Thingish Things

The Politics of Stink

Written By: William F. B. O'Reilly - Jan• 16•11

“Please refrain from cigar smoking.”

I was shocked when I first read those words.  It was 1984.  I was working at a chichi restaurant in Westchester County as a busboy, and the manager ordered me – ordered me – to drop tent cards on each table with those five words sprawled across them.

I couldn’t believe my eyes.

The message was so rude.

This was a fancy joint.  An expensive joint.  With famous people eating there. How could we impose rules on customers?

In the years to come, those tent cards proliferated and abbreviated:  “Please refrain from cigar smoking” became “No cigars please” which became “No cigars” which became “Go screw yourself.”

Today, we read in the New York Post of a lawsuit filed against a cigar smoker at 200 East 79th Street in Manhattan.  His next-door neighbors are suing him for $2 million for smoking cigars in his own home ($500,000 for every man, woman, and child living in their apartment.)

The bottom line of the lawsuit: Cigars stink.

Well, cigars have always stunk.  They were stinking up the planet a thousand years before Columbus brought them back from the New World to the Spanish Court, where he promptly stunk things up.

Which, let’s face it, has always made cigar smokers a little rude themselves.

But a lawsuit? For being inconsiderate?

As much as I sympathize for the smoked out family on East 79th Street, I really hope the judge doesn’t ban cigar smoking in one’s own home.  Because if he does, I’ll have to take up the stinky habit. And I hate cigars.

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  1. Karol says:

    I’m going to start up too! Smoking in your own home is your right.

  2. GeorgeH says:

    Gimme a break! This is a result of political correctness gone amuck in a litigious society. Government should keep it’s nose out of my stink and start taking care of what we elected them to do. It seems the REAL problems are too difficult to tackle so they give us puffery for accomplishment. As an occasional cigar smoker I was OK with no smoking in public places but outdoors and in your home is absurd! We are treading on dangerous waters when government starts dictating to us our lifestyle and the courts back it up.

  3. […] is rank. A pack of cigarettes now costs $14 in Manhattan delis, and it’s illegal to smoke them indoors and […]

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