Later on today, I’ll be welcoming two guests. Emily and Brigitte are arriving this afternoon. Brigitte’s going to stay one night. Emily three nights.
What’s remarkable about it is that I’ve never met either of them in the flesh. I’ve only ever talked to them in the Smoky Drinky Bar.
The other remarkable thing is that we’re an unlikely bunch of friends. We shouldn’t know each other at all. Emily lives in Boston, Massachusetts. Brigitte lives in Liverpool, England. And I live in Herefordshire, England. The only thing we share in common is that we’re all smokers. And we all hate smoking bans.
We belong to a new minority: the excluded smokers. And I think that whenever minorities like this emerge, they tend to unite with each other, much like any other minority. They all have much the same shared experience of exclusion and discrimination.
This year has been the first time I’ve met up with other smokers, for no other reason than because they were smokers. A couple of months back Bucko and TwentyRothmans and me met up with Nisakiman. And a few weeks later I met up with Rose. And now Emily and Brigitte are arriving. They’ve already met up in Boston. I was hoping that Dmitry also might show up sometime this year, all the way from Russia. But this seems unlikely now.
And they bring each other gifts. When we met up with Nisakiman we brought him champagne and cigars. Earlier this year Emily sent me a netti pot. And I sent her a book.
Small beginnings. But I think this is something that will happen more and more. And it will happen quite naturally.
In the past, smokers never used to have any particular reason to talk to each other. But they do now. They have quite a lot to say to each other. Smokers are becoming a community in ways that they never used to be.
And there are lots of them. I’d guess that there are about 1.5 billion smokers in the world, and maybe many more than that.
And I think that over the next few years, more and more of these millions of smokers will be meeting up with each other. They’ll be a new international community. It’ll be very interesting to watch it happen.
I think they’re going to become highly influential.
I’ve been watching Emily’s flight on flightradar.