There were a couple of reports in the meeja over the last few days which left me somewhat bemused.
Yesterday Simon Clarke wrote about a woman who is demanding that smoking be banned near playgrounds because of an "incident".
However I'm not quite sure what this "incident" was.
“Yesterday a woman asked if it would bother me if she smoked in the playground while on the seesaw with her young daughter,” Dressner explained.
“When I said it would bother me, she told me that my one-year-old son would turn out to be ‘arrogant’ and smoke anyway.”
Now that is either a bad bit of reporting where a lot has been left out, or else it was a very strange conversation. Either that or the Dressner woman has a very selective memory. However this non-incident is apparently enough to start a petition.
Reading between the lines, my guess is that Dressner felt insulted so is determined to take revenge on all smokers.
The other item which is in a very similar vein was over here in Ireland.
Reading the headline my first reaction was that maybe her kids found a lit cigarette and set themselves on fire with it. That indeed would be a tragedy. But no, it seems her mother died seven years ago and her aunt died recently, which with all due respect is a bereavement, not a fucking tragedy.
So it transpires that the mother died of breast cancer and presumably [we’re not told] the aunt died of the same. Neither of them were smokers so where does the call for a ban come in? This is what baffles me.
Have we finally reached the stage where everything and especially everything to do with cancer, has to be caused by cigarettes? They died from cancer therefore it had to be caused by cigarettes? A baby dies from Sudden Infant Death but nobody smokes within a five mile radius therefore someone at some stage in the distant past must have lit a cigarette in that bedroom. An unfit Marathon runner dies of a heart attack during a race so he must have passed a smoker somewhere along the route?
This level of belief in the miraculous powers of cigarette smoke is getting more and more ridiculous by the day. Cheeeldren being contaminated by cigarette residue that may be left on a swing? People dying from a [probably] hereditary cancer becoming a clarion call for banning smoking?
There really is no word for the level of absurdity to which the world is descending.