I had to go up to the city yesterday.

I hate and despise the city for its noise and its dirt and its mayhem.  I don’t know how the hell I survived working there for all those years.

What was worse, I got stuck in the Rush Hour for the first time in about eight years.

Some things have changed over time.

The number of traffic lights seems to have increased exponentially.  Roads that used to be relatively traffic free are now bottlenecks because they have been narrowed to allow for empty bus lanes and empty cycle lanes.  The amount of paintwork on the road surfaces defies description.  There is also a scary proliferation of roundabouts.  I think they are overused at the behest of AA Roadwatch who love talking about “rindabytes” on the radio.  They drove Roger mad though.

Other things haven’t changed.

The mad fuckers in the Beamers and Volvos still fight with the Old Dears for mastery of the outside lane.  The first lot want to treat the city roads like Brands Hatch, and the Old Dears want to drive at twenty miles an hour, and have to be in the outside lane because they are turning off five miles up the road.  Cyclists still cycle as if they have the entire road to themselves, and weave about all over the place.  Cars still won’t switch on any lights until it’s so dark they can’t see the bonnet of their car.

It was a ten minute meeting, but I was gone from home for three hours.  I still haven’t recovered.

The place I was going to had a car park out front.  It consisted of a loop of road, and in the middle of the loop, there was grass and trees.  It would have been nice if it weren’t for the noise and the massive cranes looming ominously overhead.  In the middle of this little oasis, there was a patio area, with seats, tables, a shelter and ashtrays.  As smoking areas go, it wasn’t bad.

Some distance away, there was another patio area, with tables and chairs.  It was about half the size of a tennis court, and strategically placed all around its perimeter were very large signs – “THIS IS A NO SMOKING AREA”.  What the fuck?

So here we have two areas, both outside in the open air.  One is smoking, and the other non-smoking.  Why?

Will some one please tell me what the objection is to smoking in the open air?

Is tobacco smoke so lethal that the merest contact will cause an instantaneous and horrible death?

Are they afraid that smoking is contagious?

Is the world going totally insane?

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Get out of my air — 9 Comments

  1. Grandad,

    I have been reading your past posts… Too Funny! I always get a good laugh on your blog and may
    need to buy your book to catch up!

    But….I didn’t realize you had a thing for knocking off tourists! Holy Cr*p!
    I have read the guidelines for not looking like a tourist, but I have to say that I am still afraid to come
    out in May… oh sh*te, did I say May? I meant August!

    Am I a target if I am visiting hubby’s cousins? Can I get a special logo to put on my clothes to keep from
    being targeted?


    “Is the world going totally insane?”… Yes!

  2. Kimme – What do you mean: you may need to buy the book? It is a prerequisite. You can blame Bush for the tourist thing. He was the one who started the whole thing with his precious War on Tourism. Just send me the usual brown envelope and I’ll make sure you’re safe…

  3. Kimme, BUY THE BOOK! It actually (miraculously) has my husband tempted to read real blogs now, like on the computilator-thingy and all. I thought he’d never be converted to the 21st century, but here goes…

    Anyhow Grandad, what I can’t stand is that Dublin is packed with foul-smelling polluting cars and lorries, and in the same city a man can’t enjoy a fine quality cigar or pipe tobacco (as you say) in the pub and now even in the open air. How dumb. How mortifyingly and inexplicably DUMB.

  4. Grandad,

    What a good idea from Susan. A great gift for hubby maybe? (pretend it is a gift for hubby… but really for myself. Haha!:)

    Understood on the brown envelope. Now how about some protection if I buy
    a house up near the cousins?


  5. “Is the world going totally insane?”
    The world went insane a few years ago.
    The exact time and date has been difficult to determine.
    In the 60’s we took LSD to make the world wierd.
    Now that the world is wierd…
    we take Prozac to make it normal.

  6. You had a very easy journey

    – not a yummy mummy in sight with her MPV driving her precocious little darlings from one birthday party to another while examining her make up in the rear view mirror and talking to her friend Caroline on her mobile.

    – not a single country registration turning left from the right hand lane

    – not a single European registered truck in reverse in an odd place (I assume it was someone like Roger who had a Czech juggernaut amongst the shoppers in Dun Laoghaire last week)

    – not a single battered Hiace van with one backlight not working carrying nine cousins with the same surname

    You need to get out more!

  7. Susan – One of my many points! I would say the effects of traffic fumes are far worse than a drop of passive smoking. As well as that, I was suck beside a woman at one stage and her perfume had my eyes stinging and my stomach heaving. There was a bloke there with a HUGE cigar too. I have never seen anything so phallic in all my life!

    Kimme – There you go, now. Get your 10% off and all. Provided you buy your house in a very discreet spot in the wilds of Cavan you should be OK. Nobody lives in Cavan.

    Brianf – Interesting theory and a bit too close to the truth!

    Ian – I only told the half of it. I met all those and more. I met the lovelies who park on box junctions, and the SUVs straddling the white line. I met the idiot who got into a filter lane and then decided he wanted to keep on the main road. Need I go on?

  8. Hiya Flirty! It was relatively quiet all right, but when you’re used to the quiet backroads of the mountains……..

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