Saturday, March 15, 2014


hi there

oh yes indeed this is one of them unfortunate and possibly unsuitable posts about the quest to find reasonably priced and reasonable cigarettes within the land of England, or Englandland if you like the sound of that. this post, then, would not be suitable for people under the age of eighteen, or anyone that gets easily offended or simply cannot think for themselves. i am telling you to do or not do a thing; just sharing my ramblings.

the word 'Players' has an association with cigarettes here in England that is similar to that which Australians have with "beer" and "everything"; indeed also like how South African cricketers immediately associate the concept of "tournament" with "choke". it is an association that is there for life, then, for better or indeed worse.

pictured here, of course, are a packet of 'JPS' next to some Marlboro. JPS, for those of you who for some reason do not know, are the initials of John Player Special, one of the few, if not the only, cigarettes to carry that all important Royal seal of approval on them. i think that ended when someone somewhere decided that Royal approval on cigarettes was not terribly good PR for either party involved; something somewhat evoked by the death of one of the Royals, i think Margaret, from an assortment of ills and fails related to the world of using JPS.

anyway, in this day and age no one has the time to specifically state that they want a "packet of John Player Special please", and only a total twat, presumably in an open shirt and wearing sunglasses, would walk into a store and say "hi, i want a pack of JPS please". so they get called 'Players'.

that makes things rather complicated, as i am sure there was a brand actually called 'Players' at some point. i am sure they featured a rustic, hairy and undoubtedly salty sea dog on the packet; that kind of sailor that looks as if he would batter you with a plank and probably bum you if you, like he, had not been a slave to the treacherous seas your whole life. not much of a selling point, if you ask me, but on this earth there are no doubt people who that look appeals to.

actually, they might have been 'Player's' and not 'Players'. if they are or were, then they have had something of a rebranding thing on the go and have removed the sailor of unsavoury habits from the packet. they have, at least, added a really class one of them collector cards.

that's on the back of the Player's, as you can see, and not the JPS which we will call JPS here, but if you are for some reason reading this blog post out aloud do not say "JPS" as people listening will form the wrong opinion of you. or maybe they will get the right idea about you, for i do not know what you are like, but even so it is probably best kept a dark secret.

the above picture is fascinating, as it seems to imply that cigarettes are a medicinal, perfectly valid medical thing, showing them in one of them needles. hypodermic needle, is that the right thing? unless of course those that do the warnings have just assumed that all and sundry in the world now associate needles with illegal drugs and thus are implying that cigarettes are illegal. not sure, really, but arguably if one could inject cigarettes of, say, heroin, then no doubt the likes of Kurt Cobain would not have had quite so tortured lives, maybe.

JPS, alas, just have that rather troubling collector card on them - that one showing off how you should not blow smoke in the faces of children, illustrated by, in a move that still defeats the point somewhat, blowing smoke into the face of a child.

i don't get it. that i do not get it was made clear, of course, in the last post i did on the subject of cigarettes, so i will try to evade doing any more clarification here.

this observation would have been better up by the other picture, but you people are quite clever and can associate yourself away on this one. as you will have seen, the price of the JPS variant of Players is not all that cheap, really. that works out at R117 for my friends and family over in South Africa at the time of writing, what with stupid think bald fat one keeping quiet and thus the exchange rate not being all that much of a nightmare at the present time.

i remember JPS from over a decade ago, perhaps a time that could be measured with the word "decades". they came in a sleek black box and had the Royal seal thing on for the whole world to see. my direct, hands and lung on experience with the black boxed JPS were exceedingly limited and not at all memorable. they were, as i recall, of a filter that was cumbersome and unpleasant, rather like the ones the French prefer on their Gitanes and things like that.

these blue ones are, oddly, rather pleasant in comparison. they seem to have a regular, non-French, perfectly acceptable for normal people type of filter and certainly do the job.

oh look, they still do have some sort of Royalesque seal of approval on the boxes. it does not say that they are by appointment to the Royal household, though, so maybe it is a "sneaky" Royal emblem rip-off, a bit like the one my mate Spiros reckons he is going to get tattooed on his arse.

for the record, whereas one can no longer get JPS black, one can get these blue ones, JPS silver and JPS green. i am assuming the green ones are either menthol or some sort of crusade thing to save polar bears, seals and that, so i am avoiding them. and no i do not know why they have the 'special' part of the name, for it is not like they sell any regular or non-special variations of them. as for why they no longer sell them in black boxes, probably "negative marketing" or something. perhaps people associate black with tar and/or knacked lungs, and thus they don't use the colour anymore. which is a shame, as they were rather stylish. even if the filters in them were French rubbish.

back briefly, for this is the order in which the pictures uploaded here so work with me as i work with how that all went, to the world of Player's. if these indeed were or are what was once the Players or Player's that i can recall with the salty sea dog of a bad attitude on the box, the new direction in marketing is certainly one of less implied sexual interference on the high seas, more colour. red, if you were asking which colour, red it is.

yes, as you can see from that strategically placed receipt, Player's cost 25p less than JPS. perhaps that is where the 'special' part comes into the other variation of Players. and look, it says king size on the packet, no real or fake Royal seal for these ones. 

i don't understand why it is that salty sea dogs had to be so angry and so bothered about unsolicited bums, to be honest. why then, or why now, would they have such a difficult time at sea that they were made so miserable? surely some scatter cushions on the ship, and maybe a colour scheme for the walls and that which followed the principals of mellow pastels, would have made life a whole deal more pleasant. if them sailors like the one that used to be on the packet were still miserable, well then maybe they should have rather just gone and got a job they liked instead. 

i noted with some passing interest that both of these Players variations, rather like the Chesterfield but strangely not like the Benson & Hedges, came in packets of 19 rather than the traditional 20. the Benson & Hedges did indeed come in a pack of 20, but if you refer to the earlier comments about them being all cockney Gangland you would understand why. maybe.

why? no idea. a guess would be some sort of tax reason or production cost saving. it's like that thing that one airline did, where they reduced the amount of olives in their salads by one and ended up saving over US$1,000,000 a week or something. not that the saving did all that much good if you lost the plane to pirates of the skies, but never mind.

these experiments with cheaper cigarettes have established one thing for certain. that is i would very much like, and consider myself open to, an approach from one of these "Ferry Bandits" that sell possibly not quite illegal cheaper cigarettes bought from lands where they are cheaper and brought into the country via unorthodox importation routes. no one has, alas, made such an approach to me. i think i am too far away from the ports where the ferries and that go for to be approached, alas.

that said, i do seem to remember that those "Native American Reservations" in America have all sorts of tax loopholes that allow them to sell cigarettes tax free, as well as hold class gambling things, assuming you call gambling class. if that is the case, then i am in favour of setting up some "Native Welsh Reservations", since the Welsh were driven to Wales by invaders and we should compensate them. assuming they are happy to sell me cheap cigarettes off of these reservations.

as a nearest, closest to that, this fella that wants to wear a kilt and call himself King of Scotland, Alex something, should announce that he will sell cheap, quality and tax free cigarettes if he is ordained lord and master of his country. not only will he find that people other than them living in Spain tax free support his ambition, but he will also find a hitherto unexpected groundswell of support from the people of England to allow Scotland to carry on using the Pound Sterling as currency. if that will make nipping over the border to get the cheap fags easier. i would reckon, if you will forgive me for using an overtly Australian word as reckon, that a bootfull of them would justify the round trip to Scotland. and we can see the lakes and castles and that; not to mention the massive statue of Alex whatever that he will no doubt expect people to build.

oh, how do the Player's perform? well, let me just go and have another one quick and then i can give you some immediate comments. bye.

not bad, really. a little rough but not to any level of being unpleasant. if i found myself on a ship and was being beaten with a plank and bummed by a rustic, hairy salty sea dog, purely out of spite and malice because he only had a wooden bench to sit on because he couldn't be bothered to bring some scatter cushions and a nice rug, in truth i would probably prefer to seek and take comfort in a smoother, somewhat more refined Marlboro. but if i were offered a Players or Player's under those circumstances, well, i do not believe they would make the predicament i somehow and inexplicably found myself in all that much worse.

England shall, of course, always bear a brand called Players, Player's or 'JPS'. it speaks to forlorn and lost dreams we English have, you see. we look to the west and see Americans, with their idea of Players. our naturalistic frigidity precludes us from indulging in their rampant "player" frolicking sexual free for all life, and our stern laws prevent us from that whole "playa" lifestyle where one is welcome to wear as much gold as they like and go about doing them drive-by shooting things as token gestures of respect.

yes, i probably should heed all them warnings and quit.

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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