This is a blog for the smokers. I'm not talking about pot smokers, but only those of the tobacco variety (chances are if you smoke the ganja, then you probably smoke regular cigs too, but whatever). If you don't smoke cigarettes, then leave now. Hit the back button and kindly leave. You will find nothing of interest here. Really.
Okay... is it just us smokers now? Good.
So I'm a little drunk, but I felt the need to vent about non-smokers. Tonight, I went to the Tyber Creek Pub here in Charlotte to check out a local band that plays there every Sunday night. While I'm chilling at the bar, letting the soothing sounds of blues wash away my anxieties, I'm in the process of drinking my Guinness and smoking a cigarette. My state of momentary bliss is abruptly interrupted by some stupid ass blonde with an over bite who says, "Uggghhh, can you put that OUT?!?!"
My skin crawls.
I turn to her, and exhale the smoke through my nostrils, as it wafts into her face. And I say, "What? Excuse me?"
"Put that out! I'm allergic to cigarette smoke!"
I look around the bar and see no less than 10 other people smoking, enjoying the music. Then I say, "What the fuck is your problem?"
She then goes on a diatribe about how much smoking is bad for me, and how second hand smoke is going to kill her, and that I should respect her right to not breathe in the noxious fumes me and the other 50 people in the bar are emitting. Of course, I tune it all out and wait for her to finish.
Then I say, "Maybe I don't feel like listening to your insipid blathering. Maybe the sight of your blonde hair with black roots offends me. Maybe you should just leave if I'm bothering you, instead of criticizing me for minding my own business. Guess what? You're in a bar... drinking poison, with the intention of fucking someone tonight that you don't know, is cigarette smoke REALLY the pinnacle of you health concerns at the moment?"
At this point, she just stares at me with her mouth agape, and then decides to retreat to a table on the other side of the bar, where she proceeds to whisper and point at me with her other stupid slutty friends.
I'm sick of smokers being treated like the lepers of modern society.
I went to UK for college, in Lexington, KY. When I first started the city did not have a smoking ban. Eventually, the city passed a smoking ban, making it illegal to smoke in any building in the city that wasn't a private residence. Two of the bars, of which I was a regular, nearly went out of business: Lygnah's and McCarthy's. When I would go to these bars, you would see scores of people outside smoking, and then inside there were a handful of people drinking, enjoying the new smoke free atmosphere. I knew the owners, bartenders and servers really well, and they lost tons of business because of the ban.
When I moved to Louisville a couple of years later, it was the same story. There was no smoking ban, and eventually, one was passed. My two regular bars, Ramsi's and the Nachbar, had lost tons of revenue because patrons were no longer allowed to smoke inside.
Here's my beef.
I can respect a person's decision not to smoke. After all, it is bad for you health wise. As a matter of fact, all smokers are aware of this. None of us smoke because we think it is GOOD for us. Whenever some one tells me that "smoking is bad for you" after they see me light one up, I imagine myself flicking the newly lit cigarette into their face, then exclaiming "Holy Shit! I'm glad you told me that because I had no idea!!! Wow man, thanks for saving my life!!!"
But I digress.
If all things that were bad for you were made illegal, then McDonald's should be illegal. Trans Fats should be made illegal, so kiss your Oreos goodbye. Alcohol should be made illegal.
No, the problem lies in discretion.
I believe businesses should make the call on whether smoking is allowed, not laws. If a business wants to be smoke free, then that is their right. However, if a bar wants to allow it's patrons to enjoy their cigarettes, then what the fuck is it to anyone else? If you want to have fun in a smoke free environment, then go somewhere else. Let us smokers enjoy ourselves. If you can withstand the horrible smoke, then come on in. But do not, tell me where and when I can and cannot smoke.
On a side note: My regular brand is Camel Filters and I smoke about 2 packs a day, but I'll pretty much smoke whatever is on sale or is buy one get one free. I don't understand the loyalty to one specific brand and flavor of cigarettes. I know some people who will only smoke their specific brand. Why is that?
Also, here are the times when I most enjoy a cigarette:
When I first wake up. Nothing else gets me going in the morning like Joe Camel and a caramel macchiato from Starbucks.
When I'm driving. Rush hour stresses me out.
After I eat.
After I take a shit.
While I'm drinking. The perfect compliment to a frosty beer.
A rousing discussion in politics.
Anytime I feel anxious.
I know many of you who are smokers go through the same shit I went through tonight. All I can say is blow it back in their face, and enjoy the few freedoms we have, until they are taken away. If you still live in a city that allows smoking in public, enjoy it while it lasts. Eventually, we're going to be put out.