Not surprisingly the “smoker’s rights” crowd is heralding this as an affront to the basic civil liberties upon which this country was founded. Never mind that smoking itself has not been outlawed just the privilege (not the right) of doing so inside a building. Nonetheless the Chickens Little’s are predicting dire consequences for the hospitality industry. To hear them tell it, the fate our entire economy hangs in the balance. How New York City managed to survive after similar restrictions were implemented in that city apparently remains a mystery.
However, in the spirit of congeniality I offer this short story written by Steve Martin which first appeared in the book Cruel Shoes. May it soothe the savage lungs.
He lit the cigarette and smoked it down to the filter in one breath. He silently thanked the Winston Company for being thoughtful enough about his health to include a filter to protect him. So he lit up another. This time he didn’t exhale the squeaky-clean filtered smoke, but just let it nestle in his lungs, filling his body with that good menthol flavor. Some more smokers knocked on his door and they came in and all started smoking along with him.
“How wonderful it is that we are all smoking”, he thought.
Everybody smoked and smoked and after they smoked they all talked about smoking and how nice it was that they were all smokers and then they smoked some more.
Smoke, smoke, smoke. They all sang “Smoke That Cigarette” and Smoke Gets In Your Eyes.” Then the smokers smoked one more cigarette and left him alone in his easy chair, about to relax and enjoy a nice quiet smoke. And then his lips fell off.
P.S. On Saturday we will bury FrankenKristin’ uncle. He died last week of lung cancer after 60+ years of smoking.