Beating a Dead Horse…

AAAAAAHHHH!

Don’t call your ex-girlfriend when you’re drunk…..and don’t write on your blog when you’re angry!

I’ve already covered this topic ad nausem, and at the risk of offending smokers, I suggest you skip this post.

For everybody else, please excuse my overwhelming sense of sarcasm as I once again tackle my biggest pet peeve…

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After spending a little less than a week in Budapest, I’m back in Belgrade, Serbia to catch my return flight to Toronto.

There is only one thing that I did NOT enjoy while in Belgrade, and that is the amount of smoking people do on a regular basis. I just can’t stand it.

Last night, while at a local salsa-bar trying to shed my classic “white guys can’t dance” image, I simply had enough of the smoke, and barged outside for some air. My friend came after me, with his non-English speaking girlfriend in tow, and they explained to me that “this is just the way it is here.”

That excuse doesn’t sit well with me.

I don’t understand why a table of four young girls at a bar has to feature all four of them holding a cigarette at all times, and anywhere from 5-8 packs of cigarettes accompanying their four cell phones on the table.

It’s just disgusting.

And needless.

And I really don’t understand why EVERYBODY does it.

But the breaking point came when my buddy told me that smoking is freedom of expression, and that I shouldn’t be allowed to tell him where and when he can smoke. I argued that the second-hand smoke people breathe isn’t fair to a non-smoker, but I soon realized that in a country where EVERYBODY smokes, this is a non issue.

He explained to me that it works differently in all countries, cultures, and walks of life. What is acceptable in one time and place may not be acceptable in another. If I don’t like the smoke, I don’t have to be around people who smoke.

I accepted his argument, and moved on to another issue I have. I made a claim that he found to be as disgusting as I find smoking to be.

What is my claim?

That we should all be eating more babies.

Yes, that’s right. We should all eat BABIES!

Think about it: why should we confine ourselves to just cows, pigs, chickens, fish, and the like?

Why are we not all eating more babies?

Whoever drew up the “Four Food Groups” was certainly remiss in not including a delicious six-pound, eight-ounce newborn…

An astute debater might tell me that since a baby takes nine months to produce, this just isn’t a good use of time and resources. But I argue that a gourmet block of cheddar cheese might be aged upwards of four years, and Glenlivet produces a fine twelve-year-old whiskey, so what’s a measly nine months by comparison?

Who are my friend and his uneducated girlfriend to tell me “it’s not right” to eat babies?

If somebody doesn’t want to see me eat a baby, then all they have to do is not watch. Why ruin my delectable meal just because YOU feel that it’s harmful or disgusting? What do YOUR preferences and tastes have to do with what I decide to put into MY body?

As we walked back inside the salsa club, my friend shook his head in disbelief. I told him I would drop the subject, and that I had to go to the bathroom.

I then stood up, pointed myself towards the bar, and asked him “Do you mind if I just go right here?”

He asked me if I was joking, and I said “no.”

I told him I believed that it is my right to pee wherever I wanted to pee, regardless of how others around me felt. Despite the smell, the sight, and the audacity, I believe that we should all freely pee on the floor in bars.

When I was in Tibet last year, it was not uncommon at all for parents to encourage their toddlers to pee in the middle of the streets or town square.

So why can’t I pee on the floor in a bar in Belgrade?

My friend argued that it’s dirty, and unhealthy, and that they have a designated place for that called a “toilet.”

Really eh?

A designated place to do something that is dirty, unhealthy, and would cause others considerable discomfort…

You mean like…..a smokers lounge?

Or a smoking section?

You mean to tell me that we can force people to use the bathroom in a certain spot, and refrain from using the bathroom in others, but we can’t tell people not to smoke around others who don’t want to breathe in the deadly toxins?

Smoking KILLS people, yet it would be deemed unfair for me to rent a Peugot at the Serbian Budget and run people down with it during rush hour. What is the difference between me breaking legs of healthy Serbs with my car and one hundred people needlessly blowing smoke in my face for five hours?

The “freedom of choice” arguement is just complete B.S. When something is extremely harmful to others, I don’t think people should have the so-called freedom to do it at the cost of somebody else.

My friend argued that “People have been smoking for decades, and it’s only recently, and in some places around the world that laws have changed. Maybe it’s YOUR “no-smoking” laws in Canada that are wrong, and maybe it’s the rest of the world that is right!”

I was quite smitten with his argument, and told him that maybe he was right.

We began to talk about how great it will be when both of us are back in Toronto, as he will be moving in March of 2008, and I asked him if he would do me a favor when he’s in Toronto…

….I asked him if he would accompany me down to the shipping yard at midnight, and help me pick out a suitable slave.

His eyes bulged out of his head, and he asked what I meant by that. I told him that despite the fact that slaves are currently outlawed in most countries, people have been doing it not just for decades, like smoking, but for centuries and millenia! If anything, this creates even more of a precedent to own a slave today!

By now, his whiney, annorexic girlfriend, who also happens to be the daughter of a Serbian druglord (great idea to date her, by the way!), was growing quite tired of my anti-smoking rants, and left the salsa club.

I often wonder if I’m more: a) opinionated, b) sarcastic.

If the world were a better place, my friend would be smoking a Marlboro Light as he sits next to my slave and I, while I take a break from eating my delicious baby, and pee on the floor of a bar.

But we don’t live in a perfect world, do we?

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  1. Dan says:

    You’re always a good read, David. Good for you for sticking up (and presenting funny but logical arguments) for the suffering the non-smoker used to have to endure in Canada. I guess Belgrade is off my vacation list.

    Oh by the way, I also enjoy your real estate write ups.

    Dan

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