The Smoking Gun

What the fuck is it with you smokers?!

Oh, don't get me wrong now.  I don't see anything at all objectionable about people wanting to slowly kill themselves in a slow, agonizing and increasingly expensive death.  After all, this is America the land of the free, and its citizens and visitors should be allowed to kill themselves if they wish.  But this country's constitution declares that suicidal automatons entranced by the incessant influence of the tobacco industry should kill themselves in a way that does not impact those of us who wish to live and breathe.

That is why I'm so fond of having some legally mandated refuges from the foul, persistent stench of the cigarettes and from the people who smoke them.  Sure, maybe I just get a perverse thrill from watching the die-hard smokers huddle outside building entrances in the freezing nor'east cold of January, desperately dragging on cigarettes held in shivering hands as the snowflakes accumulate on their hair.  But I also find it fascinating that people are willing to pay such exorbitant taxes and suffer such terrible inconvenience to get their nicotine fixes day after day.  And I'm horrified at the basic ignorance of so many smokers, who for example seem to think that the billions of smoldering butts they casually toss to the ground each year aren't "litter" and that it's perfectly OK to eject lit cigarettes through the windows of their trucks and automobiles.

New York City's current Mayor Michael "Tax 'em 'til they bleed from their eye-sockets" Bloomberg has banned smoking in New York City almost completely, limiting it to city streets, cigar bars, private clubs and the privacy of your own home.  I think that's a great start; the Mayor should ban smoking from city streets too.  Nevertheless, we have to start somewhere.

Of course the owners of New York City's bars and night clubs are having shit-fits, fearing they'll lose all their business to New Jersey where, by the way, you can't even sit anywhere in an ordinary restaurant without ending up with your clothing and hair smelling like the tarry residue in the bottom of a beer -soaked ashtray.

New York City's bar and club owners are blind to an absolutely brilliant plan however...  Let the smoking customers go to New Jersey!  Who gives a damn?!  All the smokers can go to New Jersey where their nicotine clouds are eclipsed by the voluminous filth spewing from Elizabeth's chemical plants anyway, and the folks in New Jersey who actually want to breathe while they eat or drink can always travel to New York City.  And here's the beauty of this plan - not only will the City's bars and clubs will gain all the non-smoking customers who have been staying away from those places all this time because they can't stand the smoke, the Port Authority also stands to make a fortune at the bridge and tunnel tolls between NYC and NJ.


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