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One of my LJ friends mentioned in a post about smokers and things like getting smoke blown in their face, so I volunteered to share a few of the grossest stories I've collected while we're here in the middle of Big Tobacco Country.

(I know some of you are considerate smokers, but it seems you're a rare breed. I commend you.)

Smoke gets in your eyes

We pulled into a parking space at the local Wal-Mart while the people in the space to our right were loading their trunk. I opened my door (front passenger) while the driver of the other car had their rear left passenger door open and was hit by a cloud of smoke. I bolted and Himself gave me a weird look until he stood up and got a faceful of the stuff too. The sad part? The driver of that car was strapping a toddler into a car seat while smoking in the child's face.

The family that smokes together...

In the express line at Wal-Mart, we wound up behind a couple that I swear was emitting smoke. The person being checked out required a price check and the two kids (about ~9-12 years old) with the smoke-emitters got antsy, so the male smoke-emitter took them into the entry area between the doors. (Ashtrays are outside the outer set of doors.) Laurel got antsy too, so Himself took her out into the entry to look at the machines. A few minutes later, he started walking her in circles through the doors.

The guy that'd been in front of us had been smoking inside the store and was while looking at the bulletin board ads. When Himself and Laurel were out there the boy with him walked to his side and motioned that he wanted a drag off the cigarette. The man slapped the boy and said "You can't smoke inside, jack*ss."

For the sake of the kids inside

Another parking lot surprise: after leaving the grocery store, we approached our car to find a running car next to it. It was cold that night, so we figured someone was in there keeping the car warm, but it smelled funny and I'm pretty sure there aren't any diesel minivans in the area. The driver had their window down and their arm out the window, holding a lit cigarette at my hip level as I went toward my door (if there had been less room between the cars, I would have gotten a good burn on my coat). We couldn't figure out why someone would waste a cigarette by holding it outside their car until we pulled out and our lights illuminated the inside of her car -- there were two kids in the back.

Would you like ash with that?

Every McDonald's I've been in before here has been entirely non-smoking, so I was a little thrown when Laurel and I went into the one on Wayne Memorial Drive while Himself and Jake popped into the local flea market. (If you're sensitive to mold or smoke, hit eBay instead.) The door lacked a non-smoking sign, but there was one on the glassed-off children's play area when we got inside. I hate the sound reverberation in those, but I didn't want to sit in the car for half an hour with Laurel, so we ordered her meal and sat in the play area. Every five to ten minutes, a woman at the table across from us got up with her infant (it wasn't holding its head up, so I'd guess it was under 7 months old) and left the play area. It was a bit disconcerting until I looked toward the main (smoking) dining area one of the times she was out of the play area and she was sitting just on the other side of the glass wall from us, smoking a quick cig with the infant in her arms.


( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
Feb. 24th, 2003 10:36 pm (UTC)
We occasionally grumble, but mostly we're just very careful to avoid smoking places (the two times we've been to McDonald's has been due to circumstance of proximity or late hours).

The Waffle House on Berkeley looks so smoky from outside I'm amazed anyone can see in there. (We rarely go to either location, and haven't been to Huddle House since early 2001. There was a great waitress there that created a mini non-smoking area for us when we went in on an off hour with Laurel.)
(Deleted comment)
Feb. 25th, 2003 01:39 am (UTC)
I grew up in a nonsmoking, low-allergen household and I still had asthma (I think it runs in the family) and now have sinusitis (the result of a doctor choosing not to treat it after my first two acute flareups a month apart).

I feel sorry for children of smokers too. One of our neighbors in Massachusetts was a couple of heavy smokers and their son had several medical problems as a result. I remember being fascinated at 5 or 6 that he had tubes in his ears.

I share your opinion on considerate smoking. Several of my friends (some are on LJ) are and they're careful enough that it doesn't even bother me, but I miss Colorado and the higher proportion of nonsmoking establishments. It's hard to get out around here.
Feb. 21st, 2003 09:36 am (UTC)
I am still amazed that the dastardly tobacco execs who systematically targeted groups for sure death for DECADES by adding nicotine to their horrid products have NEVER had to answer for it. They have amounted to history's most calculating and cold, deadly serial killers--and they've gotten off, Scot-free.

I had the honor of hearing a presentation by one of the industry's most influential, and still targeted-for-assassination whistle-blowers, Dr. Victor DiNoble, last year. His stories were chilling and most informative not only in terms of the true contents of tobacco products and the focus and secondary aspects of smoking for users and those nearby--but also, for the very first time--explained to me WHY people are so addicted with even one cigarette.
Everyone should hear him speak, see his lab specimens and GET IT afterwards.

Sometimes, it pays to have people be brought to the realization of HOW they were duped and then maybe they would have the resolve to stop letting themselves be such pawns of a greedy, unsavory corporate world. Then, people wouldn't feel so compelled to not quit because it's a losing battle; they'd really understand and just DO it.
Feb. 25th, 2003 01:43 am (UTC)
Wow, I'm envious you've seen him speak! I've heard about his presentations but haven't had the chance to attend one yet.

Robert would say here that everyone should read Derrick Jensen's _The Culture of Make-Believe_ (which touches on Big Tobacco, but also on the diamond trade, logging, the penal system, and several other topics; I initially read it for the chapter on Union Carbide) but I'm afraid the size would scare most people off.
Feb. 21st, 2003 12:42 pm (UTC)
I don't smoke indoors anymore at all, and I never smoke around anyone's kids, even if the parents do. It's just not right!
Feb. 24th, 2003 10:03 pm (UTC)
Like I said, you're one of the considerate smokers I know.

Well, the NCO Club incident might not count, but I was cheering at how you finished it.
Feb. 25th, 2003 07:37 am (UTC)
Hehe, well that's different! He is a smoker, so he gets what he deserves!
Feb. 24th, 2003 09:53 pm (UTC)
Eeewe. Smoking is so gross. No one at home smokes. I really don't know a single person at home who smokes. Everyone does here, or at least a lot of people. At the restaurant where I work, there's no smoking allowed in any of the 5 dining rooms, only in the bar. People always tell me, "oh, I'm going to go have a cigarette in the bar" in their gross manly-scratchy voices. They're always ugly too. Not that I'm saying all smokers are ugly, but it really makes people look older than they are if they've been smoking for a long time. Yuck.
Feb. 24th, 2003 10:05 pm (UTC)
The one manly-scratchy voice I like is Kathleen Turner and I don't know why. I'm weird...

I'm with you on the rest of it, though.
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )


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Melissa, starry-eyed soy-lovin' Expatriated Zulu

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