No, this posting isn't about the scantily clad teenagers on the High Street, it's from an oft-repeated saying ("There's no such thing as bad weather, just inappropriate attire") that has taken on new depths of meaning recently.
Firstly, the weather has been miserable lately; the rain has been coming down like a cow pissing on a flat rock, and it's colder than the look my mom gave my dad the year he bought her an electric carving knife for Christmas. Secondly, more of us are spending additional quality time with the weather these days as the new smoking ban kicks in.
I've already expressed my views concerning the government's role in telling people how to live their lives so I'm not going to do it again. What I would like to point out, however, is the impact this new law is having on non-smokers.
In California, New York and elsewhere, these laws have come into effect and smokers have grumbled and eventually gotten on with their lives while the non-smokers beamed sanctimoniously and unsuccessfully hid their self-congratulatory smirks beneath their nicotine-free hands. (But I digress.) What I mean to say is, the laws were passed and it was agreed that after a set time no one would be allowed to smoke in specified places. There were some introductory bumps but mostly everything went relatively smoothly and without a lot of fuss. You'd think, with smoking bans being so tres chic, it would be a snap to impose one.
There are places here that have never allowed smoking, places that have had "No Smoking" signs up for ages, places where it has been illegal to smoke since anyone can remember; you'd think these places wouldn't have to give the opening date of The Ban a thought except to know when to organize their parties. But unless they all have the official "No Smoking" signs up in the correct location, as outlined in the official government-issue "No Smoking" regulations, on the first of July, they will be subject to hefty fines.
This means that you can be a non-smoker, who is not smoking a cigarette, standing in a non-smoking building where smoking has never been allowed and which has a No Smoking sign hanging on the wall and still be found in violation of the Non-Smoking laws. And if you happen to own that building, you'll be subject to a £1,000 fine. If someone wanders in holding a lit fag, you'll be facing £2,500 in penalties.
When I mentioned to my wife about how much bother instituting a smoking ban in England seems to be in comparison to other places she said, "We used to run an Empire; we know bureaucracy."
And that they do. There's enough misinformation about the smoking laws floating around that I've already witnessed several pub arguments over nuisances in the legislation. And this was between non-smokers.
How a country can take something as simple as saying, "Sorry, you can't smoke here" and make such a hash of it that it is upsetting the people it's supposed to be benefiting is beyond me. But at least this might keep them from crowing too loudly.
After all, I don't want people snickering at me just because I have to smoke outside.
What, you finding something funny about thist?
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