Email received last night.
Good evening Mr Clark,
For many years I have listened to your passionate defence of smokers 'liberties'.
Rather like being amused by the drunk at the bar and having just a little sympathy for his wild eyed defence of whatever extreme position he is defending, I have always found your arguments entertaining.
Now however you have lapsed into seeming madness with your ridiculous defence of smoking outside hospitals.
Of course I don't care about the idiot mothers who insist that their little 'angels' wear a cycling helmet but don't care enough to stop smoking while they are having their brats in the first place.
Natural selection helps in that regard and that is one area where smoking assists the general population by killing off just a few of the morons who will decide to smoke in the first place.
It is certainly the case that the gene pool is improved while the less intelligent in society continue to smoke and a very good reason why smoking should not be banned across the board.
I care about two things only:
1. The absolute filth that is left by inconsiderate smokers who cannot be bothered to dispose of their disgusting cigerate ends and just throw them on the floor.
2. The 5.2 BILLION pounds that is being spent by the NHS on smoking related problems. [Actually it's £2.5bn, allegedly, and smokers contribute £12bn in tobacco taxation annually.]
You have to decide which positions to defend and which to fight. You have made a sad lapse in judgement in trying to fight this possible ban.
Do keep up your entertaining work. We need some eccentrics to fight ridiculous battles to keep us entertained.
Reading this you might think that my correspondent is a trifle eccentric himself.
However he and his wife run what appears to be a delightful and very successful bed and breakfast in the south of France so he can't be a complete fruitcake.
I'll give him the benefit of the doubt and suggest that February must be a quiet month and he's got too much time on his hands.
That said, I'm delighted my "passionate defence" of smokers' rights hasn't gone unnoticed, even in the ex-pat community.
Here's my reply:
Dear Mr X,
I regret to inform you that your email account appears to have been hacked by an internet troll very different to the Mr X described on TripAdvisor.
The latter sounds such a lovely, friendly hospitable fellow that I am finding it hard to reconcile the two. I am sure they must be completely different people.
I have, by the way, taken the liberty of looking at your website and your bed & breakfast does indeed look like the perfect retreat. Do you accommodate smokers?
And here is his reply to my reply:
Bravo for an excellent response.
I fear to say that that swine Paul Bridgestock has taken great pleasure in not allowing smoking even on the outside tables!
Sorry if I had a bit of a pop at you. I do rather admire you. A bit like a man on the Titanic with a bucket throwing water over the side in the poor hope of saving the ship. Having said that every topic needs an opposite point of view.
I would say to you that I am not really bothered about the health issues although smoking mothers should, of course, be shot.
It is the horrible mess that is left by smokers that I really object to. I also think that is the most unpopular thing about smoking.
Have a good day.