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Don't stop

“Don’t stop til I get enough”

If you haven’t noticed, I slyly reworded a famous Michael Jackson lyric to be my new slogan toward secondhand smoke. I bet you didn’t think Michael Jackson lyrics could transcend the realm of supremely excellent dancing, but you would be surprised how applicable they can be to stand-out social issues. I believe it is my duty to throw this viewpoint out into the arena of public discussion because too many people attempt an incomplete and dissatisfying discussion of these issues without incorporating the all-too-necessary Michael Jackson lyrics.

Recently I have seen too many appalling instances of smokers being “considerate” and blowing the other way in front of nonsmokers or worse, putting out the cigarette in the ground where it can never be reclaimed again. I now write to complain that these gents and ladies of considerable consideration are ruining it for all us secondhand smokers. You want to actually be considerate? My lungs need tar too! Don’t stop smoking until I get enough secondhand smoke. Sharing is caring.

Case in point, I was leaving the West Union building in ecstatic anticipation of that sweet fresh air God meant us to breathe, but to my utter disappointment, all I inhaled was ordinary, unadulterated air. No nicotine. No carbon monoxide. I don’t believe I even coughed once. How am I supposed to passively shorten my life span if I can’t even involuntarily run into secondhand smoke? For this reason I believe it is necessary to institute some changes to ensure that nonsmokers can go about their daily activities without staying emphysema-free.

The most obvious solution would be if you could just have a resident smoker, a “Siamese smoker” if you please, who could just accompany you on all of your shenanigans and keep your lungs full of exhaust. As many smokers as we have in our society today, we are distant from this attractive goal. However, fantasies such as these are best left to Jules Verne novels, as this would-be utopia would in actuality be a financial and personnel nightmare.

Another exciting option is to enclose the campus in a dome filled with the glorious fumes of chain smokers. This idea offers alternate benefits, as people can enjoy their sweet gaseous nectar 24/7, unencumbered by a constant companion. Conversely, it could require some advances in ventilation technology, because it is of the utmost importance that we inhale only the freshest secondhand smoke, straight out of the mouths and nostrils of our financially-drained sponsors. If this is just not possible, you could shrink the dome idea into a more feasible, albeit less exhilarating, secondhand smoking room.

People say secondhand smoke kills, but these people are all hip slang-users. Everyone knows that nowadays the verb “kills” is slang for “is awesome” in all cases of conversation, and this case is no different. In addition, any hearsay about the ill effects of secondhand smoke comes from scientists with no more credibility than Einstein or Newton. Indeed, the harmful effects of secondhand smoke may be as unsubstantiated as relativity or even gravity.

In consideration of all these complex proposals and statistics, what is my point? How did I lose myself in endless ambiguity in a sea of shoddy satire? I am not out to alienate my friends the smokers or on the other side my friends the nonsmokers. Who wants to create discord when we could all be smoking sleek Spanish cigars on even sleeker Spanish benches? My friends the smokers are going to continue smoking and my friends the nonsmokers are going to continue not smoking. However, there is a point around here somewhere.

In essence, consideration is the key. Michael Jackson lyrics may have a keen aptitude for profundity, but common sense is probably better. In good time we will disintegrate into molecules not so unlike those pleasure-inducing substances we love, and wouldn’t we like to make it better. How much secondhand smoke do I really want to inhale as I walk about this campus? That’s better left up to you to decide, because I am so high right now.

Ashwin Bhirud is a Trinity sophomore. His column appears every other Wednesday.





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