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Monday, May 22, 2006

surgeon general's warning: this post may cause second-hand rage

an open letter to the lady smoking a cigarette in the tot lot today:

i need to ask: have you not noticed that the bench you are sitting on is in a little fenced-in playground? have you not noticed that in said playground there are a half-dozen children, ranging in age from ONE to FOUR? no doubt you've noticed that you're outside, which is probably why you feel exculpated from exhaling carcinogens into our immediate environment. but maybe it's possible you didn't notice that large puffs of tar-clouds -- clouds belched from your disgusting ass-tasting mouth -- are lingering over our heads? is it perhaps the case that you have not noticed other people's children are inhaling your noxious fumes, you selfish cunt? just curious.

i mean, if you want to slowly poison your own child's lungs at home, that's your prerogative. but in a communal space that is designed for and used exclusively by TODDLERS (accompanied, granted, by their usually worse-behaved minders) i think you might be well advised to extinguish your virginia slim -- preferably on your tongue.

can you really not go 30 minutes without smoking? suck one down on your way to the park next time; light up on your way out. just get that fucking cancer stick at least one block away from my daughter.

then feel free to hurry up and get cancer.

mr nice guy


Blogger Huggy Duff said...

I thought only english ppl used the word cunt.

Fair point tho.

5/22/2006 3:07 PM  
Blogger Lesley said...

Did you say anything to her? Because the exact same thing happened to me last Saturday on the beach. People plonked down right beside me and the wee ones and immediately lit up. I might have asked them to move downwind but my attention was distracted by another group who arrived with a rotweiler with a muzzle (dangling from its neck) and two other large dogs all running wild. I spent the next half hour waiting for them to bound over and savagely tear my beautiful children limb from limb. Nothing I hate more than a smoking dog owner.

5/22/2006 3:33 PM  
Blogger Shna said...

Delurking here to say that I wholeheartedly agree with you on this point. Get your stank away from my child.

5/22/2006 3:38 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

In general, smokers have no sense of common decency. I know, I was raised by a family of them. I feel like taking a pile of dog shit and rubbing it on a smoker's face every time they light up around me.

5/22/2006 3:49 PM  
Blogger Corinne said...

Same thing happened to me when my boy was only 7 weeks old. I was at the airport, checking in at one of those outside things, and this lady asks me how old my son was. I told her, and she proceeded to light a cigarrette and stand right there. I glared at her until she got the point and walked away. I was furious... Hope you said something to her....

5/22/2006 5:33 PM  
Anonymous Tolerant Nonsmoker said...

Wow, that's a pretty strong reaction. Any problem with the carcinogens coming out of the exhaust pipes of every vehicle in the city? Ever heard of Benzine?

5/22/2006 8:03 PM  
Blogger mr. nice guy said...

dear tolerant nonsmoker -- hi. i actually do have a pretty huge problem with cars, but i try to be tolerant like you. i also find that i have little choice but to live grudgingly with benzine and also new jersey. but my point was that it is unacceptable to fire one up in a space that is specifically reserved, designated and demarcated for infants and toddlers. smoke 'em on the street, smoke 'em at your favorite bar. don't smoke 'em at the playground. would you like it if the preschool teacher was sucking down a menthol while teaching your tot the ABCs?

5/22/2006 8:19 PM  
Blogger Catharine said...

I thought the primary source of benzine was Perrier... oh, well... live and learn...

Thanks for the letter, Mr. NG, though I doubt it will do good. Most smokers engaged daily in the magical thinking that the whole cigarettes/cancer thing was just another tool of the Man trying to keep us down. They're all for the war on drugs, but don't you dare ask them to put down the Camels.

At least my mother, may she rest in peace, had the decency to feel guilty about exposing me to second-hand smoke. She felt guilty right up until the day she dropped dead -- of a stroke -- just after lighting and taking a nice long drag off her Carlton 100.

Keep up the good fight, Mr. NG.


5/22/2006 8:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice Guy, I supported your view up 'til the point you decided her own baby was harmable--more than your own priveleged darling. That ain't so cool. Be angry, but care about all kids.

5/22/2006 9:56 PM  
Blogger mr. nice guy said...

i give up.

5/22/2006 11:27 PM  
Blogger Trish said...

I'm with you. Kill yourself if you've got to; just leave me and my family alone.

And I've actually been known to ask smokers to kindly move away from my child. Sometimes, I'm even polite! ;)

5/23/2006 1:00 AM  
Blogger Mrs Independent said...

I say GO Mr Nice Guy.

Don't get me started on smokers and the way they think they have some sort of human right to smoke wherever they like..........

I'm feeling some second-hand rage coming on......

5/23/2006 2:17 AM  
Blogger kurowickicrew said...

AMEN! I also love the people who hold their children in their own death trap as they drive around puffing with the windows up! Personal favorite.

5/23/2006 7:26 AM  
Blogger Natalie said...

Nowadays there is no good excuse to be a smoker. Smokers have no self control. That's why they are smokers. They also have little regard for those around them (including their loved ones). This is why they have no problem killing themselves slowly and subjecting everyone else to their carcinogen filled smoke.

5/23/2006 10:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a smoker. It's a nasty habit and I know that I need to quit, but it's a work in progress. That being said, I think that smoking in a park, at any school event outdoor or not, in restaurants, or around any other individuals who are not also smoking is disrespectful and inexcusable. I do have children, and smoking is not allowed in my home. I do not smoke around them and do not allow other people to either. I can do what I want to to my lungs, but I'm not going to do it to theirs. My biggest pet peeve with smokers are those who insist on standing at the entrances of hospitals and doctors' offices puffing away. That woman in the tot lot needed more than a good talking to. I'm a smoker and I would have been more than happy to cram that cigarette down her throat.

5/23/2006 11:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting...Do you say the same thing to all drivers in NYC? Cause hate to tell you, but living in the worst non-attainment zone of federal air quality standards in the US (I know, cause I live in the 2nd worst) is way worse for the kiddies over time than the occasional second hand smoke, esp. outdoors. - Lisa

5/23/2006 4:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

woops, just saw your reply to 'tolerant nonsmoker' re-cars...
so my next question is, why tolerate anyone who drives in NYC? there is no excuse; they're dumber than smokers.

5/23/2006 4:42 PM  
Blogger bernalgirl said...

Okay, whatever about auto exhaust -- accepting one risk factor does not imply acceptance of all other risk factors. Smoking in a tot lot is pathological narcissism.

Say, given the root developmental stage of the disorder, maybe the tot lot is the perfect place for her! She's stuck there! But not with my kid, either.

5/23/2006 6:21 PM  
Blogger Bubbles, Ink. said...

hey babies...we all end up in the hole. relax. have a drink. and a smoke.

5/26/2006 9:26 PM  
Anonymous bored ex-smoker said...

What happened? Your blog used to be interesting and different. Now you're taking the easy way out with sanctimonious platitudes. People shouldn't smoke around children? Gee. How will you ever rally support around that topic?

5/28/2006 11:09 AM  
Blogger Extreme Dad said...

I'm with you, Nice Guy. I'm the kind of person that would apologise to you if you stabbed me repeatedly in the back ("Oh, I'm sorry, I must have got in the way of your knife..."). But when it comes to my children, the Hulk breaks free.

5/28/2006 5:28 PM  
Anonymous Kate said...

I live in Europe. My rage against public smoking is constant. The public opinion seems to be, if you don't like it, stay home because kids don't belong out in public anyway.

5/29/2006 8:53 AM  
Blogger millie said...

Jeeze. These people talking about cars don't have shit on you. What you said was "smoke at home or outside the playground." It applies to cars too, people! You don't see people driving cars around inside the playground, so that point doesn't apply.

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