Why "loss of productivity" is NOT an issue

Jeff Bone jbone@jump.net
Tue, 31 Jul 2001 17:34:07 -0500

Tom wrote:

> On Tue, 31 Jul 2001, Jeff Bone wrote:
> --]Fine.  You see Joe Smoker smoking --- stay away.  Be responsible for
> --]yourself, don't look to Joe for it.
> --]
> If joe smoker intrudes on my airspace its war.

Fine;  if the spawn of Tom Whore --- aka Shub Niggurath, Black Goat of the
Woods With A Thousand Young --- intrude upon my eyespace, earspace, or
sensibility space, it's war.  I can make a hard and fast case for your brood
being detrimental to my health just by hooking up a blood pressure instrument
and being around them.  Give it up, Tom --- one man's treasure is another
man's annoyance.

> You can argue with yourself about it but the line is real clear. Intrusion
> on my space is intrusion.

And intrusion on my space is...  ?  Tell you what, here's what we'll do.  I'll
move next door to you, then when Tom Jr. knocks a baseball over the fence into
my backyard and comes to retrieve it, I'll mow down the little burglar with my
12 guage.  I'm entirely in my rights, am I not?  "Intrusion on my space is

By extension:  my girlfriend and I are picnicking (sp?), lounged on a blanket
under a nice, shady tree in a park somewhere; I am enjoying a post-lunch
nicotine fix.  "Tom" and "Hannah" (variables of type "Breeder")  and his clan
of booger-faced rugrats and other assorted miniature miscreants come and plop
down beside us, immediately demanding loudly and rudely that I "extinguish my
cancer-stick at once."  They proceed to flinging twinkies, shreiking, making
all kinds of hullabaloo, and disrupting the idyllic setting with obnoxious
behavior and the odor of filled diapers;  "Tom's" haggard wife strips bare and
begins suckling one of these prehumans --- note that if my girlfriend exposed
her fine rack, we'd be hauled away, while "Hannah's" distended, veiny jugs are
somehow acceptable viewing --- while Tom engages in a diaper-changing attempt
with a slighly older guppy and loses control, the result being a brat
streaking around naked from the waist (waste?! ;-) down with shit-smeared
bottom, shreiking at the top of its lungs.

Who is the intruder, Tom?

I go to a bar --- a smoking establishment --- on a Friday night to hang out
with my buddies, a place where we smoke and drink and cut up on regular
occasion as we have for years.  Tom comes into this bar, takes a seat next to
us, and immediately asks us to move as our smoke is bothering him.  This could
also be (and has been!) a coffee house smoking section, an all-night diner
smoking section, even the smoking side of a Slick Willie's pool hall!

Who's the intruder, Tom?

I'm having dinner with my girlfriend at a particular restaurant we like.  The
restaurant has, as is required by Austin city ordanance if smoking is
permitted, a separately-ventilated smoking section.  We have finished our
entrees, ordered desserts, and I am enjoying an after-dinner smoke when Tom
and his tribe arrive and sit down next to us.  Seems the nonsmoking section
had a 30 minute wait, so Tom and company chose to sit in the smoking section
rather than cool their heels.  No sooner are they seated than Hannah turns
around and sanctimoniously demands that we put out our cigarettes on account
of the children.

Who's the intruder, Tom?

Each of the above scenarios --- picnic, bar, restaurant --- have occurred to
me at various points;  slight variations on the latter two scenarios have in
fact occurred with some frequency.  I have *no problem* endeavoring to keep my
smoking away from those who find it unpleasant;  but that's not enough for the
anti-smoking crusaders.  No, they want to make sure that nobody is *allowed*
to smoke, *anywhere,* *anytime.*  Certainly not outside of their own homes,
and probably eventually not there.

I'm content to remain separate but equal, if that's the best "tolerance"
strategy we can achieve.  But when you start enforcing these kinds of laws in
public airspaces, in businesses where smoking is indeed part of the culture
(bars, at least some bars) --- when you start telling business owners what
*legal* activity they can and cannot permit inside their establishments ---
then you, the anti-smoking crusader, have overstepped your bounds.

I won't even get started on certain companies here in Austin that have adopted
a "we don't hire smokers" policy.  Indeed, at one company in particular,
getting "caught" smoking or being informed upon is a *firable offense.*

Who's the intruder, Tom?  Who's the tyrant?  Whose selfish, fear-driven
philosophy is steadfastly paving the road to hell with those shiny, golden
bricks (good intentions) and that ubiquitous mortar (the common good, the end
justifying the means)?

Bad Tom.  Bad.

> We are all responisble for not intrusing on others.

Yes, I would say that is so.

> So where did you leave your brain this week JB?

Right where it always is.  Where's yours?