This is the promise on a cigarette pack I saw recently but did not buy. Had I still been the smoker I was until 31 years ago, I would have bought it – whatever the hell it cost – although the photo, accompanying the words on the packet and in the title above, may have shaken me a bit – but I’m afraid not enough to stop me from getting my daily dose from two packs of twenty.
The photo was indeed disgusting, and more effective than the usual one of diseased lungs. This one was of the multicolored, festering mess on some poor smoker’s throat; leprosy could not be much worse. Cancer of the pancreas will kill you relatively quickly. But you can’t see it every time you look in the mirror. This throat cancer, externally visible, is promised to kill you slowly and painfully. If I hadn’t stopped smoking, I’m sure I would have transferred the cigarettes from the packet to an elegant leather cigarette-case with gold metal trim and no photos at all. It would not make my death any less slow or painful, but at least I would not be reminded of the threat every time I pulled the packet out of my pocket.
After 25 years of cigarettes and 50 of alcohol, I neither smoke nor drink. But I may still have to face a slow and painful death. Once the medical verdict was in, the problem would be quickly resolved. Elementary, my dear Watson : euthanasia. I pity people who refuse this obvious … quick and painless solution. Religion, itself a cancer, poisons everything, including rationality.