Casual smokers

Not content with being unhealthy I am also slowly smoking myself into an early grave.

Unlike some smokers I picked up the habit fairly late and the moment I came to terms with smoking I felt stupid.

Not because smoking is inherently bad for you (or that it makes you a social leper) but because I used to be a preachy non-smoker.

And there is little worse than that…except for a casual smoker.

The transition from non-smoker to lung blackener is gradual process.

Now I am out of the smoking closet, have left the self denial behind and come to terms with it, it is impossible not to look back at myself and cringe.

Like looking back at old photos of yourself with once fashionable clothes or stupid hair there is nothing more embrassing than the phases of being a a smoker.

And it’s all because the phases between becoming an adolescent smoker and an adlt smoker are so annoying.

Fellow smokers, have you noticed that when non-smokers tell you how badly you are killing your lungs, casual smoker remain strangely quiet and never mention the fact that they smoke?

And casual smokers only smoke, or so they claim, socially – when they are having a drink.

But by far the worst is that they hunt in groups. And then they bum your cigarettes – never before has a pack of ten so quickly turned into a pack of two.

Casual smokers have a little smoker inside them struggling, scratching and clawing their way out desperate to blacken their lungs.

Either let the little bastard run free – or have the will be to commit an act of violence him.

Whatever you decide go and buy your own!

Racial profiling

As sure as an Englishman will always acknowledge a fellow Brit abroad, minority groups do much of the same here in the UK.

As a black person I often acknowledge other black people when I see them in public. Usually a nod of the head followed by us both muttering “alright” quietly and then going our separate ways.

It is not just black phenomenon either, I have seen my Asian friends do the same thing. In fact it is not even strictly a racial thing. If I see other Arsenal fans I will nod and mutter at them too.

It works particularly well when you are in a place where you are less likely to find people of the same background. It worked much better when I lived in Preston compared to where I live now in East London.

Some of my friends think it is strange and perhaps even racist. But it’s just a bit of fun… or so I used to think.

It seems that people are racially profiling me to make me do shit for them.

This phenomenon, which I call getting ‘blacked’ (insert your own racial term where appropriate), occurs when people try to use your colour as a flimsy pretext to get you do something for them.

I am always getting ‘blacked’ by the guy who sells The Nation newspaper, I constantly get ‘blacked’ by a tramp I see on Oxford Street and the 1,000 yard is useless against the charity guys who ‘black’ me almost on a daily basis.

And some people actually fall for it. Some guys hand over money and give up time on the basis of it.

Not me though – I’ve decided to walk with my head down from now on.

Berbatov v Tevez? What about Rooney?

There has been a lot of talk recently about Carlos Tevez and his Manchester United future.

The Argentine had looked likely to make his loan move to Old Trafford permanent but the arrival of Dimitar Berbatov has put that in doubt.

Including Wayne Rooney, United have three quality strikers and, with Cristiano Ronaldo also able to lead the line, the Red Devils have an embarrassment of riches up front.

With Ferguson having the almost impossible task of keeping them all happy, and with the club already shelling out millions on Berbatov, the big debate is should they keep Tevez? And, if they do, who should win starting places?

But for some reason it seems to be a straight fight between Tevez and Berbatov. Why isn’t Wayne Rooney part of the debate?

Berbatov is the most complete Premier League striker since Thierry Henry and seems to be able to create assists and score goals in equal measure.

And Tevez is dogged and determined with a high work-rate and has the ability to both poach and score spectacular goals.

Rooney on the other hand, while his quality is not in doubt, still has question marks over his long-term fitness and his temperament.

Despite this Rooney’s place in the team is rarely questioned. Is he an automatic choice?

There is talk that United cannot afford Tevez but that seems unlikely as they are one of the richest clubs in the world.

If I was Sir Alex I would shell out for the Argentine and prepare Mr Rooney for a bit of time on the bench.