Monday, June 06, 2005

Cross-blog discussion time!

OK, here's the scoop: A bunch of us at HorrorTalk have blogs, as you know, and we decided we are all going to write tonight about the same topic to showcase our writing similarities and differences.

The topic: The ban on smoking in public places.

So, fasten your seat belts, and here goes!

First off, for the record, I don't smoke. I have had cigarettes, but I never got hooked.

I had my first cigarette in eighth grade, so I must have been 13. My friends all smoked, and they tried to get me started. But it never took for a couple of reasons. First, I'm a lousy inhaler. Second, nicotine doesn't really do anything for me. Third, I watched a very good friend of my father suffer through the agonies of emphysema late in his (shortened) life.

I don't ever want to be carrying an oxygen tank or unable to get off the couch or talk on the phone because I just can't breathe. I'm out of shape enough, I don't need to exacerbate things.

So when my kids want to try cigarettes someday, I'm going to tell them about Dr. Thompson and what he went through. If that doesn't scare them straight, I don't know what will. Kind of like, when they want to drink and drive, I'll tell them about Robbie Moroso, the Nascar driver who got himself killed coming off a Rookie of the Year season by driving drunk out on the street in the real world.

But why I don't smoke isn't really the point. The point is what I think of the ban on smoking in public places, such as the laws in New York City and so forth.

I gotta be honest, up front: I really don't give a rat's ass. I don't smoke, it doesn't affect me at all. If anything, I guess I'm better off for it, since I don't have to put up with smoke when I eat or drink or whatever.

On the other hand, I think the law is kind of stupid. I'm not a big fan of big government to begin with (yeah, you'd think I'm a Republican, except the party of "small government" is completely full of shit about that) and I think there must be better things to do than worry about whether or not a bar should have a smoking and non-smoking section.

Oh, and I might point out, bars... are SUPPOSED to be full of smoke. That's the goddamn point. Bars are filthy, dirty, smoky places full of alcoholics and rednecks.

Yes, I know, I drink at bars regularly. Shut up.

Mind you, I'm not talking about the nice microbreweries and cigar bars and nice restaurants. I'm talking about dive bars. I go to a dive bar or a club, I expect to get home reeking of smoke. That's why I have a nice, brand-new shower in my master bath. To get the smell out of my hair.

But what about those nice microbreweries and sports bars and fancy restaurants, you ask?

Why can't they just have smoking and non-smoking sections like they used to?

What's the big deal?

Second-hand smoke, that's what.

But that's not really the problem. What is the problem is the ongoing pussification of America. Everybody wants to live forever and get out of life as squeaky clean as when they came in.

It doesn't work that way, people. And the sooner we get over that, the sooner we can buck up and start using our brains and really get some stuff done. Quality of life this, quality of life that. Bull. And shit.

We have four different ways to give a guy a boner, and we can't cure cancer. What the hell is wrong with our society?

We're wusses, that's what. Everything's me-me-me. I don't smoke, so I don't want anyone within six square miles to smoke. It might ruin my night out. It might give me lung cancer if I'm exposed to it. (yeah, sitting in a restaurant near the smoking section for a couple of hours will give you lung cancer. yeah.). It's filthy. It's disgusting.

So don't smoke. Sit in the non-smoking section. Stay out of my goddamn dive bar, you wimp. Sit in your hyperbaric chamber like Michael Jackson. I don't care.

But do us all a favor.

Grow some balls.

(Metaphorically, ladies.)

I don't like when people smoke near me when I'm eating. I understand, that's kind of icky. But I can ask for another table. I can move. I don't mind working my decent night out.

What bugs the hell out of me, though, is the self-righteousness of the anti-smoking people. Just like any other self-righteousness, I believe it defeats the purpose and just pisses people off.

For the record, I once dated a girl who smoked. She smoked so much, she used to drive to Canada to get cigarettes with more nicotine in them.

What did I do about this? I made her smoke outside my apartment. I made her brush her teeth or shower before we snuggled up if she smelled really bad. And other than that, it was pretty much hockey and the two f's (fucking and fighting). You know what that means? I got over it. Did I say she should quit. Sure. She's an athlete, and as with my high school soccer buddies, it doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me for an athlete to injure his or her lungs by smoking.

On the other hand, those Eastern Europeans can sure play some basketball, so maybe I'm wrong.

One other thing that really, really irritates me about this no-smoking-in-public crap: I hate judgmental people.

I'm not saying it's not difficult to look at smokers and say, whatever, kill yourself, you stupid schmuck, any idiot knows cigarettes are addictive and bad for you.

But some people, that's their stress relief. I drink. I watch movies. I do other stuff. But whatever. Drinking is bad for you. So the question is, WHO AM I TO JUDGE?

And the answer is, I'm not.

You want to smoke, fine. I don't care. Don't smoke in my house. I'll sit over there, in the non-smoking section, away from your cigarettes. If you're in my car, roll down the damn window. It's no big thing.

I'm easygoing. I can get past this. And I don't understand the people who can't. It's called compromise. And maybe if we compromised more, we'd have a better planet, even if it has a few extra carcinogens.

(Disclosure: My uncle worked for RJ Reynolds for years and years.)

So, that's my stance on smoking in public places. Get over the stance, and get over the smoking. There are more important things to worry about. Really.

Links to my fellow participants:
Fnordboy's blog
Freak Magnet's blog
A Fucking Enchilada's blog
Renaldo's blog
Stewie's blog

I take absolutely no responsibility for anything they've said. And participants, if I missed you, just post a comment. It's late, I'm tired and sore as hell from playing softball.


Stewie said...

"We have four different ways to give a guy a boner, and we can't cure cancer. What the hell is wrong with our society?"


Good one, man. This thing worked out much better than I could have anticipated.

fnordboy said...

Good post.

Nice to see nonsmokers who have a fucking clue.

Renaldo said...

I only know 3 ways to get a boner, could you please post the fourth?


Waiting patiently.

Ace said...

Viagra, Cialis, Levitra and the injectible Caverject/Edex/Muse type. (My newspaper covers the pharmaceutical industry.)

Ask your doctor/dealer.