Your lungs tighten up, your eyes water, that tickle in your throat, which can only mean one thing – a smoker’s in town.
When you’re not a smoker, being friends with a group of smokers can become mind numbingly tedious. Having to stop at the każin en route to wherever to buy a packet, following them to designated areas at airports, standing in the freezing cold while smokers do their smoking because you don’t want to look like BillyNoMates all alone inside Ħefu Bar.
Yet smoking is part of one’s identity, with smoking styles varying from individual to individual. These are the most common Maltese breeds of smokers.
1. The David Copperfield Smokers
You’re digging into your pasta, trying to get three farfalle onto your fork. Everyone’s gone quiet (food) so you decide to break the silence;
‘Kemm jiżolqu daw l-os-‘
You look up and find that everyone has pissed off outside for a smoke, leaving you alone with Inga – the Swede with zero personality who you’ve only just met – six seats away. You exchange awkward smiles and the lifesaving ‘Allura, how do you know Stacy?’
2. Iċ-Ċumnija Smokers
Instead of an aura, these people have a pervasive cloud of nicotine-laden air. They sound like donkeys on crack when they laugh. Not to mention their phlegm-filled cough, which is enough to trigger a shortness of breath-induced panic attack on the unfortunate soul who happens to be nearby.
3. Pepé Smokers
Pepé smokers are generally very slappable people and nauseate non-smokers way before the smell of tobacco reaches our nostrils.This breed of people can generally be found at Charles Grech with a ‘ciggy’ in one hand and a glass of wine in the other. Whether intentional or not, this suave smoking style is indicative of wealth and class.
‘You have a fag, say? I’m so frazzled ma.’
4. The Ħadd Ma Jista’ Għalina Smokers
The polar opposite of the pepé smokers, the ‘ħadd ma jista’ għalina’ smokers are savage and uncouth. They’re the ones holding the cigarette with three to four fingers while slumped in a chair scratching their testicles. At first glance, such people appear nonchalant, yet they are the ones sucking in as much of the cancer stick as possible as though it were their last. When they are not actually smoking, the cigarette hangs unlit from their mouth as they swear.
‘Għalabiebi, minix dieħel xogħol għada.’
5. The Ħa Nieħu Ħames Minuti Break Smokers
Smoking is probably the only vice where taking a five minute break from work every half hour is accepted, leaving us non-smokers working while smokers go outside for some “fresh air”. Would the same be accepted if a non-smoker were to say ‘Ħa mmur ħames minuti barra ħa nigdem naqra difrejja‘? (Rhetorical question.) We should all be subject to the same right to loiter.
6. The X’Għal’għajni Smokers
All smokers are selfish in a way, but the x‘għal’għajni ones win the ‘most inconsiderate breed’ award. They litter the ground with their cigarette butts and ash wherever they please.
And not only do they break the law by smoking inside clubs, leaving the smell of stale smoke pervading your hair, skin and clothing after a night out in Pee Vee, but they have the audacity to tell non-smokers ‘Jekk għandek problema, ersaq.‘ How about ersaq int, you ignorant shite?
Worst of all, they are a danger to society (anyone within a two-metre radius) with their wild dance moves, waving their cigarette in the air, leaving non-smokers having to be the ones doing the Matrix moves to dodge cigarettes burns.
There’s always one bummer in every group of friends. No matter how many times you sarcastically tell him ‘Ikollok chance, ibbumja xi ħaġa, qammiel!‘ he never seems to get the hint. Then there’s the one who never has a lighter.
8. The Pensive Smokers
The pensive smokers, the academics, the wise – these don’t simply smoke, they smoke with frowned eyebrows and a thoughtful look while reading ‘La Divina Commedia‘ on their leather armchair, exhaling slowly.
Ħallik minn Bukowski u mur agħmel penny xogħol!
9. The In Denial Smokers
Everyone has come across a few of these twats who claim they don’t care about the risks of smoking because a) they know a chain smoker who also runs marathons or b) ‘We are all going to die one day’ . Using that logic, why aren’t we all walking around smoking crack?
A: ‘My nannu smokes and he’s 87-‘
B: ‘X’ABŻ, ressaq dak is-sigarett minn quddiem wiċċi.’