Butt out!

“Smoking or non-smoking?” A phrase that will soon be heard as often as “I need a new buggy whip.” Or “Honey the dinosaurs are tearing up the garden again.” I for one am glad to see smoking butted out of most places. It’s true I was a smoker. A pretty good smoker at that. A pack a day on good days (or bad days depending on your point of view) and sometimes quite a bit more than that. So, like most ex-smokers I now hate the smell of tobacco being burned worse than I hate death. Now, if I understand it correctly, the law prohibits smoking at restaurants that serve alcohol if a percentage of their total sales are derived from selling food. So if you don’t sell many eats, patrons can puff away. I have heard some refer to this as the “Dive bar” exemption.

Quite a few questions have been raised as to how this is being regulated. Who checks the receipts to make sure the law is being complied with? In the “dive bars” I have been in (and I have been in a few) there are typically quite a few salty snacks available presumably to increase beverage consumption.
Not to mention pickled pigs feet. I was once at such a bar where a wager was made between a local and an out of towner about the consumption of one of those pink fetus like objects in the big glass jar. If I remember correctly (there were mature beverages being consumed) the figure was $50. Of course the local got the money and the pigs’ foot. (feet?) But my point is would the $50 clams count towards the smoking restriction now a days? Just a thought.

There are still two problems with smoking that need to be cleared up. Smokers are now prohibited in a lot of places from smoking right outside the door. But they have just moved a few feet further. There still is a steel grey cloud to wade through and piles of stinky butts. It’s just in a different place.

And the biggest problem? People still throw burning cigarette butts out of car windows. It’s obnoxious and dangerous. I read a book once where the hero was a guy who was Mr. Environment to the point that he developed this device to punish smokers who discharged from the car. He would pick up the butts, load it in this thing and catch up with the person. He would get them to roll down the window and fire the butt back into the car. Extreme? Yeah, I guess. But many times I wish I had the sack to do just that.

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About James Rising

A recovering radio addict wrestles with the written word.
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