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Smoking for Your Health's Sake

SMOKING FOR YOUR HEALTH'S SAKEElectronic cigarettes, a.k.a. Vapes, because the user inhales vapour, are available in many flavours.  They sound to me like a modern version of Craven 'A' cigarettes, whose advertising slogan was "Smoke Craven 'A' For Your Throat's Sake."

You can start your day puffing on a cereal vape, then mid-morning coffee and scone vapes, perhaps nibble at a doughnut flavour or inhale a cocktail at lunchtime.  Followed by a peppermint vape if you are the designated driver.

Could we one day have different flavours of vaccine?  Imagine an armful of tulips from Amsterdam, or Belgian chocolates coursing through our immune system.  Chanel No. 5 would soon revitalise our sense of smell, and fish and chips could reinvigorate our taste buds, especially when laced with malt vinegar and one or two pickled onions.  A person can dream, can't he?

In modern times, we like to sweeten pills, or make them easier to swallow.  This is perhaps a reaction against the days when castor oil was thought to cure all ills but tasted horrible.  No wonder, since it was used in the manufacture of brake fluid, paint, ink, and wax polish.  And as a lubricant for bicycle pumps.  Some parents used to discipline their children with a spoonful of castor oil, colonial officials dosed recalcitrant servants with it, and in Central Africa it was widely prescribed as a punishment for being too sick to work.  Not the best alternative to a benefits system.

Today, there are various ways to turn something bland or unpleasant into a more attractive purchase.  Food additives make products easier on the eye, a bit like eye makeup does.  Margarine, which in its natural state is white, changes to resemble creamy yellow butter by the use of a colouring agent.  Many synthetic colouring agents have been banned from food but permitted in cosmetics.  The barefaced cheek of those manufacturers.

David AitkenThickeners add body to foods, but possibly thicken our bodies as well.  Preservatives protect food from the effects of oxygen, so heaven protect us from preservatives, I say.  And although it is claimed that some additives make food last longer, that hasn't been my experience.

Emulsifiers can prevent two unfriendly liquids, such as oil and water, from divorcing, so that your salad dressing tastes smooth.  Would that work equally well in couples therapy, I wonder?  And in the case of stabilisers made from seaweed -- no, that would just make you feel seasick.

As far as I know, it is still the case that only royal personages are permitted to eat swans, so should a king or queen ever invite you to dine, I'm afraid it will be corned beef sandwiches for those of you below the salt.  At least until such time as a swan-flavoured vape becomes available.  By royal appointment, naturally. 


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