One of my wife’s friends just took off for a week in Japan, just after he got back from a week in England. American schoolteachers get the entire summer off, don’t you know. And are not, in my experience, conspicuously underpaid.
Anyway, the guy left my wife a “present” of dubious virtue because she agreed to look after his rat-faced little mutant cat while he’s away. It’s a pack of what I have to believe are typical English tobacco stick equivalents, and since my wife has quit smoking she gave them to me. Damn, these things are nasty. Honestly, they taste exactly like what I imagine a dead skunk’s ass tastes like.
I know that we have a number of fine, discerning British members, and I’m begging you guys to assure me that these things a completely atypical. Because otherwise I can’t imagine why anybody over there would take up smoking.
It’s a kind of gold-yellow colored pack that says “555” and “State Express Of London” on it. Up near the top above a blue chevron is a logo with a couple of horse/lion things flanking a crown above the letters “SE”, and the fine print says “The classic marque of high distinction.* Manufacturers of quality cigarettes.** Ardath Tobacco Company, London.” I have on idea how the letters “S” and “E” relate to “Ardath Tobacco”, but I’m just an ignorant Yank and so I figure it has to be some sort of cockeyed rhyming slang deal.
I caught a bit of a clue, because on one side of the pack there’s some weird foreign scribble writing*** (not Arabic or Hebrew) and beneath that it says “Made in Myanmar Under Authority of Ardath Tobacco Co. Ltd.” I don’t have any idea where this Myanmar place is, but I assume it’s someplace in Turkey where they pay 12 year old kids nine cents a day to stuff crushed oak leaves and shredded used sweatsocks into cigarette wrappers. We have a Miramar Naval Air Station in the desert in California, but I don’t think that’s it.
This is just a crappy off brand, right? What do hapless nicotene addicts like me really smoke in England?
- HAH! These things suck.
** Double HAH! These things really suck.
** This “obnoxious American” bit is mostly a put-on for the board, 'kay? Mostly.