Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Gather round, kiddies. It's time for another tale of the Oakville Smokers Club

Submitted by MM 

I haven't been using the camera much the last week or two. Mornings, my bus connection has been tighter so I don't get to do much besides grab a coffee and a paper and run. There aren't too many smokers visible, but you sure can smell them.

Evenings are another story. They congregate around the exits and no smoking areas like zombies at a shopping mall. They even have their own staked-out turfs and routines.

The first two pics were taken two or three days apart this week. I only noticed it was the same guy when I ran through my contact view and wondered why there were 100 or 120 other non-smoker pics between two almost identical shots. Same guy, same spot, same smoke reeking clothes. He stands right by the exit, and right under the sign. The only way you can tell that it's different days is that the papers are different in some of the newsboxes.

The other reason why I noticed that guy was because of the very next shot I took. On the other side of the station, right beside the main doors, were two guys who were just throwing away their smokes. I wasn't going to take their pic - no cigarettes in hand, so it doesn't fit my criteria - but then a third buttsucker walked up and asked to bum a stinkstick. Something one of the guys said caught my attention.

"Hey - ya, only in Oakville would a smoker give ya his last cigarette!" The smarmy misplaced self congratulating and erroneous sense of grandiose and magnanimous generosity and city boosterism almost made me upchuck. 

So I took a pic of the generous gent lighting up the charity case's butt (now THERE'S an image!) and sharing the smoke with one and all.

When the two guys looked up I added - "And only in Oakville would you light up right by a main exit and between two clearly marked no smoking signs." Should have left well enough alone I guess... but I felt good.

So I walk out to the express bus platform, and of course, the two smoke-mook fashion plates follow me.

One of them had a few open sores on his face, the kind you see on people who have more, shall we say, exotic, smoking habits. He also seemed to show some of the intellectual deficits common to people who chase crystal.

He walked up and said, "I'm going to ask you to delete my picture."
I replied "Okay - go ahead."

I somehow don't think he pays too much thought to things that come out of or go into his blistered pie hole. His natural flummoxed look got a tad more flummoxed. I had to connect the dots.

"You said you were going to ask something, go ahead and ask."
"Okay - uh, delete my picture."

I paused. "And I'm going to say, no..... No."

The other guy, who seemed to have more axioms and dendrites in play, then started in with the whole, "You have no right to take my picture without asking..." It was the usual appeal to invented legalism that most all these people who smoke under no smoking signs seem to fall back on. 

I tried to point out that a) there is no law against photographing in a public place and b) there is a law against smoking in the place where they were smoking and c) if he is so big on enforcing the etiquette of asking permission - when did he ask me if he could smoke?

All of this was lost on them, of course. I don't think they would have grasped it even if we hadn't been interrupted by this very sad young lady.

She was furiously puffing on her own coffin nail and screeched her way into the convo. I think that must be a habit in her poor sad life - thrusting herself in where she can only make things worse. Her face had that pretty brittleness that you know will soon shatter into a web of smokewrinkles, and the sort of vapid expression of the type of person who has never had to rely on any organ from the breastbone up.

I was just explaining to the more reasonable seeming of the two guys that I had an allergy to their smoke, and a reasonable expectation that the area around the station would be smoke-free, when blonde, stereotype girl stepped up and blew smoke in my face. She then tottered off to what's left of her miserable time here on earth.

That kinda put quit to either side making any effort at all. I asked a waiting bus driver to call bylaw enforcement, and he did. He also told me that the bus I was waiting on would take ten minutes, so I decided to go catch a local.

Meth-acne guy then offered to break my camera - but his heart wasn't really in it. I smiled at him, would have even patted the poor over-stimulated guy on the top of his pointy head. He then offered how the Montreal Canadiens suck (I had a raggy, old Canadiens cap on). It had gotten down to that sad level of non sequitur. He just wanted to hurt my poor feelings. Too bad. 

His smoke-sister had already started an allergic reaction for me... I'm sure knowing this would make him feel better, so I didn't tell him - does that make me a bad person?

I smiled again and ambled off.


AllanVS said...

I walked into Seneca College Newnham (Finch Ave) campus on Monday. Less than 3 feet from a sign was a STAFF member puffing away. I mentioned the sign and was told off. I went to Security and they dashed out to deal with it. It is annoying when Faculty and support staff can't follow the laws.

The sign clearly says "No smoking within 9 meters (30 feet) of door."

TT said...

the woman committed an assault. If you weren't inclined to be to home on time you could have her charged.

C.J. Smith said...

I told MM after a mini conference with friends of mine who work in Law and Law Enforcement that blowing cigarette smoke with the intent to cause harm into a person's face is grounds for assault.

Anonymous said...

Next time, on your camera turn off the flash and increase the ISO to 800 or higher.

On some smartphones (Android, anyway) the shutter sound can be turned off in the camera's menu. Again, don't forget to turn off the flash and change to ISO 800 or higher.

Darker locations will require higher ISO settings. The quality will be less, but you don't need poster quality images to get your message across.

Keep up the good work!

deepfish said...

Hey CJ - thanks for posting this one. There have been more developments since this last episode described above. I called enforcement again yesterday because the smokers were thick and abundant on Monday and Tuesday (pics to follow). I think they get recharged by the Xmas break or something.
I didn't expect much, but left my name and number. I'm home sick today, but just got word from a colleague that someone from GO is on our voicemail and referred to my "file" from earlier in 2012. I guess they have a file on me... Credit where its due - they called back. I'll update you on how it goes.

Anonymous said...

Oakville is one of the worst stations for smokers

Anonymous said...

I'd definitely be charging that bizznatch with assault. She knew you were allergic yet blew it in your face.

Anonymous said...

Who do you think you are? The paparazzi? The difference between someone smoking in a public place and someone taking a persons photograph, is that a cigarette can't be archived and used in the future for character assassination. Yes we know your type, the blathering self righteous saint here to alert us of our misdoings. Newsflash, if you don't like smoke, move a couple feet away. And lastly, i live in Oak, and if you didn't delete my picture after i asked you, i would hypothetically have my driver proceed to break it over your face. Good day sir.

C.J. Smith said...

Really? You're asking non-smokers to move out of an area designated for them!?

Get out of Dodge, troll.

Anonymous said...

Go screw yourself troll! You are in a public place and the courts have ruled you are not entitled to privacy in a public place, therefore pictures are perfectly legal!

On top of that, you want us non-smokers to move away from a place that is designated non-smoking. How about your cart your lazy-ass to a place where smoking is designated.

Gawd, the sense of entitlement from smokers is unreal.

deepfish said...

"Gawd, the sense of entitlement from smokers is unreal"

Yup - Oakville, the home of unreal entitlements.

To the guy who offered to break my camera - you guys get the same script, it seems. Every pantywaist butt sucker says the same thing. Maybe the nic stiffs up your dendrites and neurons.Suffice it to say that I am there, with my camera, and no smoker has carried through on the threat yet.