I am not sure when it happened, but I have a good idea how it happened. All of a sudden, out of the blue, I noticed something. Out of nowhere I became a second class citizen. Not because of race, sex or creed. There is no heritage issue, nor is it about financial status, though in a way politics does play a part.
Before I go any further I feel it’s only fair to give you a little personal background. I do not do any form of recreational drugs. I do not drink alcohol. I am out of shape. (Though I maintain that round is a shape!) I am ravenous for red meat, and I am currently weaning myself from a caffeine addiction that may take a twelve step program. Also, I love to drive. Yet none of these seem to be an issue.
I am a smoker. Those little paper wrapped plants have made me an outcast in society. Even if they are not on fire, they make me some sort of social pariah. Someone who should be yelled at and shamed in front of people, I am made to feel as if I am somewhere below Hitler yet just above Chuck Manson. I am the killer of children and small animals.
Here is my response to that…
Bite me! You hypocritical (Oops, can’t use those words.)
Sorry. My bad. That was the nicotine writing, maybe the caffeine withdrawal. I am okay now.
But here is the thing, smokers have been relegated to the last refuge for smokers. Outside. What were the politicians thinking? There “excuse” for outlawing smoking inside was that we as smokers are a burden on the healthcare system. I call bull pucky! Here is why. If I am a smoker that apparently is already at risk for every disease ever, are you sure it will be more easy for us not to get sick if you make us go out in 10 below weather?
According to State of Minnesota, in 2008, there were 500 fatalities due to drunk driving. There were zero fatalities due to anyone driving while smoking too many cigarettes before they got behind the wheel.
Yeah, yeah, yeah… bad analogy. I refer you to the earlier “Bite me!” statement.
Here is the hypocritical part. Our government makes millions off of tobacco, between the taxes, the lawsuits, and everything else. Yet they spearhead the campaign to “protect” us from ourselves. That to me is like a crack dealer lecturing me that drugs are bad, but here’s your crack. That’ll be such and such amount. Cash please.
A company can now fire you, or refuse to hire you if you are a smoker. Yet if you show up drunk, they have to get you help. If you are stoned? Can’t fire them for that. Got to get them help. Addicted to sex? Can’t fire them! (Though feel free to
pass their phone number over to me.)
I can see the issue though. I am not telling people to smoke (or chew tobacco.) It is not a good habit. It is a harmful habit, no doubt. But then again so are a lot of habits. I am not an advocate for smoking. What I am an advocate of is leave me
the heck alone!
The government can’t make it illegal. We tried that once, and we all know how that turned out. So they leave it up to society to put the pressure on. We feed the propaganda machine. We know from history how well that works too. (Just an FYI trivia question for you, does anyone know the first government body to outlaw smoking? See answer at the end.)
Plus, if we made it illegal, what comes next? Automobiles? They spew out dangerous gasses. Electricity? So does that. Fire? Sky diving? It seems fatty foods is next. Twinkies will go up to 20 bucks a cake! (And yes, I would on occasion drop 20 bucks on an illegal Twinkie! Seems I will need another twelve steps.)
There is a commercial out there about a young mother with a child who has asthma, who states not to be afraid of telling people not to smoke around her kids. First off, how about asking us nicely. Chances are good, as a smoker, we would put it out. Of course, where in the world a kid would be that allowed smoking is beyond me. Or more to the point, how about you move your kid out of my way. I am pretty sure if I lit a smoke in my home in Richfield, the effect will be pretty darn low if you are in Burnsville. Just saying.
So if you happen to pass me while I am smoking, you save the nasty looks for someone who truly deserves it. Like a pedophile or a politician.
(Trivia Answer: That would be the Nazi's.)