Surviving the smoking ban

A friend of mine was in town this evening, passing through Glasgow on his way from Leipzig to Inverness. Now there's an untapped market for Easyjet.

No butts.Anyway, we went to the Rock, one of the two local pubs near my flat, for a quiet pint, and as it was a beautiful sunny evening we sat outside. It was quite a strange situation, moving from the clean, airy interior of the pub to the smoky, stuffy beer-garden outside.

We found ourselves sitting downwind from an old man who was drinking lager and chain-smoking Benson and Hedges. As old men in pubs tend to do, he engaged us in rambling conversation, and I asked him for his views on the smoking ban. He replied with the sort of dismissive grumble that only old men in pubs can do, a grumble with a hint of shrug, that conveys disagreement, discontentment, and an apathetic, confused disillusionment with the ever-changing ways of the modern world.

He drained his pint glass, hauled himself to his feet, and tottered off, but not before giving a slightly more coherent voxpop:

"Roy Castle huz a lot tae answer fur."

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