Monday, 16 June 2008


Smoking kind of arrived on the scene in the mid 70's and it wasn't too long before most of us were puffing away like troopers on our favourite bit of 'shag' in the form of roll-ups. Smoking 'loose' tobacco was relatively cheap, had built in ritualistic rolling communal kudos and was also useful when rolling 'other things'. Most of us started off on 'Old Holborn', a rich blend of moist licquorice threads soaked in old men's sweat and diced with tramp's shoelaces. It wasn't long before most of us realised that we weren't going to see the age of twenty let alone old age if we didn't pack this in pronto. Most made a bee-line for the much more sophisticated and milder Golden Virginia. Others plumped for Drum, Dumas or the disgusting 'straw that has been wee'd on' flavoured Three Caftles which they couldn't even spell right on the packet.

The cigarette paper also provided room for customisation, Rizla courteously supplied papers in various thicknesses, lengths and also the licquorish flavoured ones (not illustrated) favoured by Jon Smith for a quarter of a century. 'Wheatstraws' were the vegetarian version if I remember correctly. My papers of choice were the 'Job' or 'Jobe'...or was it just J.B with a big fat diamond in the middle looking at the packet again? Job's were the biz, silky smooth, classy and came in twin packs so you'd never run out...well, not as often anyway. I felt like a god when I smoked them.

We must have puffed our way through tons of the stuff over the years but fortunately it's a thing of the past. I'm glad it's gone. I don't miss pockets full of tobacco crumbs, running out of fag papers when the shops are shut, not being able to smoke in some people's houses and other places, having orange fingers and coughing like a bastard in the mornings. However if I catch the occasional whiff of a roll-up it transports me back in time, I quite like that. Never, ever offer me one though...too damn dangerous.
Posted by Steve

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