I’m from Chicago, where vices are commonplace and hang to people’s beer bellies and muffin tops internally, much like icicles dance off rooftops during winter months. Fallopian tubes from expectant mothers pump out deep dish-laden desires to waiting infants, ensuring a lifetime of always wanting melted cheese at an arm’s length away. I understand desire. I get jonesing for verbing nouns better than the next guy. What I don’t understand is allowing smoking to be one of those little forbidden pleasures. Of all the bad things to decide to start doing, smoking rolled Ford Pinto mufflers is the absolute worst.
Like all things in my life, everything comes back to the matters of the heart- my heart, to be exact (wanna borrow it?). My days involve daydreaming about ladies of various colors, shapes, sizes and sports allegiances that I hope one day will overrun my ventricles with the ferocity at which Princess Buttercup captured Westley’s ideas of true love – so long as she doesn’t smoke. I know it’s not polite or politically correct to have preconceived feelings about people for addictions, it’s just that smoking is one of those habits that ruins other people’s lives who have decided to steer clear of chugging vapors like they were the Ghostbuster’s proton packs.
With legislation and smoke bans at an all-time high, places like bars and restaurants allow for an environment where non-smokers no longer feel like the lepers of the bunch. With no choice but to head outside for a smoke, inner domiciles now smell more like progress than Don Draper’s lapels. But here’s the kicker; we’re sending that putrid stink out into the fresh air. Right, we’ve made the great outdoors the only place acceptable to puff a dragon that isn’t even magical.
In other circumstances, such as sneezing, coughing and other instances when noxious fluids reign from one’s mouth onto an unsuspecting person, an apology is usually in order. Yet, it seems that people who smoke make a concerted effort to bathe those around them in smoke like they were bombing them for bedbugs. People should consider puffing cigs like blowing smoke up someone’s ass: don’t do it. But if you must, don’t blow it up mine. I can fully see and smell your dirty habit.
This isn’t a rant so much as it is a plea to the funny, independent and sassy ladies who frequent these parts: put down the cigarette and pick up another distasteful vice that can be enjoyed by the people around you. May I suggest:
– Becoming an obsessive compulsive baker until you’ve got chocolate chip cookie calluses and your entire house smells like an apple tart. Be the cat lady, but instead of cats, have créme brúlée.
– Take up a strict juice diet… then don’t tell anyone about it.
– Watch The Wire for the first time and see your group of friends grow exponentially grow.
– Talk in cockney accent and call everyone guv’na.
– Pick up the Pixie Sticks. Put down the Menthols.
– Google where all the members of All That are right now.
People heed “No Smoking” signs like they’re suggestions from the Bubble Gum Police or a decree from the Lollypop Guild. Go to any outdoor coffee shop with signs fixed to the wall indicating the ban of smoke, and watch as tall and grande consumers puff away. If I’m going to pay four dollars for a cup of coffee, you’re damn sure I’m gonna wanna taste the conflict coffee beans instead of your “extra foam” cig spray. Smokers should have gotten the memo by now: we like you as people, we don’t particularly like you as pollutants.
Woman smoking image via Shutterstock