Thursday, August 10, 2006

Profiles in Stupidity

Like Dave at the Eleventh Hour, I had planned to sit out this latest round of the smoking battle, except to decry the use of micturative (thanks Jeff) analogies that only serve to sully the debate. But like Dave, I was sucked back into the fray because of the utter stupidity being exhibited. In my case, it isn't the result of disingenuous reasoning on the part of the anti-smoking-ban contingent, but the behavior of those who would walk a mile for a Camel but can't walk two feet without a smoke.

I'm not such an anti-smoking zealot that I would propose banning outdoor smoking. But I will say that anyone who lights-up anywhere where there are a preponderance of children - be it at a park playground, a youth soccer game, or, say, the State Fair parade - needs to lock themselves away in the double-wide with their beloved cigarettes lest they inadvertently catch a breath of fresh air.

If you haven't guessed by now, we took the kids to the parade this evening. For whatever reason, it always seems to be a big draw with the nicotine addicted set. I've come to expect this and can generally avoid their smog. Tonight, however, I was witness to two occassions of extreme smoking idiocy.

Shortly upon arriving at the usual spot where our extended family gathers, I noticed a gentleman attached to a bottle of oxygen just as he was about to light a cigarette. Now* understand I harbored no concern for his failing health since he obviously had none, but I did wonder about all of those warning signs I had seen in hospitals that seemed to indicate there might be some risk of combustion should said oxygen be introduced to an open flame.

Here today, just as we were reminded of how desperately foreign terrorists wish to blow us to pieces, we had a corn-fed national willing to do the job for them.

Later, I overheard a woman asking a state trooper for assistance in clearing the way for her car to leave the yard where she was parked. It seemed a member of her party had gone into labor. A buzz went through the crowd upon hearing of the impending blessed event. Until we caught a glimpse of the mother-to-be.

While the trooper stood prepared to hold up the parade so the car could pass through to the adjoining alley, the glowing mother stood outside of her transport, determined to suck out every last carcinogen from her butt before tending to the task of delivering her child. And who could blame her. By the time she pushes the little brat out and tends to all of the postpartum rigmarole, it might be two or three hours before she gets to have another one.

So there you have it. Two case studies on why we shouldn't worry about infringing on smokers' rights. Because they obviously aren't concerned with anyone elses.

*Sorry for the superfluous "now". I saw Jerry Lambert marching in the parade tonight and just couldn't help myself.


nancy said...

The 3lb.2oz. bundle of joy is named Winston "Lucky Strike" Twilight Parade. No word on the gender. Back to you, Jerry. said...

Ohh geez. I can't understand if it is stupidity or lack of knowledge that leads people to smoke around kids, or while giving birth for that matter.

I had a grandpa whom smoked, but whenever I was around as a small child he would march outside or go somewhere else to light up an unfiltered Lucky Strike. (I tried years after he passed away just to see what he had smoked all those years, and I rather have sucked the fumes of the exhaust out of a car after that)

I wish I was an expert on the issue I'd quote how many health complications are caused by smoking around young children.

I wonder if the State Fair is smoke free?

BlogFreeSpringfield said...

Thanks for the update Paris, I mean Nancy. Now get over to an overpass on I-55 so you can report on recent developments in Iraq.


I think that more than anything, it's a cultural thing. These people's parents blew smoke in their face when they were babies (ala, Patty and Selma), and so they think that it's harmless. Either that or they can't read the warnings on the pack.

Thanks for commenting,

Dave said...

Great post Dan. I missed the parade this year but last year I almost got into it last year at the parade with some idiot woman who kept bitching about the then-proposed smoking ban while she blew smoke in all of our faces.

Gotshoo - my father was a pretty insensitive smoker when I was growing up but that apple fell far from the tree. Dad, still smoking at 73, is much more polite about it now.

The 26th Man said...

Although I am a reformed former smoker, I tend to lean libertarian on this issue. Leave it up to the owners of the affected establishments, then profusely patronize the courageous ones who put the health of their customers and employees ahead of sweet, sweet profits.

Monkey Boy said...

"Leave it up to the owners of the affected establishments, then profusely patronize the courageous ones who put the health of their customers and employees ahead of sweet, sweet profits."

Ahh, that has worked out so well for all the non-smokers. We have about 20 establishments to go to that are smoke-free while the inconsiderate butt holes (no pun intended) have about 500. How is that plan any different from what is currently happening? Can you give me some names of the "courageous" bar owners so that I may visit one?

Without a ban there is no reason for anyone to change.