Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The hills are alive with assholes

Recently, I met up with a fan of Yours Truly who confided she'd been an avid reader of this blog since the very beginning and she mentioned that she missed my stories. Specifically, my stories about how some of you are real assholes. No, I don't mean those of you who support my agenda to beat manners into people and gladly stand beside me with brooms and pitchforks ready to take on the foot riders and bag riders who feel entitled to claim "all your space" as their own.

I'm singling out those of you who stumble on here from a Google search, usually based on keywords and phrases such as "how to cheat GO transit", "fight cancellation of monthly GO transit passes", "how to cheat presto", "GO transit blog", "how often does GO transit check you", "why can't I smoke outside on GO train platform", "lost something on GO train", "can I text GO transit", and "ride for free GO transit".

Right off the bat, this should highlight the caliber of some of the people I'm destined to deal with in email or text messages when these same people browsing on how to rip off GO Transit discover my stance on smoking in areas of GO stations designated as NO SMOKING zones, complete with easy to read signs that any illiterate fuck should be able to comprehend.

These self-entitled assholes seem to think because they are outside, they own the air and by law, based on their foggy interpretation of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedom, no one has a peg leg to stand on when it comes to dictating where they can smoke in the great outdoors.

These people take to their Gmail and Hotmail accounts, or pick up their phones with fingers trembling from rage, to preach to me and explain, often in a language so butchered that it can't even be called English, why they can smoke where they want and "they ant anithing u or go fucken transit can do about it". Proud of taking a stand, these ignorant jerks usually end their emails and text messages with sentiments like, "Get a life" or "Drive to work" or my personal favourite, "Fuck off and die".

It's taken me years to heed my lawyer Howard Bigfird's advice, and I no longer engage these jerks. I don't write back and I don't respond to the texts. But it's hard for me to sit on my hands, so I figured a post was in order.

I'm a big believer in law and order. I grew up with rules and discipline and have no qualms about living in a civilized society governed by laws designed to protect me and encourage safety.

What these people who bitch and complain about "sufficaking mcguinty laws pushing smokers into gutters" fail to understand is that it's medical research and the deaths of people taken from this Earth way too soon from cancers proven linked to second-hand smoke that led to the no-smoking by-laws currently in place.
Second-hand smoke immediately permeates and pollutes the breathable air space a distance of 12 to 24 inches around a smoker. Cigarette smoke lingers. It doesn't float straight up, nor does it dissipate into the atmosphere or evaporate the second it's expunged from someone's lungs. Cigarette smoke is like poisonous threads that weave their way around people, clinging to their clothes and contains toxins that embed themselves into non-smokers' lungs and leaves those of us with respiratory conditions gasping for air and reaching for inhalers.

True, there are pollutants and toxins in the atmosphere spewed out by factories, vehicles and manufacturing but it's not being blown, in full concentration, into a person's face and immediately drawn into a person's lungs. However, I will remind people that like to throw out this fact as part of their argument to support their right to smoke anywhere they want while on GO Transit property that as an asthmatic, I take responsibility for my managing my asthma and avoid going outside on days where the air quality index could possibly put me in a hospital. But when I'm waiting for the train on a platform at Oshawa station, I'm entitled to expect everyone waiting with me to refrain from smoking because there are laws that say you can't and you're expected to obey them. If you don't, I'm not mad at you because you're a smoker. I'm mad at you for being a douchebag.

There's nothing worse for me than to stand in line on a GO bus platform and the person in front of me lights up a cigarette. You're forcing me to smoke your cigarette without realizing it. You're forcing me to give up my spot and a chance at a seat on the bus because I have to walk several metres away from you, or escape to a bus shelter, so you can enjoy your so called right to a cigarette.

It's not fair.

You give up your seat and you go walk several metres away from the signs and people and suck on your cancer stick.

You want your freedom? You've got hundreds of feet of it in the parking lot but most of you are lazy and inconsiderate fucks and that's the real issue. The issue isn't your right to smoke on cancer sticks - smoke 'em if you got 'em I say - the issue is manners and respect for the law.

Kudos to those smokers who walk a distance away from people waiting for a bus or finish their cigarette in the parking lot, away from the platform. You're the ones I want to high-five. In return, I promise not to drive the wrong way down a one-way street just to save time and risk causing a head-on collision that could kill you or a member of your family. I mean, technically, I should be allowed to drive down any street I want but I obey the signs and I just don't do it.

Medical research dictates why you can't smoke next to me while we wait for a bus. The no-smoking signs were put there to protect my health, not to make life for you as a smoker "mizewrable" so you can take that and put it in your pipe and smoke it. Just not near me, please.


Anonymous said...

amen sister!!

Anonymous said...

As a smoker - I completely agree with what you are saying.

I may smoke, but I go out of my way to make sure I don't smoke near doors, bus stations, train platforms, babies, children, elderly or anyone else who I may poison. It's NOT hard to be a considerate smoker. Try and remember not every smoker is an inconsiderate ass hole.

C.J. Smith said...

I stand corrected. I should not paint all smokers with one big, black brush.
I will edit the article to say so.
Thank you for being you.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much CJ. I completely agree with you!

C.J. Smith said...

Edited! I've added, "Kudos to those smokers who walk a distance away from people waiting for a bus or finish their cigarette in the parking lot, away from the platform. You're the ones I want to high-five. In return, I promise not to drive the wrong way down a one-way street just to save time and risk causing a head-on collision that could kill you or a member of your family. I mean, technically, I should be allowed to drive down any street I want but I obey the signs and I just don't do it."

C.J. Smith said...

I don't know who to thank for the one-way street analogy but someone put that in a comment once and I thought it was bloody brilliant - so thank you.

Squiggles said...

Kudos Anon! Wish more were like you.

Right now, I am dealing with a new office mate that goes outside to smoke several times a day. Not a problem until you realise that she doesn't air herself out afterwards and I smell it for hours afterwards and gives me a sore throat for the day.

Dib said...

My brother-in-law died in July of lung cancer. It was not an easy death and it was not easy to stand by helplessly. By the end, I was praying he would die; he was in so much pain it was unbearable.

Any time I see a person smoking, I think of this and it's all I can do to not rip that cig right out of their mouth!!!

It may be your right to smoke, but if you saw the end result, you might rethink it.

Anonymous said...

Check out the Prov auditor's comments on Presto:

Says it all. Let's have a no Presto Tap Day!!

Anonymous said...

They're the same ones that get all huffy when you ask them to shut up during a lecture.

They're the same ones that drive like they own the road, and throw fits if you get in their way.

They're the ones parking on the fire zones to shorten the walk to the platform.

My hypothesis is that they never have progressed beyond a child's sense of morality. Namely, follow your feelings if you can get away with it.

Ambs said...

Ahaha, I'm one of those people who searches stupid things on Google just to see what blog posts of yours might come up! ;P

But, yeah. I was at the airport earlier today. No smoking signs RIGHT OUTSIDE THE DOORS. Guess where people were smoking? There's just no consideration for other people these days. :(

deepfish said...

Good piece of writing... New Oak-Smoke filing and pix on the way...

Skin Man said...

but I miss the text exchanges....can't you just engage with these asshats once in a while?

C.J. Smith said...

I have one I've been keeping in my back pocket. I will clean it up and post it soon.

Ed P from Victoria BC said...

I have a hospital client who had a little research project to see how many "no smoking near the entrance" signs they had to put up. They figured that there was a minimum distance that even the most ignorant smoker would not smoke beneath a no smoking sign. They eventually gave up when they were mounting one foot wide by 2 feet high signs every two feet. I guess we deal with a lot ex-GO riders here.

ExGOnowTTC said...

Just stand outside St Mike's in downtown Toronto and watch the number of people shuffle out with drips, wheelchairs and in hospital gowns to have a smoke right next to the Second Cup. Quite depressing really.