Monday, May 23, 2011

New York says you can't smoke in the park

I posted this a few years back. It is worth repeating.

More years ago than I like to remember I smoked. And, at that time, airliners had smoking and no smoking sections... On one fine day I was in First Class on a flight from Anchorage to Seattle and I indulged in my habit. Yes, I did. I smoked.

A few rows away sat two guys who also indulged in their habit... they knocked back about four or so drinks each before dinner, guzzled numerous glasses of wine with dinner and several after dinner drinks. In a word, about an hour out from Seattle, they were wacked, blotto, zapped, smashed. I know all this because they had had enough in the airport bar to believe they knew everying about everything, and should speak loud enough for everyone to hear their words of wisdom, and were giving us this as the boarded. Clowns are hard to miss.

They then ordered more. Which they received. Now, you may be getting ready to hear how I chastised the Flight Attendant for serving them. Wrong. I, who had a VO before dinner and a couple of glasses of wine with dinner, said nothing. In fact, I was nodding off when I glanced up to find a drunken oaf standing in the aisle at my row. (I was in a window seat and the aisle was empty.)

I don't remember what he said, something to the effect that my second hand smoke was giving him cancer.

"No," I replied, "you won't die of cancer. You will kill yourself and some other driver in an car wreck on the way home because you will be too drunk to drive."

(Actually I said something like: "You idiot. You're drunk. Sit down and shut up."
But that doesn't sound nice.)

At that point the Flight Attendant arrived and gently escorted him back to his seat and noted that he should remain there. Fortunately he did.

Whether or not he killed anyone on the way home, or caught lung cancer from my second hand smoke is not known by me.

I dredged that memory up while reading my "hotel/motels stayed at list." The hotel, if you are interested, was the Sheraton Anchorage which had a wonderful location almost across from the street from the Alaska Bush Club, a den of inequity where North Slope workers were known to spend huge amounts of money for the company of delectable looking young ladies... But I digress....

Years later I figured out that smoking was not made socially unacceptable by the thought that people where developing lung cancer, but because it stinks. It smells bad.

Now this isn't a defense of smoking. I quit 16 years ago and wish I had never started and wish that no one smoked and consider it THE most dangerous drug known. My problem is, if nicotine is bad for you, so is alcohol. So why tolerate, even celebrate one and not the other?? Why don't we demand drinkers take their drinks outside the restaurant?

The answer is simply this. They don't want to suppress drinking because it yields huge tax dollars and doesn't easily intrude into anyone's space. Tobacco also yields huge tax dollars, but it does easily intrude, and generates complaints from the "I'm a whiner generation." Ergo. All can drink in comfort, but not smoke.

So forget about the health issues. Forget about the carnage on the highways.... It was, is and remains, all about "me." submit to reddit OnTwitter I am Lesabre1

"Unlimited tolerance must lead to the disappearance of tolerance. If we extend unlimited tolerance even to those who are intolerant, if we are not prepared to defend a tolerant society against the onslaught of the intolerant, then the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them." - Karl Popper

“Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants. It is the creed of slaves.” - William Pitt

"Logic. There is little logic among the cultural elite, maybe because there is little omnipresent fear of job losses or the absence of money, and so arises a rather comfortable margin to indulge in nonsense." - Victor Davis Hanson

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