Thursday, July 06, 2006

Baffling Smoke Signals

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.



Fred K. Tapeball said...

I just thought of something funny JR. There's now a ban on all open fires in Boulder (even on enclosed Coleman camp stoves), so if interpreted strictly, Boulderites would have to leave the bar, drive home, smoke their cigarette and then come back.

J Reidy said...

that's funny. what is it about Boulderites that makes us want to punish them so?

is it they're perceived sense of smugness or the fact that they live in such a beautiful place and they suck so bad? it's like a family of racoons breaking into an empty mansion and shitting all over the place.

i think you're onto something here though and you force the issue by making that a law. they shouldn't be smoking anyway right? they're from BOULDER.


k blackman said...

yo, remember me from wagner drive. long time no talk since i moved east years ago. anyhow, i think you got it right on this anti-smoking thing. they just passed it in NJ, where i now live, and are set to do it in philly, where i work. bar & restaurant biz actually went up in NJ. more money for booze is what i say. rock and roll!

ken b said...

yo, remember me from wagner drive. long time no talk since i moved east years ago. anyhow, i think you got it right on this anti-smoking thing. they just passed it in NJ, where i now live, and are set to do it in philly, where i work. bar & restaurant biz actually went up in NJ. more money for booze is what i say. rock and roll!

Anonymous said...

Boulder Sucks -

As a young punk in the 80's, asnd most people forget punks were diametrically opposed to hippies. As Rick would say on the Young One's, "Hippies are so boring". Most of the punks I knew from Boulder hated it. I still hate it. It's not because i disagree with their politics, I don't, it's because hippies have always represented the elitist smug white collar rebellion og the 60's. At universities all across America in the 60's rich white kids were getting naked and smoking pot. Out of these smug eletist roots grew the hippy... and that's why I hate Boulder. It's full of smug elitists who in the end can go fuck themselves.

Captain Sensible said...

Yeah I would have been a Hells Angel if I were alive in the 60's. It's greasst to see those bikers beating the shit out of all those rich Berkely fucks during the riots.

As Johnny Rotten would say, "I hate shit. I hate hippies and what they stand for. I hate long hair."

Fuck Boulder

J Reidy said...

i love it. one mention of Boulder and everybody chimes in on how much they hate it.

i think the whole hippie thing is just a shell of what it started out to be. if you lived in the early to mid 60's and you lived like that, it was pretty fucking radical. the music that was being made was the same way: a new and different way of looking at life. i'm sure it was shocking to a lot of people.

but then it just became another commodity and now, 40 years later, it's just a joke to be associated with it really. i guess if you truly want to live free and without the constaints of society, that's great, but who amoung today's hippies are doing that? no one in Boulder that's for sure.

the sad truth to life is, you're young and you rock out. then you get old and you don't rock out so much. then you get even older and you just want your lawn to look green. there's no shame in that, just don't pine away for the days when you were "cool." and please don't bore the rest of us with your old hippy stories.

to make a long post longer, i read something Anne Coulter said about being a Deadhead....yeah, i guess she's really into the Dead. and she was talking about how "free" they were, blah, blah, blah. well i guess Al Franken is into the Dead as well and when asked about it, Coulter said, "he's the least Deadhead person there ever was" or something like that.

well, that proves the point that Coulter and Deadheads are full of shit. how can one person be into the Dead, but not be the right kind of Deadhead? she just exposed herself and the rest for the hypocrites they are. i know plenty of "un-punk" people who were the most punk people you'd ever meet. it's all about what's inside Anne, not the tie-dye that you wear...oh yeah, she remarked how much she liked that's fucking lame.


Trouble said...

And here I thought Boulder is now populated solely by students, "extreme" athletes, and tech millionaires. There are hippies left?

Maybe you think--since I wrote an incendiary (nyuck nyuck) anti-smoking piece for Hooligan--I am a self-righteous so-and-so. Actually, I'm just trying to cut back on my secondary smoking.

Hooray for the smoking ban!

Amadaeus Tonguefingers said...

Fuck yeah on the smoking ban! Fuck yeah on this column! How would a smoker like it if I sat next to them at a bar and puked out disgusting farts from my bottom all night? They would hate it! and a fart is not going to ruin someone's health. I say, if you cant handle going outside for your fix, then you are a straight up pussy. I have heard a lot of people piss and mope about this law, but hopefully it is here to stay. Right on for your post!

J Reidy said...

i like the cut of your jib Amadaeus Tonguefingers...if that's your real name.

i think the ban is here to stay, but i'm seeing all kinds of stories about how much business these bars are losing because of it. and i kind of believe it.

i've been out and sometimes the bar is empty because everyone's outside smoking....outside smoking means not inside drinking. a buddy of mine, big smoker, big drinker definitely is drinking less because of it. where he'd down two drinks while smoking, he's probably only drinking one.

but tough shit! I LOVES ME SOME SMOKING BAN!!!!!!


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