The Indianapolis/Marion County Council has passed another smoking ban and unlike a dog passing a peach pit, once all the shivering, yelping and rump-dragging is over, we'll be stuck with it, unless Mayor Greg "I loves me the right kind of nanny-government" Ballard suddenly comes up for air and vetoes it.
When that happens, the love-child of a pig and Pegasus will take to the air, too.
But this time, proponents have left in a smoking gun: the ban prohibits e-cigarettes, too. Yup. Even the ones that don't deliver nicotine (in fairness, FDA reported in 2009 that some claiming they don't actually do). See, if it looks like a ciggie, it's baaaaaad. Mama take away from baby.
Makes me-ums wanna frow right the hell up.
I don't smoke. I did smoke for many, many years,* fought to quit for, oh, seven years, and I know if I have even one -- and some days I'd like to -- I'll have the whole pack. And the next pack, and.... Tempting as the act is, the smell of old smoke really gets to me. (A regular cold-weather rite around Roseholme is me reminding Tam to wash her porch-smoking jacket 'cos I can smell it from orbit.) It's bad for you, too.
But that doesn't mean it otta be banned.
Geesh. We learned nothing from Prohibition -- rolled it back and rolled out a nice, shiny dope-ban to take its place and keep the Mob (and competitors) in business. We learned nothing from segregation, either. Now we wanna take folk with compromised lungs already and tell business-owners (who already had to run employees who smoke out into the drizzle and snow unroofed) to stick 'em outside in the cold -- and keep 'em away from the door, too, 'cos nice folks might want to stop by, and you don't want 'em to have to run a gauntlet of That Sort.
Humans: we're programmed to breed, rear our young and then die around age 40, gray-haired and (mostly) wise. We've learned how to cheat death but there's something in us that longs to cheat on the cheat, too. We invent war, we distill spirits, we seek transcendence (or relief, or just a magic vacation) in intoxication; we dig up asbestos, refine corrosive chemicals, travel great distances to share our own regional viruses and bacteria...and some of us smoke. Think of it as a check against overpopulation. We've stamped out most of our predators, or pushed them into places we don't much want -- so what's our species supposed to do? (Other than not upgrade the ventilation systems in bars, that is.)
Try to legislate our way to perfection? Ah, high aims and noble intentions, what paving-stones they make; or railroad ties, for that matter.
* Why yes, I was one of those Jr. High Jr. Toughgirls who snuck out and smoked. Swore, too. But no black fingernail polish, that was Right Out.
T. R. MCELROY'S STREAMLINED TELEGRAPH KEYS
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