Last night, as we closed shop for the day, I saw a couple of colleagues firing up their Marlboros at the corridor. "Dammit, you guys are not helping," I scowled at them. "We're fighting fire with fire!" the wise-ass of the two replied. As I walked on, I realised they weren't the only ones. It was the same with the other offices in our building. All the smokers were out on the corridor contributing to the haze.
And then I remembered. Smokers can't really help it.
At the peak of my smoking career, I was sucking up three packs a day. I was pulling an all-nighter one night when I felt a sudden urge to light up. Unfortunately for me, it was 3:00am and there was nary a cigarette in sight. I had done all 3 packs that day and now when I needed it most, I was all out.
And so I sank to new depths. I scavenged the ashtrays for half-smoked butts. And when I found one, I dusted off the ash and dirt and stuffed it between my lips and fired it up. I dragged down hard and the putrid smoke of a stale cigarette filled my black, tar-laden lungs. It was as vile as you could imagine - stale smoke in my lungs, ash on my lips. It wasn't my finest hour, but I didn't care. When you gotta smoke, you gotta smoke.
The haze must be the worst we've gotten this time around. I'm not sure if it might help but if millions of Malaysian could quit smoking right this minute, maybe the haze will lighten up a little. So, quit now. Do it for your country. If there was a better opportunity to show your patriotism, this would be it. And just in time for Merdeka Day too! Heh.
And say, if you're in the midst of quitting when the urge hits, you could always drag in a few lungfuls of the haze.