The Unbearable Banishment: New Yorkers to the rules: Drop Dead

Thursday, May 13, 2010

New Yorkers to the rules: Drop Dead

I walked out of a tony Manhattan high rise on 6th Avenue a few days ago. The building management was being progressive and insisted the people take their dirty old cigs somewhere else.

Within seconds, a small crowd gathered. They reached into their purses/back pockets, pulled out cigarettes and lit up. How cheeky!

I stood there for a bit and noticed a fairly steady stream of smokers lighting up near the "no smoking" sign. Do you know what I thought? Good for them! I use to smoke a long time ago and I feel some camaraderie with them. I get a bit sick of society treating smokers like criminals. They're outside for Christ's sake! Who are they harming? Does anyone remember smoking on airplanes? It's unthinkable now.

People tailor the laws to fit their needs. And it's not just New Yorkers. In New Jersey, nobody seems to feel that the law banning talking on a cell phone while driving applies to them. They think it's for other people. My hope is that eventually, cell phones + driving is taken as seriously as drinking + driving. That's one I can get behind. But leave the smokers alone if they're outdoors.


Blogger Pueblo girl said...

Totally behind you on this one (I smoke, so a bit biased)!
I could even understand the ban at places of natural beauty (too many smokers just drop their butts on the ground, no matter where they are), but you can hardly accuse smokers of contaminating the air in a city full of traffic fumes.

May 13, 2010 at 8:24 AM  
Blogger Leah said...

Excellent example of NYC rebellion! I hate the criminalization of something that is completely legal. I sneak an "occasional" smoke and I say sneak because I literally have to do it like a junky lest anyone see me...

May 13, 2010 at 8:44 AM  
Blogger Pat said...

Is it the cigarette butts they are worried about? A waste box would solve that problem.
In the UK driving and phoning is illegal and people have been done for eating an apple.

May 13, 2010 at 10:03 AM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

PG: Hard to believe that this mindset took root in New York. Can't smoke in bars?! Who would've thought THAT would pass?!

Leah: There are good and bad things to rebel against. It seems New Yorkers know where to draw the line.

Pat: Actually, if you look at the second picture, the contraption on the far left is for butts. Next to the No Smoking sign. Go figure.

May 13, 2010 at 10:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jesus christ, no one remembers Lionel Hutz or what?


May 13, 2010 at 1:17 PM  
Blogger kyknoord said...

That sign is just aching to be be hacked - e.g. NO JEDIS IN THIS AREA; NO CHEESE IN THIS AREA; NO BREATHING IN THIS AREA etc.

May 13, 2010 at 1:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

as a 'pack a month' smoker, i'm ambivalent here... my vice is my own, and usually indulged in complete privacy. but if i worked in a busy, crowded place, and had a strong physical addiction? i'd be pretty pissed...

May 13, 2010 at 7:51 PM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

Anon: I had to Google Lionel Hutz. Confession: I have never seen the Simpsons.

Kykn: Or, just remove the word "NO."

Daisy: You'd get pissed or do what they did. Light up in front of a sign.

May 13, 2010 at 9:04 PM  
Anonymous annie said...

I can't stand running smoking gauntlets at the entrances of buildings b/c naturally, if they aren't allowed to congregate in front of doors to smoke - that's exactly where they will be. Dead center and just far enough away to make you look like the dick if you their smoke aggravates your asthma and you cough or sneeze.

I didn't choose to be an asthmatic like people get to chose to smoke.

I know. I'm being peevish.

May 13, 2010 at 10:30 PM  
Anonymous Sid said...

I'm so glad that I DON'T smoke. To stand outside in the freezing cold just to get your daily fix. Urgh. No thanks.

Also been watching Oprah recently. Had no idea talking on cellphones while driving is so dangerous.

FYI I'm so excited for the upcoming soccer world cup!

May 14, 2010 at 2:48 AM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

Annie: If you can't be peevish here, where can you? We don't judge. We just report.

Sid: But you never experienced the visceral pleasure of a cigarette and a cup of coffee. Or sitting at the bar and lighting up.

May 14, 2010 at 10:24 AM  
Blogger Here In Franklin said...

UB--Back when I was hooked on chemo, I used to see people get up out of the treatment room and go outside to wait for their rides. For some, the first thing they did was light up. It blows my mind.

May 14, 2010 at 2:50 PM  
Blogger secret agent woman said...

I don't mind people smoking outside as long as they aren't right at the entrance so that I have to walk through a cloud of smoke to get in or out of a building.

May 14, 2010 at 8:59 PM  
Blogger Blues said...

my worst experience was when I was in the Honolulu airport, searching for a smoking area. They had gorgeous interior outdoor patios filled with benches and corners in the sun just begging me to smoke a ciggy in them. But there were signs everywhere saying no smoking and indicating a ridiculous amount of money they would fine you if caught. I asked all around the airport if there was some place to have a cigarette. Yes there was! On the top floor of the garage, at the very back of the car lot was about a 4 X 4 feet square with an ashtray in it. THAT was the smoking area, otherwise known as the square of the outcast.

May 30, 2010 at 9:39 AM  

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