People are going to hate me for this.
But, to be frank, I don’t care. I mean what the hell is going on?
What am I talking about?
People smoking around children that’s what! It gets me so annoyed!!!
OK, so I’ll lay my cards on the table. I’m a non-smoker. Never have, never will. Never even been tempted. I figure that if I wanted to ingest serious amounts of carcinogens, there are much cheaper ways of doing it – like sucking on an exhaust pipe.
So, from the outset, you know I’m not part of the pro-smoking lobby. My mum died of smoking related cancer, and frankly I think it’s a horrible habit.
There is, I understand, an argument that people should be able to do whatever they like to their own body, thank-you-very-much. I get that. So if you want to ingest crap, 40 times a day, then that really is your funeral (literally). Good luck to you.
What annoys me, is the people I see doing this around kids. Often, and this is really what amazes me, their own kids!
I’ve tried and I really can’t see how people process this as if it’s an acceptable thing. I can understand the argument of: “It’s only me that suffers” that people give about smoking by themselves. It’s a stupid argument, because frankly nobody, not even Jeremy Dyson, lives in a vacuum. Screwing over your body is going to have effects on your family & friends, not to mention putting pressure on the NHS (if you’re reading this in the UK).
What I can’t understand is the idea of “Oh, it’ll only screw over my kids a little bit, by making them inhale my noxious cigarette smoke.” That, I don’t get.
As parents, don’t we just want the best for our kids? I mean, isn’t making sure they’re OK, and have the most promising start in life our entire role? Isn’t that it? Isn’t that ‘parenting’? Correct me if I’m wrong? So why would anyone go: “I want the best for my son, but I’m going to cloud him in cancerous gases because, frankly, I have no willpower”?
I told you some people weren’t going to like this.
It seems to me to have got worse lately. Since the smoking ban (which it won’t surprise you to hear, I love) smokers now linger outside pubs and cafes – which is traditionally where children are too. Here we find people frantically chain-smoking, a bit like deep sea divers filling their lungs before a long period of oxygen abstinence.
In the midst of these huddles of asthma inhaler-bearing inhalers we find kids, slowly turning into human kippers. Why would anyone do that to their own child? In an age where some parents what to find out the entire family history of any chicken nugget before they’ll allow their precious one to snack on it, why would these parents say: “Fuck it, you gotta die of something?”
The other day I was on a park bench, with Sam my son, when a man sat down next to me and lit-up. I asked if he could put it out or sit somewhere else.
“We’re outside!” he said, in a tone of ‘How stupid is this person?’.
“I’m aware of that,” I replied, attempting to stay calm, “I just don’t want my baby breathing that in.”
He tutted at me, then carried on smoking – with an air of ‘What are you going to do about it?’
I think ‘Going Postal’ is the term Americans use, when people lose the plot and majorly go off the rails.
I considered this for a moment…
… then chose another bench.
You see, I decided that not succumbing to an urge of the moment and acting in a negative manner (taking this man’s tobacco and shoving it forcibly where the sun doesn’t shine), was a better outcome for my son.
Perhaps there’s some parallel with smoking here?
Thanks for listening. I’m off to quietly fume somewhere*.
*NB:Please note the difference between ‘fuming’ and ‘giving off fumes’.
The Out of Depth Dad.