devoted they’d attend Mass anyway, but this is still an unintended consequence of the anti-smoking hysteria.
Naturally, ASH have attempted to hijack the day, probably thinking that the day is named after them. Knowing their single-minded obsessions, that wouldn’t surprise me. Anyways, they have declared this to be No Smoking Day. The very act of typing those three words is sufficient to cause me to fire up the pipe to calm the old nerves.
I almost wish them luck with their campaign today [I say almost, as I couldn’t really wish them anything positive]. Their bleatings became tedious many years ago but they are still at it.
I haven’t scribbled much about smoking in the past while. It’s not that the subject doesn’t concern me any more, rather than a realisation that I just keep repeating myself. Even the Anti-smokers seem to run out of ideas.
I use a thing on my laptop called Tweetdeck. This allows me to watch several selections of Twitter accounts on one screen. Just for the laugh I set one those selections to follow @ASH_LDN just to see what they are up to. Basically they just keep retweeting the same tedious old crap in an endless cycle of nonsense, though occasionally they throw up a little gem such as the millions of tons of CO2 that cigarettes throw into the atmosphere every year or that smoking is a root cause of climate change [due to deforestation, I think]. I get the feeling that their “No Smoking Day” is just a desperate attempt to recapture the glory days of yore.
ASH has yet another significance in this household. For it is ASH where I was first introduced to a nervous little Lurcher called Penny.
Every day is ASH day in this household.
In his autobiography Lennie Bruce, a Jewish comedian related being in court in NY on obscenity charges and all the members of the jury were sporting ash crosses on their foreheads. To his credit, the judge ordered them to clean them off.