It is a question we could all ask ourselves. But it suggests the existence of an absolute definition and to some extent, there could be truth in it. So, I am a man and the only way I can see that ever changing is if I wanted a sex change, and I don't.
I am a man who enjoys a beer and in some quarters, that makes me a "drinker." But there was a time that I didn't touch alcohol and who knows, maybe that time will return. I hope not. I also smoke between five and fifteen cigarettes every day too and am often accused of being a "Smoker." The term smoker, is often spat out rather than spoken and is there to denote some kind of social leprosy that I am blighted with which makes it necessary to shun me at every opportunity.
At an average of ten cigarettes a day at four minutes spent smoking each one, I'm a smoker for 40 out of the 1,440 minutes in every day. So for 2.8% of everyday, I am a smoker or to put it another way, for 97.2% of everyday, I am a non-smoker. But I am a Father 100% of the time.
I only drink on the weekends and even then, not for 24 hours a day. But I concede that I spend longer than 40 minutes on Saturday alone drinking beer. That would make me more of a drinker than a smoker then. But, I work 40 hours a week and that would make me more of a worker than a drinker. And I spend far more time writing each week so maybe I'm a writer and not a worker after all.
Come to think of it, I used to travel a minimum of 1,000 miles a week in the car, but as that took only about 25 hours a week behind the wheel, I was more of a worker than a driver. I know a Mother of two very young children who tells me she spends twenty hours a day minding them. Does that make her a babysitter?
And what about toilet habits? I 'pee' four times a day, every single day, but I would not describe myself as a pisser, or something even worse. I do a lot of talking as well, both at work and at home and even sometimes in the pub at weekends. In terms of time spent, I am probably more of a talker than anything else. I even talk in my sleep, or so I've been told.
But in the current unenlightened climate it is the smoker moniker that is the one most used. "Johnny smokes," is a term I have overheard so many times as a description of who and what I am. If I had a medical degree, I'm sure they would say, "John is a Doctor," probably denoting the direct opposite to a smoker too. Having said that, my GP was a smoker some of the time as well?
Anyway, for the purposes of clarity, should you be asked if this author and spokesperson for Forest Eireann is a smoker, remember that I am not smoker 97.2% of the time. Instead, you could, as my family like to do and simply say, "He's a langer."