Between Two Lungs

What the hell is this guy up to.

Looks pretty suspect. 

At first glance it looks like our man is mid-anecdote, re-enacting the details of some sordid night straight out of the Weinstein back catalogue to his mates. But probing deeper into Google's stock photography sheds some light on the matter. Turns out Cardigan Jim's impression is nothing more than a bit of coughing and wheezing on account of an unexpected bout of asthma, which is being soothed below by a hit from his inhaler.

Asthma affects 350 million people worldwide, and five million in this country. Three people die every day from it in the UK, it messed with people as far back as Ancient Egypt, and quacks still haven't found a cure for it, apart from preventative medicines called corticosteroids aka asthma pumps. With all this in mind, it's something to be taken pretty seriously. 

Only, i can't take it seriously. 

Because asthma is the lamest shit on the planet.


I've had asthma as far back as i can remember. I think i might even have been born with it. As much as one eventually gets used to ones disabilities, i think it has always been a lingering source of embarrassment. Not because it's something to be ashamed of, but because it's just so fucking lame. Asthma is the quiet guy in the room with no opinions, wearing the world's most annoying T-shirt. If i had more grounds to hate him i'd probably like him more. I could react to him. But this guy is harmless, and yet his T-shirt makes me want to drive my forehead aggressively into his nose.

This is basically my relationship with asthma. Because i can't take it seriously, i find it intensely annoying. Some people have such debilitating asthma that it governs their every day. The thing about mine is that i can very nearly almost forget about it, but can't. If my asthma was serious, if it was legit, i could respect it. But my asthma is so Sunday League. Not bad enough for me to live in constant fear of an attack at any moment, but bad enough that if i find something a little bit too funny that could bring on a wheezing fit and getting an inhaler out is going to kill the vibe. Bad enough that if forget my ventolin on a night out, i'm going home to get it. 

There are only THREE cool things about asthma:

1. Google's stock photography.

2. The urban myth that hitting your ventolin like 8 times in a row can get you a little bit high.

3. Vlad The Inhaler.

Other than that, there is no saving grace to having asthma. It makes you friends in the same way that not getting picked for football makes you friends. Ventolin chat is boring chat. Imagine a survival of the fittest situation, how long would a group of asthmatics rolling around together last in an apocalypse. Who are you guys. We're the asthma crew. What does that mean. We all have asthma. Every one of you? Yeah. Okay, stay here. We'll come back for you.

Having asthma over the years has meant i always had to stay on the boat when people went scuba-diving, i always had to sleep in the bed on sleepovers when everyone else was on the floor, because of dust mites in the carpet, thus rendering sleepovers a bit shit, and when i was young i had it so badly that my parents had to carry around one of those syringes encased in its own special box like the one out of The Rock, so when i had an attack they'd pin me to the floor face-down, pull down my trousers, and inject hardcore steroids into my arse.

But above all, i think my beef with asthma stems from the fact i am a man

And as far as i can tell, asthma is the antithesis of manliness. It is an evolutionary sign of weakness. I read somewhere that women are attracted to symmetry of features, to smell, to genes they know instinctively will continue a strong healthy bloodline. Basically not asthma. My experience is that pulling out an asthma inhaler on a first date doesn't usually get you a second. Imagine a situation when you're with a girl you've always longterm fancied, and shit starts kicking off around you. How much are you really going to assuage her fears by gripping her shoulder and being like hold my ventolin, i'll handle this.

I'd go into how having an asthma attack in the bedchamber is the least slick thing in the entire world, but apparently The Daily Express have written an entire article about it.

When you have an asthma attack during sex and you don't get rushed to hospital, there's something about that moment when you're sitting at the edge of the bed, wheezing heavily between hits on your inhaler, while a female crouches next to you and pats you on the back and pretends to be concerned, as she tries to process how abruptly both physically and mentally unturned on she has become, that stays in your mind for a long time.

People say our vulnerabilities are what make us cool. I recently wrote something about depression and the response i got from it was amazing. People said it was brave, that it was vital, some actually told me stories of their own experiences. I have a feeling this admission of my own asthma won't kickstart the same kind of dialogue. Being depressed is kind of cerebral, mysterious, or at least pity-inducing. Being asthmatic is none of these things. All it is, is Darwinism in its most brutal form. It's literally being lame, in the original sense of the word. Someone to be weeded out, genes to be extirpated en route to the übermensch.

The worst thing about asthma is that it's so psychological, it's actually psychosomatic. So writing a whole long post about asthma, obliging myself to think about it for a long period of time, has actually given me asthma. Right now i'm actually pretty wheezy. Nothing in the world is less cool than that.

So... what you get up to this afternoon?

I had a self-induced asthma attack.

Jesus, what were you doing?

Literally just sitting at my computer for a couple of hours, writing.

Fucking hell, what were you writing about?




My mother just fired me some very confusing feedback, an opinion founded on the one hand upon seven decades of life-experience from the point of view of being a woman, and on the other i feel blinkered somewhat by a mother's love.

There's also a romantic vulnerable side to it which turns some women on.


Why does this make me feel even worse.

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