вера надежда любовь

Барнс - мой любимчик
из рассказа 60/40:

"When I was giving up, it was the disapproval I hated more than anything. You'd ask if anyone minded, and they all said no, but you could sense them turning away and not breathing in. And either pitying you, which was patronising, or even kind of loathing you."

"And there would never be an ashtray in the house and they'd do a long, exaggerated hunt for some old saucer which had lost its cup."

"And the next stage was going outside and freezing to death."

"And if you stubbed it out in some plant pot, they'd look at you as if you'd given a geranium cancer."


"They gave you different cancers, didn't they?"

"What did?"

"Cigarettes, pipes, cigars. Didn't pipes give you lip cancer?"

"What did cigars give you?"

"Oh, the poshest kind."

"What's a posh cancer? Isn't that a contradiction in terms?"

"Bum cancer's got to be the bottom of the pile."

"Dick, really."

"Did I say something?"

"Cancer of the heart - is that possible?"

"Only as a metaphor, I'd say."


"You mean, like passive smoking? I don't think there's passive coke-inhalation, is there?"

"Not unless you sneeze."

"So there are no harmful effects on others?"

"Apart from them having to listen to tediously self-excited conversation."


"We were in Brazil last year and the health warnings out there are apocalyptic. Coloured pictures on the packet of hideous things - deformed babies, pickled lungs and stuff. And the warnings... None of that polite 'Her Majesty's Government' stuff. Or 'The Surgeon-General has determined'. They tell you which bits will drop off. There was this guy who went into a shop and bought a packet of... I forget which brand. And comes out, looks at the health warning, goes back in, hands the packet back and says, 'These ones make you impotent. Can I have a packet that gives me cancer?'"


"Our friend Jerry was a big smoker - he was of that generation. Went for a general check-up in his 60s and was told he had prostate cancer. Opted for radical surgery. They took his balls away."


"So - so he had just a cock?"

"Well, they gave him prosthetic balls."

"What are they made of?"

"I don't know - plastic, I think. Anyway, they're the same weight. So you don't notice."

"So you don't notice?"

"Do they make them move around like real ones?"

"Are we getting off the subject?"


"Anyway, smokers are nicer than non-smokers."

"Apart from giving non-smokers cancer."

"I don't think there's any medical basis for the theory of passive smoking."


... for the rest of the life of the planet, some people somewhere would always be smoking, the lucky buggers.


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