South Africans are on tenterhooks since yesterday – today there may (or may not) be an announcement that the country is moving into Lockdown Level 2, which may (or may not) mean that the current ban on the sale of alcohol and tobacco may be lifted. Taking into account that the country reported 6,275 new COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours, and, on the other hand, that the economy is virtually on the verge of collapse due to the loss in tax income on the sale of these products and the loss of job opportunities (as reported by the know-it-alls on social media), this announcement can go either way. I wonder whether moving back to Level 3 is under consideration.
Anyhoo, I was thinking about all the hoo-ha caused by the banning of the use of the nation’s favourite crutches (alcohol and tobacco), when I happened upon this one lonely little illicit tobacco soldier lying on a bench at the seaside – see photo above. Illicit yes, because there is no brand name on the ciggie, which means that it originated from a source within the thriving black market.
Not being a smoker (I quit more than a decade ago) or a drinker (I haven’t touched the stuff since the one and only drink I ever had caused a series of events which ended with my arm in a cast from fingertips to elbow)
… and now I’ve lost the thread of this tale.
O yes, I wanted to say, I don’t smoke, but my finances are also in Collapse Mode due to the cut in interest rates, so I seriously considered the pros and cons of re-selling this little windfall. Maybe on eBay? I understand that a single packet of 20s is now selling for R250, which means that one of these little buggers can be sold for R12.50 (the price of a loaf of bread). And I can add a markup – these are desperate times (pro). But selling tobacco products is illegal (con).
Also, someone could have left it there on purpose thinking that they were doing someone else, maybe the next occupier of that bench a favour, also known as “I’m paying it forward” or “I’m buying a hanging coffee”. In Afrikaans we say “Ek sal ‘n brood koop” which means “I will buy a bread” (for a person in need). Since I am not in dire need (yet) of either a cigarette or a loaf of bread, I decided to leave this very expensive item right where I found it. Hêv a siegrêt on me.
May tonight’s announcement be the result of careful consideration of the social, financial and emotional well-being of this nation.
Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “pro/con.” Talk about the pros and cons of anything. Enjoy!
To see the rules for this weekly challenge and all the entries for Saturday 15 August 2020, visit Linda G Hill.