I’m so not one to endorse the erosion of personal liberties. I’m the first one to let loose a wail of displeasure when some jerk off is trying to kill my personal freedom buzz. But when Denver enacted its smoking ban earlier this month, I bent over and said, “take my freedom please.”
I am not a smoker. Sure, I smoked in high school but buying cigarettes seemed ridiculous when my money was needed for beer, weed and new skate decks. What I got out of smoking was paltry compared to the other things I needed to spend money on. And besides, there was that one time I drank a bunch of wine coolers, smoked five cigarettes and got woefully sick in the deep, shadowy recesses of “Norman’s.” (if you were a teen in the mid/late 80’s in Denver, you know what I’m talking about)
So, smoking stinks. I fucking hate it. I hate going out and having to take a damn shower before I go to bed. I don’t know how I did it for so long. I was a bar fly in the utmost and I would crash out every night reeking of smoke. As I got older the smell was too much and I’d have to wash it all off before I hit the sheets. I don’t even want to think about what it was doing to my lungs.
Denver pushed through a smoking ban and everybody flipped out. There was an article in the local paper about the people who run ‘Billy’s Inn’ way up in Northwest Denver. They were upset because they feared business would drop off due to the ban. The jury’s still out on that one. My gut feeling is if people want to drink, they will drink. The fact that they have to get up and go outside to smoke really doesn’t have any bearing on whether some drunk bastard will choose not to come in to your bar. The story on ‘Billy’s Inn’ was hilarious though because that bar is one of the smokiest, grossest, cloud-of-death bars in the city. You literally walk in to a cloud of smoke when you enter that den of smolder. It’s so nasty, it has to be a health hazard, yet the people who run the place don’t care or don’t notice anymore.
And that my friend is the main issue with the smoking ban; cigarette smoke is a health hazard. I’m terrified I will end up with lung cancer simply for the fact that I sat my ass in countless bars over the years, killing my liver while killing my lungs with other people’s smoke. Yes, I could have stayed at home. Yes, it was my choice to be there. Save those comments for someone who gives a shit. But this is a situation where if the bar isn’t going to do something about it, the city government (unfortunately) has to.
Asbestos is not good for you. They packed it in everywhere at some point in our glorious country’s history. It stopped fires so it was good right? No, it wasn’t good. It causes cancer and it was eventually removed from wherever the jammed it in. Asbestos is a health hazard and it took a government mandate to get it out of the buildings and out of people’s lives. I think smoking is the same as asbestos; if someone doesn’t step up and do something about it, it will just keep killing people….sorry, it will just kill me. I don’t really give a shit about the clown sitting in a bar smoking himself to death, let’s be honest here. I don’t want myself, or people I like, to die because the like to sit and have a drink. Fuck the loser who chooses to smoke; he can do that all he wants. I just don’t want to go down with him.
I believe people should be allowed to smoke. I don’t give a shit if they want to do that to themselves. Every tax paying adult should be allowed to fuck themselves up in any way they can imagine. Shove big, spiky dildos up your ass, put nails in your balls or whatever the fuck you’re into….just don’t let it affect the person sitting next to you. I am 100% for the legalization of ALL drugs. Rock it out man. Do your worst, just don’t let what you’re doing bum out your neighbors and the public at large. If you got ‘em, smoke ‘em, just do it outside. If you’ve been to a bar that doesn’t allow smoking, it’s an amazing feeling to come home not smelling like ass and ashtray.
Extreme anti-smokers are lame. They are self righteous and act like someone let off a mustard gas canister when someone lights up. Fuck those people. This ban is not for them because they would never be caught in a bar in the first place. This is for people like me who enjoy the sometimes friendly confines of a bar and don’t want to breathe in someone else’s death.
So in this particular case, I’m thrilled that personal liberties are being taken away. Why? Because it makes it fair. I can now go out to a bar and not have some dickhead who’s smoking one cig after another, dictating my declining health. I’m doing that just fine on my own.