There, I said it. I like to smoke. I smoke pipes, cigars, and the occasional Nat Sherman cigarette (mainly because I haven't found a cigarillo I like). I know that there are many people out there that don't smoke. Whatever floats your boat, baby. If you like to smoke, welcome to the club. If you don't like to smoke, then I respect that.
America is a funny place these days. With the politicians pushing for "political correctness" at all times, America at large has changed from the country it used to be 50 years ago. I won't say whether for good or bad (this is a drinking blog, not a politics blog) but there is one thing that bugs me. In America, in which such fantastic and positive movements such as the push towards racial and sex equality took place, it is still okay to discriminate. If you're fat or a smoker, you get the shit end of the stick here. It continues to amaze me that it is still perfectly fine to bash on smokers and fat people in a country so determined for complete equality.
I said that I respect people that don't smoke but this isn't completely true. In order for me to respect you, you have to respect me in return. Fuck, it goes along with a scientific law: The Law of Conservation of Mass. The law states that you cannot destroy or create matter in a chemical equation. What is put in must come out. So when I respect your decision not to smoke, the equation gets royally fucked when you decide not to respect me. See where I'm going with this?
About an hour ago I decided to have a smoke on a nice, if slightly humid night. I lit up (it was a Nat Sherman) and proceeded to smoke. I was about fifteen feet from the building with a heady wind. As it is, I'm standing in the middle of the sidewalk. I'm courteous mostly. I know that there are those that don't like the smell of smoke so I stand away from the building, unlike most people that seek refuge from the wind and precipitation. I figured 15 feet, a quarter the length of my childhood home, would be sufficient. As I smoke, I hear a chair scrape and the loud bang of a door behind me. I turn to see someone explode out of the hall and stare at me. He goes:
"Are you smoking?"
I look down at the cigarette in my hand.
He looks at me like I just killed seventeen children with a flamethrower. He venomously says:
"Look, just move? I can't stand the smell of smoke."
At this point, I'm fine with it. He seems a touch angry but whatever. Then he indignantly says:
"25 feet. 25 feet." (heavy annunciation on the 25) "It's just rude. Can't believe you people..."
You people? What the hell? First off, did he just generalize every smoker? Second, did he just generalize every smoker as an inconsiderate ass? So I move. I'm almost flabbergasted at how inconsiderate he was. I could hear him storm out of his room to berate me. Make no mistake folks, this was not a nonchalant chat we had. He dressed me down like R. Lee Ermey in Full Metal Jacket.
At this point, I'm standing in the middle of the lawn on top of a drainage grate. I'm still smoking, as calm as I can be. I'm looking through the door and I see him again, spying. He originally went back into the building and turned left. I then see him come by and stare at me like I'm gonna light more kids on fire. I keep smoking. Then he sticks his head back around the corner to make sure I haven't moved like this is some fucked up game of Red Rover where if he catches me he calls Security and I have a meeting with the Dean.
Look kid, I'm sorry I can't control the wind. I'm sorry this isn't a magical fantasy world in which I can just bust a special "Control The Damn Wind" spell out and make the wind go away. Trust me, if I could have I would have stopped the gale force winds Rochester sports year round. Also, I'm another human being there chief. I have emotions, wants, and needs. I'm not some sort of troll. As I said, this isn't a magical land filled with beings you can just chew out with no recourse. At least be polite, that's really all I ask.
Seriously, what has happened to this country? Why is it fine to pick on and bully a select group of people? So what if I'm fat? A lot of people just say "well stop eating, fatty". Ever stop and think that some people are fat for other reasons than your summation that its all they can do not to cram cheesesteaks into their gaping maw? So what if I smoke? I bet you're going to say "Well the second hand smoke you produce is poison". That's false. In a country of such scientific origins, you'd think people would be able to ferret out the bullshit. The study on secondhand smoke was thrown out because it was such a faulty study. They cherry-picked data to fit what they wanted to say. THROWN OUT. A U.S. District Judge THREW OUT THE STUDY because it was faulty. Also, an EPA study of indoor cancer causing particles done in 1991 states that passive tobacco smoke results in 3,000 cancer related deaths per year. Sounds like a lot, right? Compare that to the amount of deaths related to radon leakage in homes which, at it's ceiling, is about 20,000 and at it's base is 5,000. People, tobacco is the least of your worries. Worry about radon because it's almost 6 times more deadly.
Look, it really doesn't bother me if you have a problem with smoking. If someone you know died because of it, I'm sorry. I truly am. If you just don't like the smell, I respect that. But don't think that it's okay to treat me like dirt. I'm a human too. I am exactly like you. Just because I smoke or just because I'm portly doesn't mean you have authority over me. The founding fathers laid down their lives and livelihoods to ensure life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness. But I guess they forgot to add the "P.S. Except smokers and fat people" clause.