Fags will soon be banned from display in shops, hidden under the counter like proper drugs or the British Rubber Co.'s contraceptives were in the 70s. Shop assistants will develop back trouble due to excessive bending but no more hacking coughs, they might have talk a little more as addicts try to describe their chosen pack of the poison paper and weed. Meanwhile in the brave new world of high banking finance and low forecasting skills rugby balls and racing cars may lose the dreaded RBS logo along with the colourful cigarette sponsors they no longer have. In this ciggy crunching, crooked time everybody benefits in some (very) small way.
The sailor on the pack fascinated me as a child, for one thing he looked like my dad (in a wartime navy photo) and my dad smoked this brand and my dad was a bit of a mystery to me. I liked the two ships in the background, they reminded me on Navy Days in Rosyth, my one big day out during the year other than the (always scary) Dunfermline Schools Gala. Tobacco always had a grown up and homely smell that still stirs me and haunts me and is strangely evocative of my early childhood, like frost on the inside of windows, cold floorboards, coal fires, Bob Hope movies and boiled eggs with toast.
I'm not sorry cigarettes are going, they belong in the dim and unhealthy past, like carrying LPs to school for a swop, loon pants, Bazooka Joe comics, bikes with no brakes and hose pipe inner tubes, the tawse and the Black and White Minstrels. Time is time is time for your time and I do think that Coldplay's lyrics make even less sense than Yes's. God bless Jon Anderson.