Whenever I think of what my vices are, I get this vivid picture I once came across in an encyclopaedia where ancient looking folk were busy tightening the screw of a wooden adjustable shoe on an impoverished looking young girl’s foot. Even during discussions with my superiors at work (being in a catch 22 situation), I visualise what it would be like to really have my “sensitives” in-between the serrated surfaces of a bench vice, and flinch at the mere thought.
While the question (which forebodes the utter commitment), being if you would “put your cock on a block”, does create an even more vivid pictures in my mind – it at least serves the imagination that it would be a clean cut and usually comes as a warning, not an imminent threat.
A vice is known to be “a mild failing in character” or “immoral habit”, which, quite frankly, confirms that I am a sinful, corruptible and immoral fellow (and here I was, thinking that it was all just a slight case of indulgence). Now I didn't go and research the origin of when the word was connected to the various bad habits we managed to introduce ourselves to but it must have been a long time ago – even before the oldest profession became termed a squeezing tactic on the conscience.
I mean, “Dante’s seven deadly vices” are the exact mirror of the seven deadly sins (which doesn't include cigarette smoking – whoo whoo!). From the little bit I know about Anvil bench vices it seems they do just that – squeeze and squeeze until there is no substance left or until the instrument turning the vice screw, has run out of sufficient power. Be it food, lust, gambling, gaming, gymming or plunging your face into a mobile device all day, a vice is a vice.
I have yet to meet a person who is vice-less. Today, vices are tenfold of what they were when the term was first coined. This is partly why I think it to be highly discriminatory to brand my smoking as a vice, while they label the collection of two hundred pairs of shoes for a single, good looking female as a “softness”.
The same goes for that pristine looking fellow who attends church whenever there is a service going and if not, arranges meetings to discuss this chapter or that verse, swirling a finger in the air as if the end is nigh, every day. I mean really; call me out in a crowd because I dare still hang onto the dreaded habit of puffing tobacco while the loudmouth himself tosses his used latex condoms in the toilet for mama earth to consume.
Smoking is bad for the smoker. Second hand smoke is bad for the living things in the vicinity, now there’s third hand smoke - I kid you not: www.health24.com/Lifestyle/Stop-smoking/How-smoking-affects-your-health/Third-hand-smoke-can-be-a-killer-20130709. They claim that everyone can be exposed to the lingering toxic particles through skin contact, inhalation, or ingestion.
I will not present a case disputing the research that went into this latest revelation but I do wish to state my disgust at publicising these findings to the world, while my neighbour is beating his wife and kids being under the influence of brandewyn, and then screech away in his ’07 Chevvy V8 to go and kill some green light skippers.
Are we not a crazy bunch? We invent “fire-water”, the inhalation of smoke from a rolled up leaf and so many other additives, emulsifiers, colourants and polymers only to research the introduced top selling products, to tell ourselves that we've made a mistake.
Now we have to turn a tide of completely hooked zombies, into buying stuff that is ten times the price but lets us survive another decade and a half albeit, a tasteless and joyless couple of years.
My vices are many. I smoke, drink a bit (oft too few) and I tend to slouch in my lounge chair when I watch TV. Beside all of these bad things I manage to maintain a pretty balanced diet, get regular exercise and have a healthy BMI (Body-to-Mind-Index). According to me I am quite balanced but the spliff police reek me out; they have this condescending look over their noses when I produce Bic lighter and packet of twenty.
They say each cigarette reduces your lifespan by five minutes, while a smile increases it by seven.
I smile a lot, so I'll take those odds...
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