Things you'll regret doing and wearing
They were about 13, maybe younger, and as I watched one of them drag on his butt, then gulp down the smoke with a grimace like it was a mouthful of castor oil, I walked over and squatted beside them.
I said "G'day" and explained to them that I was a smoker as well, had been for almost 20 years, had battled with it UGG Classic Tall Women almost daily and, for the 2567th time, I Chestnut UGG Boots On Sale was UGG Classic Tall Chestnut quitting again that day.
I remember the day I had my first cigarette with my step brother at his mum's house in Coogee: a disgusting mentholated Alpine that I slowly convinced myself was a tasty treat.
It took me years of dedication to bed down the habit and make it part of me but, like rising damp, once it had established itself, I found it almost impossible to get rid of.
As I mentioned in last week's post, I cannot tell you how many times I promised myself I would stop and could or would not.
I can say, though, with almost 100 per cent certainty that any smoker, if they're honest with themselves, would admit they regret taking up the habit.
Reflecting on this, I also realised there are a few other things you can pretty much guarantee you'll regret doing, so here's an incomplete list that might save some of you a few dramas in your life and which you're very welcome to add to.
Hitting a woman: If you've ever made this mistake, you'll know it's one that rattles around in a guy's head for years to come. I wish I could say the same about hitting men, but I'm not that reconstructed and New Age just yet.
Wearing sandals: I still shudder at the thought of being forced to wear sandals as a kid. My instincts were spot on, even as five year old.
You know the "gateway theory" for drug use? How drinking and smoking dope can lead to harder drugs?
Well, sandals are the gateway for T shirts tucked into shorts, blue tooth ear pieces, bum bags, clipping your mobile to your belt and those Camel Back drinking systems I now see people using when they go for a walk.
It's a slippery slope and you eventually even up here.
Lying on your CV: Somewhere, some day, some suit is gonna pull your dacks down by saying, "Oh really? I worked for Tracks magazine in 1993 and you were not the editor, dipshit." A bad smell will follow you.
Going to the Easter Show: Every Good Friday while growing up as a Catholic. Talk about a guilty pleasure.
Throwing a tantrum: I can remember a couple I threw in my 20s one with a girlfriend, the other with my parents and I just want to clutch my testicles and make guinea pig noises in shame. It's just so unbecoming.
Pretty much any tattoo before age 30: I know I , but I'm yet to meet someone who still likes the sick tatt they got when they were 18. Wait until you're 30 and I bet you get something different and are much happier for it.
As someone once said to me: "I see a woman with a tattoo and I think, OK, here's a chick who's capable of making a decision she'll regret in the future."
Not finishing school: Sure we hear stories about people leaving school at 15 and becoming multimillionaires, but I reckon most who drop out of high school end Chestnut UGG Boots On Sale up running errands or lap dancing for millionaires instead.
Not sticking up for your sister: I was a real prick to my sister when we were younger and I so wish I could go back in time and be more of a rock for her. I also had friends who gave her a hard time and thought it was amusing. It was lame. I'm sorry, sis.
Belittling a mate in public: Say what you want when it's just the two of you, but making a gump outtaya chinas in front of others is just not on. And you'll be the one copping it next time around.
Shitting yourself in public: Hard to come back from. See above.
Heavy drug use: I'm not going to say I regret all of it, because some fun was had and it certainly broadened my horizons. I've also got some funny stories to tell.
By and large, however, I look back at 25 year old me and feel sorry for the guy. I also wonder how smart I would be today if I hadn't obliterated so much of my brain over so many years.
Throwing up in a cab: And then cleaning it up outside your house as the meter ticks over and the neighbours wake to the sound of the driver barking: "You missed a bit!"
Diving on the sporting field: Especially if it decides the game.
Travel: This falls under the category of stuff you'll regret not doing or as some dude named Sydney Smith puts it: for the things we did can be tempered by time; it is regret for the things we did not do that is inconsolable. the fat/gay/ugly/dumb kids: Might be funny at the time but it corrodes your soul.
Saying to your mum through sobs when you're 10: "I hate you, I hope you get hit by a bus." Especially if she does.