Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Into the Belly of the Smoking Beast

In one of God's many demonstrations that we are not always who we like to think we are, and that circumstance often matters more than principle, I became a smoker in a bar tonight. Not only that, but I smoked a freaking cigar. So, take my post of earlier this very day, and put it into context.

But, the fact remains, I was an asshole. Even though Harry's Bar and Tables had open windows, and the bar even sells cigars, so it wasn't like I was out of line, I managed to spread stink into the lives of others. Whatever pleasure I gained from the fine cigar I smoked could not have outweighed the disgust I forced onto the other people in the bar.

XO commented earlier today "What it really boils down to is non-smokers don't like the smell and they think they are better and smarter than smokers and want to impose their will on smokers to prove a point." Wrong.

Nonsmokers don't like the smell. Period. Some of us are smarter and better than smokers, but some of us aren't. But nonsmokers don't want to impose anything on smokers - we just don't want your smoke imposed on us.

20 Comments:

Blogger Xavier Onassis said...

"Whatever pleasure I gained from the fine cigar I smoked could not have outweighed the disgust I forced onto the other people in the bar."

Bullshit. Try to make that claim after you have smoked a 50 year old, pre-Castro, Cuban MonteCristo that has been immaculately temperature controlled and humidified in a way befitting a fine wine.

You'll be digging out your old roach clip, refusing put it out until it blisters your lips and putting whatever remains in your scrapbook.

You will tell those disgusted "other people in the bar" how lucky they were to have even caught a whiff of such a wonderfully, luxuriant and decadant treat.

Tight-assed bastards have no idea the pleasures they are denying themselves.

The real irony is, they smell MUCH worse after a workout running, or biking or doing aerobics than any tobacco product ever smelled.

But they expect us to put up with their stench in an elevator.

I say again...get OVER yourselves.

You make choices...smokers make choices.

It's a free country (or at least it used to be).

Deal with it and stop the whining.

8/16/2006 10:28 PM  
Blogger Xavier Onassis said...

"Nonsmokers don't like the smell. Period."

Tough. Get over it. The world doesn't revolve around you. Walk it off.

"But nonsmokers don't want to impose anything on smokers - we just don't want your smoke imposed on us."

BULL. SHIT. You want to impose YOUR (alledgedly SUPERIOR) way of life on those you deem inferior. You don't smoke, so you don't think anyone else should either.

Know what? I'm not an animal lover. So I don't think anyone else should be either. No more pets. No more co-habitation between animals and humans.

Don't come into MY WORKPLACE carrying a bunch of animal dander that's going to make ME sneeze and cough.

You're right to use clingy animals as a surrogate for the love that you can't get from a human being ends when it hits my nostrils and makes me sneeze.

But when push comes to shove, you'll still light up a good cigar and enjoy the hell out of it.

You can smell the stench of a cigarette easily enough.

Can you not smell the stench of your own hypocrisy?

8/16/2006 10:46 PM  
Blogger Xavier Onassis said...

Geez. I should just start smoking again. I was a lot funnier when I was hacking up a chunk of lung.

SORRY! Move along, people. Nothing to see here. Go home.

8/16/2006 10:51 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

If this post demonstrates anything, XO, I'm not claiming superiority. But it is indiputable that cigars and cigarettes stink. It's fine with me if you want to smoke a cigar in your house, or even mine if it's a good one and you're sharing, but don't impose your smoke on unwilling participants. Why it it that the nonsmokers have to get over themselves, as they sit there not bothering anyone, but the smokers don't have to get over themseleves, as they stink up the room?

Truth is, this is all getting played out where it ought to be - in the democratic process. My side is winning, yours is losing. Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

8/17/2006 6:23 AM  
Blogger dolphin said...

Nonsmokers don't like the smell. Period.

Well, there's that and the fact that smoke can kill some of us. I'm not talking about long-term exposure to second-hand smoke either, but, as an asthmatic, I'm talking about right there in the bar. What do you think of that XO, maybe it's not that non-smokers think they are superior, maybe it's just that they prefer not to DIE any sooner than necessary.

That said, I'm not sure that I totally agree with banning smoking bans in private places (such as a privately owned bar). There are any number of bars and restaurants I don't go to because the smoke is so bad. Those owners made the decision that my business was less important to them than the business of smokers, and that's there decision to make. I will say that given the declining trend in the number of smokers, many of these places may start changing their minds in the next decade or so.

8/17/2006 9:27 AM  
Blogger emawkc said...

Anyone going to Harry's Bar and Tables should expect there to be thick tobacco smoke, which goes to support my market model. Let the individual establishment decide whether to be smoking or smoke free. Then let the customers decide whether they want to go there or not.

Also, we should make all smokers wear some sort of badge on their cloths or a tatoo so that we know who they are and we can treat them accordingly. Just sayin'...

8/17/2006 10:50 AM  
Blogger les said...

I gotta agree with the leave it alone crowd. If the superior non-smokers command enough market share, there will be (and are) lots of non-smoking establishments for them. If a business owner is willing to forgo the non-smoker dollar, who are the politicians to forbid it?

8/17/2006 3:12 PM  
Blogger les said...

I gotta agree with the leave it alone crowd. If the superior non-smokers command enough market share, there will be (and are) lots of non-smoking establishments for them. If a business owner is willing to forgo the non-smoker dollar, who are the politicians to forbid them? And the "we're not imposing anything on the smokers" line is ridiculous--what else is a law? And who's forcing the non-smokers to go into places that allow smoking? Now, I admit, they are more interesting than the non-smoker places, filled with people righteously enforcing their conformity on all around--but that's not our fault, now is it?

8/17/2006 3:16 PM  
Blogger les said...

oops--sorry about that. Oh well, helped out your comment count, Dan.

8/17/2006 3:16 PM  
Anonymous travelingal said...

Smoking is an addiction, some say worse than heroin. All kinds of compassion and money for treatment is heaped upon drug addicts of the heroin type and mj is actually smiled upon by the free spirits even today, yet cigarette smokers..they are villified and cigar smokers, well that's high class stuff ey..

Sorry, not buying the argument Dan and I don't think you're winning..

8/17/2006 3:47 PM  
Blogger Xavier Onassis said...

Dolphin said "maybe it's just that they prefer not to DIE any sooner than necessary."

Got the perfect strategy for you. Go home, close all your windows, pull down all the blinds, lock all the doors. Don't ever leave the house and never, ever let anyone in. By following this simple strategy you will greatly reduce your chances of ever being exposed to anything harmful and you can live to be a ripe old age.

Good luck to you. Have a wonderful life.

8/18/2006 6:24 AM  
Blogger dolphin said...

XO,

Would you give the same advice to someone who said they'd prefer not to throw themselves off a building?

Believe it or not there are more options than either becoming a recluse or commiting sucide. There's a whole spectrum in between and the vast majority of the population falls somewhere on it.

8/18/2006 9:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, things got a little heated here!! I just wanted to make a comment on your previous post, which included the poetic phrase, "Inconsiderate twits!" The fact that you smoked a cigar subsequent to that comment just made me laugh out loud!!! Our choices sometimes get in the way of our personal convictions, don't they?? ;-)

8/18/2006 9:35 AM  
Blogger Xavier Onassis said...

Dolphin - "There's a whole spectrum in between and the vast majority of the population falls somewhere on it"

That's exactly right. And throughout that whole spectrum, you are exposed to risks, dangers, things you don't like and things you may fine repugnant. They're all around you. Smoking is one of them. You can't "legislate away" every risk and danger in the world. The world is a tough, dirty, dangerous, smelly place filled with all sorts of vile and disgusting people. Get used to it.

8/18/2006 5:37 PM  
Blogger dolphin said...

XO, that's a lovely thought. I fail to see how that addresses my point in any way shape or form.

Actually, on the contrary, I think it might have proved my point. If breathing in cigarette smoke is risky and dangerous as you (and I) suggest. , then might your initial point which I was responding to (that non-smokers feel superior to smokers) in fact be wrong and instead perhaps the reason that non-smokers prefer not to smoke is because they choose not to take those risks?

I've not suggested legislating away anything (at least not in privately owned facilities). All I've suggested is that perhaps the decision not to smoke (especially by an asthmatic who could easily die with a single cigarette) doesn't come from some kind of a superiority complex but rather from a desire not to die.

Is it your honest opinion that anyone who is not sucidal automatically feels superior to everyone else?

8/18/2006 10:10 PM  
Blogger Xavier Onassis said...

Dolphin - "the decision not to smoke (especially by an asthmatic who could easily die with a single cigarette)"

I don't know nuthin' about asthma like you describe. I've known asthmatics who get short of breath sometimes. Never known one who could drop dead from a particular smell.

But, assuming you are correct, here is a suggestion. If you could DIE from a single cigarette, AVOID CIGARETTES!! Stay the fuck away from anyplace where people might be smoking.

Why should the ENTIRE WORLD dance around you particular infirmity?

If I could DIE from a single whiff of fresh coffee; I'd avoid places that served fresh coffee!! I wouldn't try to outlaw coffee!

If I were lactose intolerant...I'd avoid milk. I wouldn't try to outlaw milk.

Take responsibility for your own health and do what you have to do. Don't impose your limitations on the rest of the world.

8/19/2006 12:02 AM  
Blogger dolphin said...

XO, from what you've posted here in the past, I've never pegged you as one who believes somebody inherently wants to ban anything they don't like. As I said in my first comment, I don't approve of banning cigarrettes in private places (I don't however think people should be smoking in the DMV or some other government owned facility where people HAVE to be, and I don't mind seeing it banned in such places). What I was objecting to is your notion that non-smokers only dislike smoke because they think they are superior to smokers. I'm still waiting for you to address that... Starting to doubt it's gonna happen...

8/21/2006 9:21 AM  
Blogger Xavier Onassis said...

Dolphin - I ignored that part of your post for a reason. "Is it your honest opinion that anyone who is not sucidal automatically feels superior to everyone else?"

Suicidal?? Puhleeze. Melodramatic doesn't even begin to describe such a ridiculous exaggeration of the dangers of second hand smoke. It doesn't even deserve refuting. It refutes itself in its absurdity.

Find me one documented case where ANYONE has instantly dropped dead from catching a whiff of second hand smoke, that they knew would be present, and walked into anyway because they were suicidal. That's like 3 absurdities!

I'll be waiting.

8/21/2006 6:48 PM  
Blogger dolphin said...

This is getting ridiculous.

I will not provide an example that supports YOUR conclusion. I think we've taken this as far as we can. You're right on the immense absurdity here, but it ain't coming from me.

8/22/2006 9:09 AM  
Blogger Xavier Onassis said...

"I think we've taken this as far as we can"

Ok. Well, thanks. It's been fun. Let's do this again some time!

Call me!

8/22/2006 5:45 PM  

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