We're looking forward to the smoking ban in July, not only for the fresher air in pubs and novelty uses for defunct ashtrays but also for all the events springing up to mark the occasion.
The Last Tuesday Society is, apparently, a society set up by William James of Harvard in the 1870s and is currently run by artist Viktor Wynd. The society is devoted to "exploring and furthering the esoteric, literary and artistic aspects of life in London and beyond." This means a quarterly gin-soaked seance, several raucous and decadent balls and this latest wheeze, the Last Gasp Masked Ball.
The ball will be held "Just Yards from Where Sir Walter Raleigh Started in All We Invite You all to Gather to Mourn, or Celebrate, The Ending of Over 400 years of Tradition. We Will Hide Behind Masks as a Potent Reminder That The Next Day Smoking Itself Will Become a Furtive, Hidden Secretive Activity." Masks are obligatory but clothes are optional. Prizes will be available for the best masks, among them a case of Hendrick's Gin, an Italian holiday, dinner for two worth up to £120.00 and more of that decadent, luxurious nature. Expect much naughtiness and niceness and lots in between.
The Last Gasp is a fantastic excuse to dress up, dance, drink and have one last fling, one final smoky night of indoor romance, throwing yourself passionately at cigarettes, cigars and pipes as indiscriminately and indiscreetly as you like. Gorge yourself on smoke in an enclosed space for the last time, then in the morning grab some nicotine gum and look nobly into the fresh, smoke-free future and swear to never do it again. You won't have the chance to.
The Last Gasp Masked Ball, Friday 29 June at 9 Adam Street. Tickets are £7.50 in advance, £10.00 on the door. For more information and for other Last Tuesday Society events, go to the website here.
Image and mask courtesy of the author.