Smokers are out of the door

Finally the government has banned smoking in all indoor public spaces (although too late for Roy Castle). But, inevitably, as the winter bites, there is a consequence.

Try leaving any pub for example, and as soon as you open the door you are confronted by a wall of bodies fuming copiously like a bank of power stations. They stare blankly at you like so many cows that have been denied access to the barn. As you step over the threshold, this wall remains motionless so you end up with your face pressed into the sad face of one of the smokers.

All I can think is that they imagine it is another one of their kind coming to join them in the cloud of white fog because there is no comprehension in their expression at all. I have to loudly intone, “Excuse me” to register any response as to my intention. Then slowly it dawns on them that you want something other than to join their throng; you want to get past.

This results in a slow motion shuffle of feet and the wall of bodies opens painfully as if in an adventure movie and you can make your escape from the deadly gas and the now slowly closing walls (not forgetting your hat).

Smokers are out of the door… but only just.

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