Fire In The Whatnow


Such was the life in breakfast cereals. Once a year we would all travel from the regions and congregate in the utopia known as Coventry. Quite how this city has not been blessed with an accreditation for its attractiveness and finery eludes me. Ah, wonderful Coventry. Or, as I prefer to call it, Not-quite-Birmingham.

Nameless figures congregated in the hotel lobby, all boasting of how they managed to get an extra listing of a bran flake in their local Co-op against all the odds. And to a man, despite their tales of retail heroics, they hung back from returning to their rooms to freshen up before the wonder of the final night feast. They were scared. They were petrified.

The hotel carpet was made of that material they show you in Science class when you were not learning about static electricity because your sudden rush of hormones made other things far more interesting. The lift on the other hand was constructed of the finest metallic conductors engineers could find. It was an awesome conjunction of stupidity and bad planning. Slowly, one by one, the sounds of “Owâ€, “Shit†and “Oooyah bas…†filled reception each time the lift button was pressed.

My mind recalled the happy event when I first saw the draft regulations for ecig advertising last week. I always wondered what hotel designers did once the building was complete – and now I know: they come up with the stupidest, most unenforceable plans for controlling the discussion of vaping.

Some people lament the long-gone days when vaping was a small, close-knit community. Enthusiasts would share their discoveries and try to come up with their own. By virtue of the vape pioneers and their open-source mind-set an industry grew. With it, a community of ex-smokers all asking the same questions on a monthly rotation as new vapers experienced the same dry hit last week’s vapers had. The community, through social media, has been a support network, information resource and centre of inspiration to millions. It has and would continue to be vital but idiots want to take it away, they’d like to see the likes of vape groups on Facebook banned.

It’s been a tough week although not one that is in any way unique, we all have them: I’ve had cars blind me on country roads, lorries pull out on me and a puppy leaving presents on the landing carpet. Presents that could only be found with the aid of a naked foot on its way to make the first cup of coffee of the day. There’s been a stream of people delivering parcels but not one of them was for me containing an exciting vape purchase. A real 1st-world problem kind of tough week. And then I had a flash fire in a Block 454 mid-inhale.

Fire in the mouth is not something I can say I’m used to. I’ve had many things in my oral cavity, some of them not very pleasant, but never fire. It would be nice to think that the new regulations don’t prevent vapers in the future from being able to discuss such things in the public domain. Take my ex-regional sales director for example; I don’t know if having fire in the belly is half as perturbing as fire in the mouth but I hope he found someone to help him extinguish it.

It would be nice to think that we could continue with the free trade of information to circumvent or overcome such matters, sharing knowledge is how the world moves forward. If the sales reps had paid attention in class they’d have known not to all wear rubber soled shoes in Not-quite-Birmingham hotels. Criminalising discussion of vape chat in social media is crass, ill-considered and almost entirely unenforceable. Three cheers for the ex-hotel designers, blinding work once again.