McDaniel:Anti-Smoking Laws Provide Nice Little Instruction Manual | Word on the Street
by Douglas McDaniel
Jul 02, 2007 | 380 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Word on the street is that one of those hobgoblins of responsible anxiety – smoking cigarettes –celebrated its first anniversary of being able to take place only outside the front door of the work place. Or, with any luck, further away.

Already, the first anniversary of being able to smoke only outside of bars and restaurants across the state is well passed.

But there was no real way to celebrate the first anniversary of not being able to smoke at my desk, which I never have, without first going to the outside of a bar to smoke. To celebrate, I suppose, at least having a lot of instructions to follow … in terms of smoking.

Since each anniversary is reminiscent of perhaps the last time I went into a bar in Colorado, being a smoker, I was asked to be the spokesperson for the relevance of this type of legislation, as it stands today, in Telluride. The situation seemed desperate. I was left was with what I thought would be nothing but the common cliché to wax on: That is, to describe what it was like to be treated like the member of an ostracized polygamist clan forced into the woods to survive.

But no, I refused. I fought it off all day. That cliché. The second-class citizen thing. The, gee, this really sucks in the winter thing. Of that common household decline of civil liberties situational dialog … I just said no.

Technological civilizations need outlaw zones beyond the reach of ordinary control. Anti-smoking legislation actually authenticates these zones: Outside of the office front door, where I have always learned more about what’s going on inside than I ever did at a staff meeting, and outside of a bar, where I always talked to more people than inside. Why complain? These new laws create such opportunities. Outlaw zones are necessary. In society. At work. Even at home. Certainly at play (Google: “Las Vegas”). Hell, just go Google anything you want. Don’t you love outlaw zones? Don’t you learn things, feel free? Yes, indeed.

Now, don’t get too comfortable.

As someone now forced stand outside the box as I live and try to breathe, surely, considering the processes at work, we smoking outlaws, as we get pushed ever out into the frontiers of restaurants and workplaces, need something else to get ahead of the curve and back rubbing elbows with regular society. Having to climb a mountain in order to get enough space, so that I don’t pollute someone else’s lungs while smoking, is just getting to be too much. A cure is in order. Some new thing. The next big hobgoblin of responsible liberal anxiety, that is.

The choice, of course: Supplemental oxygen as provided by highly relaxing oxygen drinks.

You have to look at it, like everything else, from an environmental, social and political perspective.

It figures that as oxygen desserts such as that found in the new Bubble Lounge in Telluride become more popular, then also eventually such products will become more mobile, probably sold in bottles somehow attached to tube extensions to put up your nose. Since they make you feel so good and refreshed and downright buzzed, somebody, somewhere (the definition of a conservative: someone with that odd feeling that somebody, somewhere, might be having a good time) will devise some kind of legislation prohibiting it, taxing it, or, delivering us from its evils.

Especially since I’m sure these lawmakers and their supporters will feel pretty darn anxious and uncomfortable and perhaps even bio-chemically challenged with having to share an eating or drinking establishment with folks who choose to stick tubes up their noses.

Think of the health hazards, real or (mostly) imagined.

So there you have it: Supplemental oxygen. Happy can’t-smoke-in-bars-or-within-1,000-feet-of-work day! Let’s go suck down some air. All of the kids are doing it.
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