Why do I apologise for not smoking when someone asks me for a light?

20 December 2012

I'm not sure if you have seen it or not, but recently there has been a list that has gone vital over Twitter and Facebook. 21 Brilliant British People Problems was posted on Buzz Feed on the 18th Dec and has attracted a fair amount of attention because it hits the mark so well with some brilliant British stereotypes.

Number 8 is entirely true - "My girlfriend claims to be 'neither here not there' on Marmite. Now I can't trust anything she says or does", there is no on the fence with this, Marmite reactions can only be love or hate, there is no mid ground on this issue. Or "Having my haircut, the barber said 'is that alright?' I nodded. It wasn't" is a another fairly standard part of being British. However number 18 on the list just doesn't quite sit right with me…

"I apologise for not smoking when someone asks me for a light."

When a person who smokes asks me for a lighter, I admit that I do turn to them and say something along the lines of "Sorry mate; I don't smoke." But it is not the lack of smoking I am apologising for. I am saying sorry for not being able to help the person out, the "I don't smoke" part is simply giving a reason for not being able to help.

I hope that clears that issue up.

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