The End Of The World
Week 6

James Leavey's


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By James Leavey

It’s all looking good, if you’re a suicidally-minded pessimist. Two Antarctic shelves with a combined area of more than 3,000 square miles have just fallen into the sea. I understand that neither event will affect global sea levels because the shelves were already afloat. But, hey, what a great time to take up surfing.

Meanwhile, Tony Blair has decided to send 1,700 British commandos to face 10,000 al Qaeda fighters in Afghanistan, shortly after his Home Secretary admitted that the streets of Britain are no longer safe to walk. The solution is obvious: send our well-trained muggers to sort out the Taliban, and keep our impoverished, under-resourced young soldiers at home, where they belong. As the British Army has also agreed that its single soldiers can now bring their girlfriends back to the barracks for an officially approved night of bliss, I doubt if they’ll have enough energy to get on the plane to Kabul, never mind spend the next few months looking for Kamikaze terrorists in the back of beyond.

All this may explain the rumours that post-coital smoking has increased, at least in every British army barracks. Before the official easing of our military’s sexual tension, most British soldiers probably went straight to the cigarette.

As for not walking the streets of London, some of us have now taken to clambering over the roofs. It takes a little longer to get to the shops, but at least you don’t get mugged on the way. Also, the roofs, for the time being anyway, are still smoker-friendly. Indeed, I have now started puffing my Havanas down chimneys, to liven up the smoker-unfriendly inhabitants of the each building I find myself perched on.

While I was up on the roof the other day, I noted that Portugal’s navy was ordered back to port last month after the country’s Defense Ministry admitted it had run out of money. The 16-vessel fleet, now lying at anchor, must be getting through a lot of cigarettes – what else can they do"

Back home, two of Britain’s biggest supermarket chains have started giving away the ‘morning-after’ contraceptive pill to teenage girls. Shortly after, they also announced that sales of pipe tobacco have decreased, dramatically, in recent years. Is there a connection between the two, I wonder" Maybe some of our young girls should try smoking a pipe, instead of doing other things with it.

Not that I care. I’m happy up on the roof, next to the pigeons. I plan to stay here just as long as I have the strength to pour another large slug of single Malt whisky and ignite my last, for now, double corona. And the good news is that my matches won’t get wet when that tidal wave hits the streets and washes the muggers and non-smokers away…

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