Monday, July 17, 2006

From: Snook (The Elder) at Home

I am often asked these days how I manage with such grace, and with such insufferably good-looking dignity, the tyrannies imposed by the anti-smoking lobby. (No. Really. This is exactly how the question's put to me. Every single time.) Well, I say wryly to the given fellow, I'll tell you, Brummell, you rum pumpkin of a specimen of a man, you! And here I produce from my pocket a little-box-sized wooden box, embossed with a brass plaque of St. Dunstan at his Anvil; I pop its lid open expertly--producing a fine mist of fragrant dust as I do--and hold the whole business to Brummell's face.

I ask him, winking.

Snuff?! Is his reply.

Yes, old man. Snuff. Say I.

A full pinch in each nostril every quarter of an hour. I fancy a Spanish, but a coarse Brazilian will do almost as well. Occasionally some Irish--superior to the others, but it makes me cough.

Snuff! I say with gusto. In considerable quantity and with knobs on! Take some, you hellion--you're well on your way now!

A Regency affectation! Who ever liked snuff?!

Lad, you see this stern resolve? This head bloodied but unbowed? I owe it all to snuff.

Stuff your snuff. I'd sooner eat it.

That can be arranged, you wee bastard ... Stop wriggling!