Can you smoke on planes now or what?

An interesting point has just occurred to me. Me and my friend Williams were discussing the cruel unfairness of not being allowed to smoke while flying. Smoking is a filthy habit I do not commend to anyone, but we are addicted, and indeed it may keep us sane, or borderline functional, and the sudden withdrawal of the weed at 30,000 feet turns both of us into raving maniacs.

As I remarked to Williams, I can never fly again until the present situation is resolved - not out of cowardice, but because with my tenseness, irritability, stifled curses and prayer-like mumblings, insane hate-filled eyes and ritualistic touching of a small rectangular package in my breast pocket, I would be identified as a suicide bomber and summarily lynched by the other passengers. 'No! It's not a Koran! It's not a bomb! It's a packet of fags! I wasn't muttering, "Allah is King of Light", I was saying, "Marlboro Kingsize Lights!" Take the noose off! I'll eat bacon! Anything! At least let me have a last cigarette!'

But then I thought - hold on a bloody minute. Do they still stop people smoking on planes now? That would be the absolute giddy limit. 'Put my cigarette out? You're kidding, right? What, someone might get passive smoking? What, like they might choke to death before they get BLOWN TO SMITHEREENS? What, they might get smoke in their eyes and miss seeing THE FUCKING WING FALLING OFF? Do you read the papers? Do you have any concept of the balls it took for me to get on this fucking death-trap? Do you really expect me to make this trip without a bloody cig?'

Hell no. Surely not? Surely they let you smoke nowadays? Surely the stewardesses alone are killing three fucking cartons a flight?

Don't smoke on planes? Ha! Another two months of this shit - just one more attempted suicide bomber - Christ, they'll be coming round offering lighters and ashtrays to anyone brave enough to fly. Sometimes the rule of pure economics can be a good thing. Pretty soon it'll be: 'Please fly with us. You can smoke and put your feet up on the headrests and carry on any way you want. We'll be nice to you now, we promise. Please, we're lonely. You can shag the stewardess right in the aisle, anything.' Or the steward, if you are a lady reader. Of course, male flight attendants are often gay, so they'd be pleading and begging not to, but they wouldn't be allowed to refuse. 'Please, Miss, I'm sure you're an attractive woman, but...I just had my hair done.' 'Shut up and whip it out, son, I saw the adverts, fifty quid to anywhere and all the cock you can use.' 'Please, I don't want to...I am not made that way...I am a delicate flower...I have always depended on the kindness of strangers...' 'Good with your tongue, aren't you, Tinkerbell? Let's see you kneel down and put it to good use.' 'Oh! What is a boy to do?...I'll imagine she's Barbara Streisand...Please, be gentle with me...' Well, it would help pass the time before the Cordon Bleu chef comes round to let you choose the lobster for your in-flight meal. 'I recommend zees naughty leetle crustacean, Madame. And perhaps I may suggest ze crepe suzette to start?...Mais certainment I will light your cigarette!...Oh! Ze reefer! Why not!...Yes, of course I will help ze nancy cabin attendant satisfy your sexual desires. Je suis enchante. Ze customer is always right, even when she is ze naughtiest lady since Messalina. You wish, perhaps, ze lobsters to crawl over your naked body? Why not!...No, there is no need to adjourn to the toilets...we are not puritans now, Madame...we're fucking desperate, if you want to know the truth, you bloody degenerate...ze nuns behind? Screw them. We live life on ze edge in ze modern airlines...Oh! You wish to turn the vacuum-toilet into the ultimate water-bong? Je comprende!...right this way, Madame...eight years of chef school to end in a flying bordello...'

'...This is the stewardess speaking. Thankyou for not killing us. If anyone hears any ticking shoes, let us know. We'll be coming round passing out cigarettes shortly, or valium for the children. Feel free to shoot up, anything, only give me saves on the needle. The in-flight meal is pork, so, I'm going to be watching carefully to make sure everyone eats it all up. Especially people with beards. I don't care if you are a rabbi...'