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ZION
 
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LICENCE TO SMOKE

24 October 2012, 13:58
LICENSE  TO  SMOKE
    
This article has been prompted by a similar type of article which was posted on NEWS 24   about 2 weeks ago. And is not related to it       December 1968, I  was 18. The family was camping at Omarurumund, a popular fishing spot near Henties Bay. Our camp was only a short distance from the sea. After the camp was set up we sat around going through the standard routine of braaing  chatting and In my case jubilant that I had completed school.  And I had bought into the smoking habit. When My father lights up a cigarette then it becomes almost a ceremony and when you are “lus” for a smoke it feels like a knitting needle penetrating your heart;. The portable radio was blaring.  “(In and out of the Red Balloon., marry the farmers daughter”) when the temptation reaches breaking point I would stand up and go for a stroll on the beach and suck on that fag until my head was spinning. Now and again I would cough my lungs out. The sun was setting over the sea and it was just good knowing school is past and the following year I would start an apprenticeship.      

After several sorties to the beach my father told me to sit down and stay down. He casually lit up again. I noticed he lit up 2 cigarettes with the normal pomp and ceremony, beckoning I must come around to his side of the fire.  He offered the 2nd cigarette and I could not refuse it. He and my mother gave me a lengthy speech touching on honesty and openness. I was berated because I was smoking on the quiet and never bothered to ask their permission.       

Those years smoking was taboo and mainly just frowned upon. There was less hype  relating to lung cancer and other smoking related diseases. Basically a bad habit and “Not good for you”. Parents did not allow their children to smoke because smoking was not meant for children.     

My mother left her chair and disappeared into the tent. Soon she came out carrying a package which was given to me. 6 packets of the correct brand. I smoked for 30 years and never experienced any health defects as a result of  smoking. September 1998 I kicked the habit and a month later I had forgotten that I actually had smoked.     

Of that outing I vividly remember that my parents slept in the one tent while we kids in the other. Round about midnight I woke up hearing my mother calling me urgently. I was to bring the .22 Remington with me When I eventually arrived at their tent I heard running footsteps.  It was a huge Strand Wolf scavenging the area which was a habit and caused by discarded food. When hungry they could and have attacked humans.

The rifle was not intended to kill the animal but to chase it away
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