There was this debate between colleagues, as to whether liquor or smoke was more addictive. Naturally, the participants were reduced to those who at some time had been using tobacco or liquor or both. Even though, it is only a person who had both been a smoker and a drinker who should be qualified to participate in the debate.
One may ask me, why should a debater have a first hand experience to have an opinion? Very true, one need not have to have first hand experience to hold an opinion, nevertheless the AUTHENTICITY of an experience is what adds weight to an opinion in a debate of these pardonable socially accepted vices.
Let me advert to one of the myths which may exemplify my point. Once the Roman Chief God and his consort got into a debate as to who enjoyed most during sex. So neither Jupiter nor Juno were able to decide, as they both have had only a one sided experience. So the person chosen to deliver a verdict on this was TIRESIAS. So who was this TIRESIAS? He was a person who had led an adult life both as a man as well as a woman. So he was called upon and he opined that a woman enjoyed more than a man during sex. Well Juno did not like the verdict and had issues with this verdict and inflicted blindness on Tiresias. Thus, we already have a mythical example which shows that unless a person has had an experience at both ends, his opinion would not carry much weight. And i give weight to an opinion based on experience.
My friend, who was both a social drinker and also a pack smoker butted in and said, “I think i am the best suited among you all as I have not merely seen both the sides but have a fresh memory of the ongoing addictions. He went on to narrate an anecdote from his repertoire, ” Once when a lady saw Mr. Winston Churchill drunk and sprawled on the floor said MR. CHURCHILL YOU ARE DRUNK, HORRIBLY DRUNK, the repartee from Mr. Winston Churchill was, MA’AM I WILL BE SOBER TOMORROW, BUT YOU ARE UGLY.” So by narrating this anecdote he gave an indication that sobriety returned the next day and the urge to return to the intoxicating drink may not happen till one finds the right crowd and ambiance.
He also said that Nicotine addiction was more permanent as once the nicotine content dipped below a certain level in his blood there was an unquenchable urge to smoke, whereas when it came to drink it was the outer surroundings which impelled him to resort to drinks. So he went on to narrate a nice little story of dubious veracity, which to my ears, settled the debate in favour of smoking as the more addictive of the two:
Once Ben and Dan went on a trekking and Ben, being the more enthusiastic of the two, ran up a hundred yards ahead of Dan. They both sighted a black blanket on the other side of a brook, Ben crossed over and as seen from the perspective of Dan, Ben had wrapped himself around with the thick wooly blanket and was standing frozen on the other side of the brook. Dan stood still, and saw not much motion in Ben and shouted, ” BEN, LEAVE THE F**KING BLANKET COME BACK TO THIS SIDE.” Ben replied, “I HAVE LEFT IT, BUT THE BEAR IS NOT LEAVING ME.” It was a bear-hug! And not a BLANKET as was assumed by Ben. SO my friend went on to say, “As kids we take a few drags thinking cigarettes are EMOTIONAL blankets, but it is only as one gets older that one realizes that smoking is no BLANKET, but A BEAR-HUG THAT REFUSES TO LEAVE!”
But coming back to our TIRESIAS, when my professor in college Prof. Eugene D’Vaz was asked by me as to whether Tiresias was first a man and then a woman or the other way round, could not give me a convincing answer, except for his explanation that it would be easier to presume that in those mythical days- when surgery had not enabled men to append organs- it must HAVE been that Tiresias was a man first and then became a woman.
TILL DATE I BELIEVE THAT TIRESIAS REMEMBERED MORE HIS RECENT STATUS, THAN HIS LOST PAST AND THEREFORE THE OPINION WAS BIASED BASED ON TIME LAG!