In Light of Recent Events
Smokers today are an endangered species. So, in an effort to document this record-low 16% of the adult population before they take their last deep, smooth drag, here is … The (Incomplete) FIELD GUIDE to the SMOKERS of AUSTRALIA 1. COMMON OFFICE WORKER
Rueful looks, sardonic jokes, communicators of the best office gossip. Polite to their smoking cohorts. Seen outside fire escapes, in alleys, down past the bins, away from main thoroughfares. Male: Shirt (tucked in), tie (atrocious), slacks (budget). Female: Business casual, some have cardigans, tiny handbags.
2. GOWNED IN-PATIENT
Seen on footpaths outside hospitals, away from air vents, often laughing with friends or family. Immune to incredulous looks from passers-by. White or light-green gown tied at the back, slippers or thongs, intravenous drip.
3. HOODED TEEN
Twitchy, noiseless. Male: Spotty, goonish, solovampire-ish à la Robert Pattinson, smells of mint deodorant. Female: Huddler, conspiratorial, darter of eyes, sleeves down past her knuckles, smells of musk.
4. BLACK-CLAD ARTIST, ARTS WORKER Artificem adipiscing
Pale, sickly looking, hungover. Smoker of rollies, some in leather pouches. Gesticulators with wide, expressionistic vocal ranges. Many quite bolshie, constantly broke. Sometimes still in costume.
5. LESSER DIVORCEE
Takes long drags on discount cigarettes. Produces wheezy laughs through clouds of smoke. Ash in hair or on leg, chest. Male: Unshaven, trackie daks, despondent. Female: Dressing gown, jeans, make-up, free hand permanently in pocket mindlessly fiddling with lighter.
6. FAST-WALKING JUNKIE
Homo consopiti sunt ambulatio
High-volume converser with mating partner. Cover-your-ears-level swearing. Oblivious to almost everybody. Moments of sweetness and soft tones that can explode into white rage. Male: White, loose tracksuit, sneakers, gaunt. Female: Jeans, short denim jacket, inexplicably wet-looking hair.