This brings me to the title of this post - "Huddles" - and sorry for my odd mental linkage - I'm not thinking about huddles of Jews in the streets of Warsaw or Prague but about Britain's remaining smokers. You must have seen them - outside offices, shops, bars and even hospitals - huddles of smokers looking, well, like modern-day outcasts, the rejected ones. They have furtive body language and seem self-conscious as you pass by. One arm will often be crossed over the chest as they suck on the evil weed, billows of acrid blue-grey smoke rising above their pasty heads. I want to go over and yell - "Stop this stupidity and get inside! Give the horrible things up!"
I hate it when I have to enter a building that is being guarded by a smokers' huddle. It's best to take a deep breath of unpolluted air and then dash through, taking care not to catch the smokers' eyes. You never know how these odorous outcasts might react. In fact, returning to those WWII armbands, I think new dayglo orange armbands should be mandatory for all smokers complete with the embroidered label "Smoker" and a suitable symbol - maybe a little chimney belching smoke or a cigarette being stubbed in an ashtray or perhaps, to keep it simpler, the cutesy swastika and cancer stick design shown above. Absolutely no apology to any smoker who may be coughing over this post. Give em up!