I had no idea

I fall into the category of “luckiest person on earth” this week, as we are on vacation. In Myrtle Beach. Staying in a lovely little efficiency overlooking the ocean. I feel very grateful and very blessed. I thank God every time I look out over the water.

But I’m also kind of surprised and puzzled. And a bit pissed. Because I had no idea so many people still smoked.

Granted, I have family members who smoke (we who don’t smoke yell at them all the time). I have friends who smoke — not a lot of them, but a few. But since Pennsylvania passed the “no smoking in restaurants” law a couple years ago, I really haven’t had to be around much smoke. It made our local hangout bar SO much nicer (to me anyway). I work at home, so don’t have to walk through a cloud to get to my office every day. In front of stores or other buildings, I just hold my breath for 10 or 15 seconds when I walk in, and all is well. I do still get mad when I’m in my car, my little bubble oasis of me-dom, and I have to smell smoke when the person in the car in front of me is smoking. Sometimes for many miles or while sitting in traffic for many minutes.

But here — here it’s much worse. I can’t seem to walk out onto our little balcony, with the big beautiful ocean in front of us, in our non-smoking condo, without smelling someone else’s acrid cigarette smoke. I can’t lounge in the lounge chairs by the pool without smelling that smell. I can’t even sit on the beach, with God’s glorious ocean in front of me, without having those noxious fumes overcome the salty breeze. The AIR. At the OCEAN. The enormous, unfathomable ocean, for goodness’ sake.

Why does someone’s right to smoke outweigh my right to not smell smoke at the freakin’ ocean?

Or while lying in my bed in my non-smoking condo, as the smoke wafts through the electric outlets or the locked, sealed adjoining door, or wherever the heck it’s wafting through?

Or while walking through any of the multimillion-dollar outdoor tourist attraptions you find here?

In a place where, as we learned after getting scolded, you can’t even put your “personal” beach umbrella up unless it’s in line with the other “public” (for rent) beach umbrellas because there’s a freakin’ “umbrella line” in force?

I can’t put my umbrella up anywhere I want on a public beach, but you can smoke and pollute the very air I have to breathe?

I just had no idea so many people still smoked. And I’m sorry to offend my smoking friends with my rant. I’m sorry I despise something you enjoy. I just want to breathe smoke-free air. Everywhere. But especially at the freakin’ ocean.

Thank you for Not Smoking. Cigarette smoke is the residue of your pleasure.
It contaminates the air, pollutes my hair and clothes, not to mention my lungs.
This takes place without my consent. I have a pleasure, also.
I like a beer now and then. The residue of my pleasure is urine.
Would you be annoyed if I stood on a chair and pissed on
your head and your clothes without your consent?
~ Sign from Ken’s Magic Shop

1 Comment

  1. Anonymous said,

    Wednesday, October 3, 2012 at 4:40 pm

    A lot of smokers in Maine, too!

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