Pet Peeves for the Common Man – Nanny States

Smoking in Bars

I put “part one” in this title because I’m sure I’ll find some other issue that fits under the “Nanny State” title that defies all logic and good sense. For now, however, we’re only going to traverse the rocky crag that is “smoking in bars.”

Now I understand that many of you don’t like to smoke and don’t like being around smoke/smokers/fat people. I get that. I used to be in your camp. I’m not going to say “but then I saw the light” or anything ridiculous like that; instead I’ll say “but then I lived with some dudes that smoked a lot of cigarettes.” No fat people though. I’d never do that.

That doesn’t mean I’m now a smoker myself (but I am a party puffer) nor am I a fat person (although I do eat a lot of McDonald’s); it just means that cigarettes no longer hold the status of “mysterious, terrifying monster” that they once did. Even before that, this particular issue always struck the anger chord deep in my freedom-loving soul. It’s not that I want to go to a bar to drink some beer and smoke a pack – I just want the right to do that. This is America. If I want emphysema, by God I should be able to get it. So you “don’t like the smell” and “think it’s gross” and “don’t want cancer from second-hand smoke.” Fine. But don’t tell me what I can and can’t do, you sissy. Go start your own non-smoking sissy girl bar down the street. Maybe call it “Sissy Girl’s” or “Nancy Boy’s.” Ehhh… Maybe not those names. Unwanted implications there. But you get the idea. I’m insulting you for being weak, whiny pansies and I don’t want you forcing your weak, pansy preferences on me like some sort of preference molester.

Do I see the benefits of a smokeless bar-hopping experience? Surely I do. For one, after I leave the bar my pea coat doesn’t smell like I stole it from the Marlboro man. Also, a drunk person doesn’t accidentally burn me with their cigarette. And finally I don’t constantly get asked by the same drunk girl if she can “borrow a cigarette.” I’m sorry mam, but as you obviously have no intention of returning said cigarette, I’m going to have to reject your request to borrow one.

I get both sides of the argument here. I’m just saying that we need to have some bars that you can smoke in and some bars that are smoke free. This isn’t the 20’s. This isn’t the prohibition era, although I think I’d welcome the return of speak-easys. If we’re going to be a truly relativistic society like I know we all want to be, we need to let the smokers do what they think is right for themselves rather than forcing our preferences upon them. Since when did America embrace an objective moral standard of right and wrong? Exactly. Smoking is no different.

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