I’m seriously considering moving out of Los Angeles, and maybe even out of California, entirely. Oregon looks good, and so does the Moon.

But there is a lot here that I love: the weather is almost always perfect, and when it isn’t, it usually gets back to the business of being perfect within a day or so. I love it that I can, if I want to, ski for most of the day, and still ride the afternoon glass at Malibu. I love it that there are three major international airports for me to pick from, public transportation that dreams of actually being useful when it grows up, and too many incredible day trips and local hikes to count.

On the other hand, there is a lot that I hate. I hate the traffic. I hate the cost of living. I hate the public transportation that is still a long way from truly being useful. I hate it that Lindsay Lohan keeps crashing her car in front of me all the time, and I hate our idiot governor. Oh, and I really fucking hate the 134.

But I also love that if I sold my house, I could practically buy a castle, with a moat and dragons and everything, anywhere else in the country, as long as I understood that once I leave California, I can never come back. See, California is sort of a crime family like that; it’s a one-way door, man.

Today, the State of California offered up another thing to add to my list of hates. . .

By a vote of 6-0, the Air Resources Board in California declared that secondhand cigarette smoke is a toxin, given the same level of severity as arsenic and benzene. That makes the Golden State the first state in the Union to do so.

The news item, which admittedly comes from the moonie-owned UPI, says

California smokers emit 40 tons of nicotine, 365 tons of small particles of pollution and 1,900 tons of carbon monoxide each year, according to the American Lung Association.

State scientists will investigate and report on the state’s smokiest locales — such as outside buildings, parks, beaches and public events.

Okay, that’s a lot of garbage going into the air . . . but give me a break. Are they going to ban smokers from smokng in any public place in the state, like they did up in Ventura County Calabasas? (Sorry, Fred!)

I don’t smoke, and I’m fine with smokers having their designated smoking areas, which gives jerks like me designated non-smoking areas. I hate cigarette smoke almost as much as I hate George W. Bush, but this is just totally. Fucking. Retarded. It’s not like we’re all gasping for air whenever we step outside, and if you don’t like walking past people who have to smoke outside buildings, hold your fucking breath for ten steps. That’s what I do, and last time I checked I was doing just fine.

Is secondhand smoke an annoyance? Sure. Disgusting to smell and walk through? Of course. But this is just the first step toward making it completely illegal for smokers to smoke anywhere in public, and that’s just ridiculous. Remember how you were going to the park last week, and goshdarnit you just had to leave because the cloud of secondhand smoke was so thick you couldn’t see your frisbee? Or how about when you went to the beach, and pulled out a gas mask because all those off-shore breezes couldn’t clear out the now-toxic plume of deadly carcinogens? And who can forget that Dodger game that was called last June because of secondhand smoke! What’s that? That makes almost as much sense as Saddam sponsoring 9/11? Well, the State of California disagrees with you. Why do you hate California so much?

I can hardly wait for the commercials to start. What do you suppose my brain on secondhand cigarette smoke will look like? I’m guessing a nice tofu scramble with spinach and some roma tomatoes.

15 thoughts on “t-t-t-toxic”

  1. Wil,
    I believe we had this argument once before. In “The VC” we did not ban outdoor smoking. That was Calabasas, who are still part of “Hell-A” county.
    But since you’re on a rant I’d like to add two-smoking related-cents. I also agree that second-hand smoke is disgusting and that this kind of legislature is infringing on a persons right to smoke. But what I really hate, is when a person is done with their disgusting habit they flick their butt on to the ground.
    They could be standing right next to an ashtray, and they’ll still flick.
    It could be in front of a public ashtray that you and I paid for with our tax dollars, and they still flick.
    It could be on the sidewalk and that butt goes into a storm drain and eventually comes out in the ocean, and they still flick.
    Get my point. I’d much rather see them get a littering ticket than a ticket for smoking outside.

    Oh who am I kidding, I’d rather see them get a ticket for both.

  2. Aiyah. Sorry, Fred. You’re correct. We did have this talk before, and I was as wrong then as I am now.

    I agree with you about the ashtray thing, though. I especially hate the litterbugs who make the beach their own giant ashtray (beneath that pea-soup-like mass of secondhand smoke, that is.)

  3. Hmmm. With the remake frenzy of late, I’m seeing Arsenic and Old Lace redone as Secondhand Smoke and Old Lace. After all, they are equally dangerous.

    Futhermore, your brain on secondhand smoke makes me hungry.

  4. I thought about posting this, but I’ll just continue the discussion here.

    I am a smoker. Indeed, I’m even one of those horrible people who flicks their cigarette butts. BUT, I use an ashtray whenever one’s available, and never flick my butt near a storm drain.

    Why do I feel I have the right to do this? In my four years in LA, I have racked up approximately $8674467545 in parking tickets for street sweeping. My taxes pay for street sweeping. My friends complain about how much their tickets for street sweeping cost them. I wouldn’t be surprised if the entire Orange Line project was funded through street sweeping.

    So my butts are swept up. Sure, they wouldn’t be when it rains; they’d be swept into the gutters and out to the bay. Which would suck, except that I don’t toss butts when it’s going to rain. I toss butts when it won’t.

    So tell me true: am I still inconsiderate?

  5. My taxes go to pay for street cleaning too and that is why I not only dump all my trash out my window into the street but I also shit on the street every day.

  6. Hmmm… For some reason, I never thought to do that. Huzzah! A new pastime! Flinging shit at fellow pedestrians!

  7. Are you one of the new bloggers? And if you are, aren’t you supposed to really, really like living in Los Angeles? We’ve all heard the negativity before, and it’s tedious, a real bore. Contribute to, or at least appreciate the goodness, or please, move away, with my blessings.

  8. Yeah, I’m new.

    In fact, I’ve never blogged anywhere before about anything else.

    Excellent detective work, exposing the great fraud.

  9. Brilliant Wil! I’d listen to Patricia though; learn how to blog newbie. By the way, I love WWDN and WWDN in exile. Great podcast too!

  10. Call me stupid, but I kinda like the idea of banning smoking outside in Calabasas. Haven’t some of the past fires started up there been from cigarette butts? I think it’s an extremely dangerous fire zone.

    My one and 1/2 cents…

  11. But it’s already illegal to throw your cigarette butts on the ground, that’s called littering. I don’t see how banning smoking outside will decrease the number of fires started by flaming butts. To me this seems like a solutions in search of a problem.

  12. ^ Your comment reminded me of a time, a few years back, when I was in New Mexico in July. It was so hot and dry there – and already quite a few forest fires had started up – that smoking was banned *outside*.

    You were free to light up inside – restaurants, hotels, etc. But not outdoors.

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