Breathe Easier

June 02, 2004

Hosted by ImageShack.usLast night Snobby went out with Médecin-franco-ontarien to enjoy one of the thousands of Toronto's (at last!) smoke-free bars. Toronto has finally joined the rest of the Third Millennium and has banned all smoking in bars. Who could have thought that this would happen in New York and Dublin before it happened here, in Toronto the Pure (ha! – Snobby cannot call it that with a straight face)?

Now you smokers who read this and are still swearing that you will never ever again set foot in an establishment that enforces such a blatantly intolerant policy of discrimination and hatred (somebody actually described the new non-smoking by-law to me in such a fashion. I lost my words at the hyperbole and had no idea how to respond without rolling my eyes. So that's what I did), know you this: once Snobby has approximately half a pint of beer, I shed my mild-mannered demeanour (ha! – I can't say that with a straight face either) and turn into Super Chain-Smoking Snobby. One after another, almost but not quite lighting the new one off the old one, I inhale them deeply into my body and exhale them into the bodies of my friends and all around me.

This is a hold-over from about fifteen years ago when the only time I didn't have a cigarette pinched between my stained fingers stained brown, fingers that looked about forty years older than the rest of my body, was when I was asleep. This was my morning ritual from a decade and a half ago when I was a student and stupid, although I was supposedly expanding my brain through study:

  1. Alarm clock rings

  2. Snobby smokes cigarette

  3. Snobby gets up and makes coffee

  4. Snobby smokes cigarette while pot of coffee drips

  5. Snobby smokes cigarette and drinks coffee

  6. Snobby takes shower

  7. Snobby smokes cigarette and drinks coffee

  8. Non-smoking roommate coughs up entire lung

  9. Snobby smokes coffee and drinks cigarette

  10. Cat dies

And so forth. You can extrapolate the rest of my day.

Quitting cold turkey was never a successful venture for me. I am surly under the best of circumstances, so you can only imagine the pain I inflicted on all around me. I remember one lovely Christmas vacation when I had run out of cigarettes while back home visiting my family and my staunchly anti-smoking father drove me all over the city in search of a place that was open and would sell me smokes on Christmas Day. Such a joy I can be to all around me!

But over a number of years I methodically eradicated my ritual cigarettes one by one until I felt confident enough to ban smoking in my own house altogether. The one remaining smoking situation I was never able to rid myself of was the bar.

But yesterday I walked into Woody's and it smelt fresh as a daisy. Woody's?! Woody's. I restrained myself admirably through two entire pints without slicing anyone's head off or talking non-stop about how much I wanted a smoke. Finally I ventured to the smoker's dungeon to have my single smoke of the evening (bummed from this like totally cute guy!). Even though it's open to the outside on two sides it still smelt like an ashtray. The characters I found puffing away in it looked as if they would be quite at home in a bingo parlour, except for the like totally cute guy of course, (my apologies to any bingo enthusiasts among you; I was, of course, not referring to you. You look fabulous wherever you go). The only noise was hushed conversation and the occasional phlegmy hack. I smoked quickly and rejoined my friends, blinking in the light as I emerged from the smoky warren.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usAnd this morning I did not experience the following:

  • Clothing that reeks

  • Stinging, watery eyeballs

  • Aching sinuses

  • Wheezy lungs

  • An inexplicably crushing hangover despite the fact that I had had relatively little to drink

I could get used to this. Cheers!

posted by GreyGuy on 2.6.04 | Permalink |

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