Saturday, May 08, 2010

Rosemary Intolerance

I think I might be allergic to Rosemary McLeod. I can handle her prose in limited doses normally, her quaint fuddy-duddy viewpoints nicely yinning to Garth George's yang in Old Person Symmetry. But what really gets me rash is when McLeod gets on her high horse backwards and tells other people how to live.

Reformed boozer Garth George can at least tolerate the continued existence of alcohol to the general public, but Rosemary is much more contrary. Yeah, she's tried cannabis. Didn't like it. Should be banned. Cigarettes? Yeah, she tried them. Didn't like them. Should be banned.

I am sure that many of Rosemary's pastimes would bore me into suicide. But as those recreational pursuits don't impact on my life, each to their own. Here's a reposted return fire from me in the comments section:
There are few furies more passionate and monomaniacal than the ex-smoker on smoking. I've been smoking over twenty years and I'm not dead yet. I continue to enjoy the habit, and it's not just the nicotine saying that.

In that time, the government has skimmed great wads of cash off me to the point where I must have paid off at least three iron lungs or perhaps an MRI scanner by now. The Health service has never been strained with my suffering the colourful conditions that feature graphically on every legal product.

The most likely scenario of death is not featured on the warnings anyway; Hypothermia induced by smoking outdoors as mandated by law. One can go to the toilet indoors, but passive smoking is obviously much more dangerous than staph or cholera.

As far as vices go, smoking is less damaging to the public good than compulsive gambling or excessive drinking. My father outlived yours by five years; liver cancer complicated by cirrhosis, and it wasn't caused by smoking. Each to their own.
It was a vicious response, s'true. I might have to lay off the Rosemary for a bit. I'm taking a break from Michael Laws and Garth George as well. I think I've used up a enough of my lifetime wiping their spit flecks off my brain pan.

As an epilogue to that episode, here's James K Baxter's Lament for Barney Flanagan. HT Prayers for Recovering Alcoholics:

Flanagan got up on a Saturday morning,
Pulled on his pants while the coffee was warming;
He didn't remember the doctor's warning,
"Your heart's too big, Mr. Flanagan.

Barney Flanagan, sprung like a frog
From a wet root in an Irish bog -
May his soul escape from the tooth of the dog!
God have mercy on Flanagan.

Barney Flanagan R.I.P.
Rode to his grave on Hennessy's
Like a bottle-cork boat in the Irish Sea.
The bell-boy rings for Flanagan.

Barney Flanagan, ripe for a coffin,
Eighteen stone and brandy-rotten,
Patted the housemaid's velvet bottom -
"Oh, is it you, Mr. Flanagan?"

The sky was bright as a new milk token.
Bill the Bookie and Shellshock Hogan
Waited outside for the pub to open -
"Good day, Mr. Flanagan."

At noon he was drinking in the lounge bar corner
With a sergeant of police and a racehorse owner
When the Angel of Death looked over his shoulder -
"Could you spare a moment, Flanagan?"

Oh the deck was cut; the bets were laid;
But the very last card that Barney played
Was the Deadman's Trump, the bullet of Spades -
"Would you like more air, Mr. Flanagan?"

The priest came running but the priest came late
For Barney was banging at the Pearly Gate.
St Peter said, "Quiet! You'll have to wait
For a hundred masses, Flanagan."

The regular boys and the loud accountants
Left their nips and their seven-ounces
As chickens fly when the buzzard pounces -
"Have you heard about old Flanagan?"

Cold in the parlour Flanagan lay
Like a bride at the end of her marriage day.
The Waterside Workers' Band will play
A brass goodbye to Flanagan.

While publicans drink their profits still.
While lawyers flock to be in at the kill,
While Aussie barmen milk the till
We will remember Flanagan.

For Barney had a send-off and no mistake.
He died like a man for his country's sake;
And the Governor-General came to his wake.
Drink again to Flanagan!

Despise not, O Lord, the work of Thine own hands
And let light perpetual shine upon him.