Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Nicotine 1, Patroclus 0

Forget Nizlopi whatever-it-is vs Shayne Thing*, the real battle of the 2005 festive season has been me versus the demon weed. Things started out very well, with an eight-day unbroken run of not smoking at all, with no more horrific side effects than me snapping slightly at the lovely L (sorry, lovely L) at one point before dosing myself up to the eye teeth with those cripplingly expensive fur 'n' mint 'n' slime-based sweets that Nicotinell churn out in soothingly addiction-numbing quantities.

No, it was all fine. Scotland - fine. France - fine. This time I really will never smoke again, I told myself, proudly. I would have told other people too, but most of them were members of my family, and they sweetly pretend not to know I smoke.

Of course then I got back to Blighty, taking a handy coach straight from Stansted to the Four Seasons Hotel on Park Lane**, where my good friend the lovely S was nursing her millionaire jet-set father, who'd cracked a rib during a festive stop-over in London en route for Phoenix, or was it Tokyo?

One glance at S's packet of Marlboro Reds, and I was hooked again. We ended up taking a taxi down to the slums of Dalston E8 just so we could smoke all night, drink wine, listen to the Kings of Convenience and debate whether Sebastian Flyte actually dies or just fades out of the story***.

Needless to say I woke up this morning in an unfamiliar bed plagued with nausea, remorse and a terrible headache. Kids, take it from me - just don't start.

* I have no idea who these people actually are.

** Fact: I was once tear-gassed on Park Lane, surrounded by burning cars.

*** We tried looking it up on Google, but Google was infuriatingly tight-lipped on the matter. "I could just go out there and get the book," the lovely S suggests eventually. "No, that would be too easy," say I. We still don't know.


Kyahgirl said...

That sucks! I smoked for 10 years and spent 5 of them trying to quit. It wasn't easy. Even now, over 20 years later, I still periodically dream that I'm smoking again. I'll never be free of it. Its a terrible addiction-keep trying!

patroclus said...

Damn Philip Morris and his evil products all to hell. I've tried eating walnuts as a substitute, but it's just not the same, is it? I might try heroin instead.

Paul Pennyfeather said...

S- "He drifted back to Morocco, and greadually drifted down the coast, from place to place, until one day when he had sobered up..he concieved the iea of escaping to the savages... they had the idea of making him an under-porter... It's not what one would have fortold.. I suppose he doesn't suffer?- Oh yes he does"pp350-3 P/G B format 1986
Lord Marchmain has the big death in the chinese room at the end

patroclus said...

Knew I could rely on you, PP.

I lost *that* bet, then.

Paul Pennyfeather said...

I too had to look it up to be certain.
I am 7 days without a fag, but have decided not to give up as too much comitment -will merely be having a very long break between fags.

james henry said...


patroclus said...

Gahh, you got there before me :-)

Wyndham said...

Hello, you! Glad all is well. Every time I read your blog I realise I really have to travel out of North London more. Even my own family has cleared off to a nice part of the country - well, Lancashire - and left me here. The good news, though, is that I now haven't smoked for ten days. The even better news is that I'm going to have a last hurrah on Friday night. The next day I'll probably cough up cata - catara - cataarr - gunk that looks like plasticine. Then it's all going to be over for me.

*Wyndham blinks in amused wonderment at his own determination*

patroclus said...

Excellent going, Wyndham. Hey, maybe we should set up a support group for blogging ex-smokers, where by mutual consent we can snap and swear at each other when the cravings make us REALLY IRRATIONALLY ANGRY.

qlqnbzir: obscure Moorish rank of nobility.

Wyndham said...

I am used to people snapping and swearing at me, so feel free, anytime you like. In anitcipation I am working my way up to irrationally peevish. Who knows where this journey will take me? Back to the newsagent's within three weeks, probably.

LC said...

That nizlopi bloke has the same surname as me. I'm only excited about this because it's the first time I've encountered anybody outside of my immediate family to have the name - until now I'd always assumed that that my Grandad made it up for a laugh.

wv: awbued - the first word out of P's mouth when she woke up on this particular morning?

patroclus said...

Do you know I saw that the other day, and thought "wow, that surname must be much more common than I thought".

Are you sure you aren't related, and therefore possibly entitled to half their royalties?

taolsexe: a "sport" enjoyed by Germans in saunas.