Interesting little conversation I had today in a pub garden. A lady (aged about 60, I guessed, and very well-spoken) was wandering around looking for an ashtray, so I invited her to use mine with me. Naturally we got talking, and got along very well. Towards the end of the conversation she said that the cigarette she was smoking was her first one that day. Her husband had given up smoking 30 years ago, and she’d cut back a lot. She only smoked about 3 cigarettes per day. More when she met up with friends.
I asked her whether she smoked in her own home, and she said only in the kitchen. She added that she didn’t mind the smoking ban, because it helped her to cut down, and she didn’t like coming home smelling of tobacco smoke.
It takes all sorts, I suppose. I must have smoked her full daily ration in the half hour we were talking.
Meanwhile, somewhere near Lynchburg, Virginia (reprinted from email with permission):
Newest one from the building manager –
Had a meeting with her today about this whole anti-smoking petition thing which went to HUD.
I was trying to explain to her and her assistant about smoking preventing Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s…
…and how terrible it is to expect elderly disabled smokers to have to go out to smoke in severely inclement weather…
…and how deaths have occurred because of this…
Her answer – well, just think of the TONS of other awful things smoking does to destroy people. It destroys fingers and toes!
I was like – hey – WHAT?
Yes, she says, your fingers and toes can fall off if you smoke.
Her assistant manager agreed.
When I got back to my apartment, I Googled it. Yes, smoking can, among other factors, affect fingers and toes IF you have Renaud’s Syndrome or
And how many people have those?
No sense trying to get my point across with the building manager – who is so rabid an anti-smoker and so closed-minded that every benefit I or anyone else might bring up will cause her to spew a litany of dread diseases allegedly caused by smoking.
Oh – okay – one of them was – your eyes will fall out. REALLY. SHE SAID THAT.
It’s amazing what people will believe. And disgusting that supposedly responsible authorities will use these kind of lies to set people against each other.
Meanwhile, the USA is stepping into the EU crisis:
Europe’s creditor powers have been warned against igniting an “uncontrolled” financial and geopolitical crisis in Greece by letting the country fall out of the eurozone at the end of the week.
US Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew waded into the crisis on Tuesday, as Athens was preparing to make its final attempt to secure its future in the single currency. The Greeks have been told they have three days to prevent a fatal eurozone exit.
Mr Lew said lenders risked making a “mistake for Europe, the European economy and the global economy, to take the risks that are involved with an uncontrolled crisis in Greece”.
Washington has become increasingly exasperated by the mishandling of Greece’s woes, which they fear could destabilise Europe’s fragile Mediterranean periphery…
Mr Lew said it was no longer clear that there will be a solution to Greece’s turmoil. He said both parties were gambling with the stability of the global economy in entertaining the prospect of a “Grexit”.
“Before things broke down and they went to a referendum, they were within a couple of billions of euros of closing the gap,” Mr Lew told the Brookings Institute.
“For anyone who has participated in fiscal policy discussions, you wouldn’t usually buy hundreds of billions of dollars of risk for a few billion.”
And Nigel Farage tells Tsipras to get out of the euro:
“They will give you no more, these people. They can’t afford to. If they give you more, they will have to give other eurozone members more,” Farage said.
“Your moment has come and, frankly, if you’ve got the courage, you should lead the Greek people out of the eurozone with your head held high.
“Get back your democracy, get back control of your country, give your people the leadership and the hope that they crave.
“Yes, it’ll be tough for the first few months but, with a devalued currency and friends of Greece all over the world, you will recover.”
“The European project is actually beginning to die,” he added.
“The plan has failed. This isn’t just Greece we are talking about today. The whole of the Mediterranean now finds itself in the wrong currency, and yet virtually nobody in the political arena has the courage to stand up and say that.
“I feel that the continent is now divided from north to south. There is a new Berlin Wall and it’s called the euro.”
Tsipras, who was present in the EU parliament, did not applaud.