Sunday, January 14, 2007

Thank you for not smoking

I was sitting outside in the plaza having a cup of coffee and cigarette. All the tables and chairs around me were empty. It was snowing and a few people carrying shopping bags walked quickly towards tbe mall door, to the heat. So I was alone in the open air enjoying a guilty pleasure, watching the people walk by. Two security guards approached me cautiously, as if I were a criminal.

"Sir," the short one said, "your gonna have to put that cigarette out or go smoke it out in the parking lot."

I raised the cigarette to my mouth and inhaled deeply, my face I can only imagine was cast in shadow and glowed for a moment in the red light of my glowing tobbacco cherry. I looked up into the eyes of the mall security officers and exhaled a cloud of warm smoke. At that moment, a pack of ninjas decended on ropes, from the rafters of the open air canopy, each one into an empty chair. They all pulled from thier belts cigarettes and lit them with matches.

The security officers made a move for the tazer on thier belts but stopped short when the leader of then ninjas spoke up.

"Sir," he said. "You treat this man as if he were a criminal or the scum of the earth for enjoying a cigarette out of doors. Perhaps you believe he is unhealthy, which he is, but so are the people on the other side of this door who are wolfing down big macs and cinnabons. Perhaps you think this man is polluting the environment with his smoke, which he is. But so are the factories who produce the useless trinkets and sweat shop sneakers that are sold at your fine establishment. Perhaps you think that by smoking he is supporting the evil tobacco corporations who are bent on killing people for profit, and he is but are not also all those that mindlessly shop also supporting a system of greed and waste. You sir are a hypocrite. Leave now or die."

Needless to say they left. And the ninjas and I laughed and then began playing cards. Girls came by and said hello and pawed at me.

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