Monday, October 29, 2012

Gather 'round children, it's time for another tale of the Oakville Smokers Club

Photoshopped by Yours Truly
Photo credit: MM

from: MM
date: Sat, Oct 27, 2012 at 7:27 PM
subject: Oakville Smokers Club

I seem to have been jinxed. Ever since I promised you new smoker pics I've run into a dry spell. If I have my camera, there are no smokers; if I leave it at home, they are everywhere.

But sometimes the fish come to you when you least expect it.

Last Friday I missed my connection for the early GO bus, so I had to wait around for the later one. I use either one regularly, depending on my energy level, but this was the first time I had such an extended layover. So I got a coffee and a paper and settled in to wait the 15 or so minutes till my bus rolled in.

It's a different vibe at the station when buses are not rolling in and out. Since Oakville Transit times their buses to coincide with GO train and bus departures, the times in between seem kind of empty. Fewer people, less bustle.

There were no smokers though, at least at first, and I was kind of enjoying the fresh air.

Then, when  I went out towards the bus platform, I saw this guy. (See pic). He was standing directly in front of the side door, maybe two feet in front of it, facing the door and blocking it,  and only  a metre or two from the no-smoking sign. My rule is that I don't shoot unless I can get the no-smoking sign in, or unless I have already asked the smoker to desist.

This guy was gold. So I took his picture.

He then walks towards me and says that I have no right to take his picture, that it is illegal. He has a thick Eastern-European accent, so I give him the benefit of the doubt and I start the spiel about the law saying that I can take a picture in any public place.

He keeps at it. So I point to the sign and tell him that it means "no smoking" in English, Polish, Russian and whatever other language he might speak... but there are no posted signs for photography. He walks off and goes down the steps to the underpass to the trains - still smoking.

I get on the bus and mention all this to the bus driver, an old acquaintance. He laughs.

It seems that this guy has a morning routine - he stands in front of the doors and blows smoke at people entering and leaving and scowls at anyone who even looks at him crosseyed. Every goddamn day for the last few weeks.

I guess my photographing him took him up short.

Life is good.

Missed out on previous Oakville GO Station smoking shenanigans? Catch up here


Skin Man said...

I think the saddest part of the story is that the bus driver observed this asshat for the last couple of weeks and did nothing.

C.J. Smith said...

Here's the thing, Skin, some bus drivers and GO employees DO ask smokers to move. It's these bad smokers!!! They don't care and they make smokers who do care look bad!

They don't listen to MM, they don't listen or respect GO Transit employees. These are people who feel they are above the law.

This morning at Oshawa, a woman tried to get the attention of a GO Transit Safety officer who was patrolling the station in a car. She wanted to complain about the smokers who hover near the Presto machines. These jackasses piss me off as well because non-smokers have to walk through a plume of smoke to tap, but there aren't any signs near the machines indicating a no-smoking area. So I asked her what she expected the officer to do? These people are, by law, allowed to smoke there. Doesn't make it for an awesome breathing experience, but they're allowed.

But really, what more can be done?
Do we need to beat good manners into these people? Slap them around to teach them about respect?
Because that's what it's about.

Smokers shouldn't need signs to tell them how to behave.
It's a damn shame, really.

Anyhow, time to write another letter to GO to consider putting up no-smoking signs near the Presto machines at the Oshawa station. Not that there's any point...

ExGOnowTTC said...

These people should be sent to gulags so they can smoke with their fellow smokers somewhere in Siberia.