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Cruelty is a fine art.

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posted on May, 26 2008 @ 11:09 PM
This is a rant. This is not going to be logical, or scientific, or even coherent probably.

I am angry. No, I am infuriated.

Today, I went to a Golden Corral restaurant in South Carolina. I have eaten at this restaurant several times in the last few months. They have great food, friendly waitresses, good prices, and they are located across the street from one of the stores I deliver to.

You see, I rarely eat at a nice restaurant anymore. It's not that I can't afford them; I can. Instead, I usually eat fast food, or even worse, snacks and chips until I can get back home. I love eating out. I like being around other people. I have been told by many people that I am the life of any gathering, due to a good sense of humor and an ability to brighten someone's day.

But I rarely interface with other people.

I haven't been to a movie theater in over 15 years.

I shun family gatherings, social events, even worry about visiting friends. I drive a truck for a living, and I purposely chose a night-delivery schedule, so I could do my job without anyone else around.

I avoid shopping at all costs. When I do have to pick something up from town, I run into and out of the store at a full gallop. I pay with a credit card so I can sign and go. When practical, I order things I need online.

ATS is at the present my main source of contact with others.

This one restaurant had something I went there specifically for. A smoking area. Yeah, it's silly, I know. I should just quit. It's bad for me. I should drop dead, I know, I know. But I don't want to stop smoking.

Terrible, yeah. An affront to everything that is civilized, true. But I am a person, and I have rights too!

I am not some piece of trash that should be thrown out.

I am not some pimple on the face of society.

I do not have leprosy!

I do have a digestive malfunction, a combination of high acidity, a weak esophageal valve, a malformed stomach, and a tendency to swallow air that the doctors could not explain.

There is no medication that helps me. I have tried all sorts of pills when I was younger; nothing helped for more than a week. I went to several different doctors, several who were gastrointestinal specialists. There is no 'cure', it is simply the way I am. It's not a disease, it's more like a birth defect.

I no longer have heartburn. Well, that's not exactly true. I cannot feel the heartburn like you do, or like I used to do. I guess that's a blessing, because it hurt... badly. I do hurt, and it's still bad, but it's not heartburn. It's like a seizure of your insides, combined with severe bloating and cramping.

It hurts when I eat. It hurts if I don't eat. Chicken soup hurts. Pizza with habaneros hurts. It doesn't matter what I eat. It hurts.

I don't talk about it much usually. There's no good reason to evoke sympathy when there is nothing that can be done. Besides, I found something that brings a little relief. Cigarettes. It still hurts, but not as much. They seem to relax me inside, and allow things to work more 'normally'.

You would not know about this problem if you saw me. I take the pain. I force it down inside me, and let it out with a smile. All the while, I am puffing that Marlboro to help get a little relief. Once in a while, the pain becomes too intense for me to handle, and I curl up into a fetal position and shake violently. My wife and kids know about that. Precious few others do. I work around it.

I do not want sympathy; I want equality. I want to be a member of society. I want to have friends again. I want to see people, talk to people, face to face with sound waves, not typing on some silly keyboard. I want to sit down to a nice steak dinner and baked potato with friends (or even strangers) and enjoy my meal. But to do so, I need my medication. I need that cigarette.

This Golden Corral has gone non-smoking. The last place I knew of where I could eat well without hurting so terribly is now gone.

Don't tell me I can go outside and smoke; I did today. When it hurts to stand up, that's a poor option. Ask someone lying in a hospital bed to go outside to get their pain medicine. It's the same thing.

Speaking of which, I can probably never go to a hospital. I would probably die before they figured out they were killing me. I know I'm addicted; I know about the health risks. I choose to take those risks, because nothing else works. So don't worry about me using up too many healthcare resources; I probably will never use any. If I ever get that sick, I will die.

I don't want your pity. It won't help me. I want justice. I want a restaurant to be able to have one little corner, just one little corner, for smokers. That's all. You can have the rest of the blessed planet, but leave me one little spot outside of my hoe where I can have a simple smoke in peace. Where I can hurt a little less that day. Where I can relax. Is it that much to ask? One little space in the rear? Are the anti-smokers so hateful, so angry, so callous, so cruel, to deny me that?

I work hard to make a living for my family. I obey the laws of the land. I do an honest days work, every day. I try to raise my children better than I am. I have never laid a hand on my wife. I try every day to cheer up those few people I come in contact with. I pay my taxes. I don't drive drunk, and I don't do drugs. I smoke - that's all.

So someone please tell me, why am I treated like some piece of dirt that needs to be thrown out? Is it that bad to help oneself not hurt? Or is it something else, some other reason you choose to hate me and deprive me of all those little things you enjoy?

I would really like to know.


posted on May, 26 2008 @ 11:20 PM
I also smoke. It used to be an easy thing to do, now it's not so much easy as a big pain in the ass.

This really centers around conformity though. If enough people didn't want to conform to the majority's view that smoking is harmful and inhaling even one breath from a cigarette is going to instantly melt your face off and make all of your relatives die slow horrible deaths for several generations, then people like you could revolt against the norm.

Smoking has had a pretty hard rap for years now. With all of the advertised dangers, you know something funny is going on ... You can still buy them!

But I digress, you have a pretty good sob-story there, but I suggest you just conform and respect that others don't want you to smoke around them.

For me, I'm about the opposite of you. I go out and socialize all the time, I have many friends, pretty much everyone likes me, and I like pretty much eveybody back. It's a pretty great little life I have going for me.

Unfortunately, not all of my friends smoke. But I wouldn't smoke around them ... I'll leave, walk around a corner, take a stroll or go outside. The positive to this is that so many of my friends like to talk to me that they'll come with me anyways. They don't care about the health risks so much as they enjoy my company.

But for others, I don't mind being lightly put out regarding my bad habit, since I'm willing to conform on some issues that I don't find worth the fight.

posted on May, 26 2008 @ 11:26 PM
Im with you man!
Here is some Bill Hicks for you! This always cheers me up!

Disclaimer! This may not be suited for young children

I always say.. Thanks for holding your breath while I smoke!!
But seriously. I agree with you.. Most smokers are treated like underlings that have no rights what so ever. ITs just more rights they are taking away from us, and having people clapping and standing on their feet thanking our government for taking our rights away..

I just never will understand groups of people.. I swear man.. They give up their own freedoms and are happy with those choices...

Edit--Fixed video..

If you do some youtube searches you can find some really classic Hicks smoking sessions!! Some of my favorits to bring back up to share with those I feel know the score..
Keep on trucking Redneck! Your one of the good guys in black!

[edit on 26-5-2008 by zysin5]

posted on May, 26 2008 @ 11:28 PM
reply to post by TheRedneck

I am sure that you have heard this before, but here it goes again.

Second hand smoke!

While you know the risks to yourself for your habit and are willing to accept them, do other people have to smoke along with you? I do agree there is no reason why smokers cannot be assigned a room to themselves, but the smoke still gets out of that room to other areas of the restaurant. While you smoke for reasons that other people don't, it still doesn't make it ok to subject people to something harmful.

By the way, I am a smoker too, but I try not to subject other people to my bad habit. I only smoke outside.

I go to Golden Corral in McComb Mississippi quite a bit and if the one you go to is set up the same way, the rooms are enourmous, and your smoke would not remain in just one corner!

posted on May, 26 2008 @ 11:47 PM
Is there any bars around that serve food? Perhaps there are restaurants around that outside patios.

posted on May, 26 2008 @ 11:58 PM
reply to post by Enthralled Fan

I just don't see the logic there. Like I've said, I have no problem conforming and going out of my way to make other people feel more comfortable, but let's get real here.

Lung cancer is caused by things like car exhaust too, but I never hear anyone asking me not to drive by them while they are walking on the street.

The issue is about other people and their comfort and state of mind. This has nothing to do with making other people sick, or terminally ill with cancer.

The thing is, you have to make people feel happy and it's okay to go out of your way to do so once in awhile.

posted on May, 26 2008 @ 11:59 PM

posted on May, 27 2008 @ 12:04 AM
theredneck i totaly understand!! i like a smoke, non smoking in clubs and clubs has killed my social life. when we do go out everyone goes outside to smoke, its just stupid.......

posted on May, 27 2008 @ 12:49 AM
You should move to Alabama, redneck. You can still smoke up in restaurants there. I live in Florida and they have bowed to the NWO in alot of ways, but Alabama has a few more years of being free. Enjoy the cruelty of others its really a blessing.

posted on May, 27 2008 @ 04:05 AM

Originally posted by Enrikez

Lung cancer is caused by things like car exhaust too, but I never hear anyone asking me not to drive by them while they are walking on the street.

I agree with you on this one. You will only hear people complain if they see a vehicle that is burning oil. Just because they can't see the car exhaust, doesn't mean it isn't there.

The issue is about other people and their comfort and state of mind. This has nothing to do with making other people sick, or terminally ill with cancer.

Sorry, I don't agree here. Cigarette smoke isn't good for anyone. Also, cigarette smoke smells strong to people that don't smoke and people in a restaurant are not there to smell somebody elses smoke, they are there to eat food. The smell of smoke ruins the smell of the food.

The thing is, you have to make people feel happy and it's okay to go out of your way to do so once in awhile.

That is a nice sentiment. Unfortunately some states have laws that make it illegal to smoke in public places. I am not sure about the state where TheRedneck lives, but the restaurant could get into trouble if they allowed him to smoke there. I was in Florida last year and stopped in to a Hotel that had a bar on a sepparate floor from the restaurant. In Florida, anyway, it's illegal to smoke in a bar if a restaurant is even in the same building. While I don't smoke in bars, we noticed that nobody was smoking and that there were no ashtrays anywhere and we asked the bartender why. Also we stopped at a bar in a strip mall, and because there was a restaurant located at the other end of the strip mall, the bar had to become smoke free.

When I was living in Arizona, it was illegal to smoke in restaurants in Mesa. This was in 2004, and I understand that since then that the law has now gone statewide.

posted on May, 27 2008 @ 04:44 AM
I smoke to. I like it. What is insane is I can't stand 'second' hand smoke. That is so ludicrous it is ridiculous. I have a large fan in my office blowing out to minimize residual smoke. I was at a pub with my neighbor other night. And people were smoking up the place. Against Ohio law. I felt sick and was blowing blood out of my sinus's next morning. I don't even understand it myself.

posted on May, 27 2008 @ 11:53 AM
I managed to wait until right before I went to sleep last night before I broke down and posted this thread. I also felt really stupid this morning when I woke up and realized I had done it.

But, what's done is done. I can't delete it at this point, and really, that's the way it should be. I remember a short discussion on that very topic not too long ago.

I want to say something before I close this tab out though... thanks to everyone for understanding. A special thanks to zysin5 for trying to cheer me up. Bill Hicks is hilarious!

I'll survive. I always have. I just need to take a little stroll out back in the mountain that is my back yard and find my center again. I only hope that no one remembers this thread, because I meant what I said about pity; I don't want it nor need it. That's why I don't go talking about this much.

edit to add: a little view of my 'heaven', taken from my window:

If any of you must remember it, remember that one man can survive as an island, if that's all that will be allowed, and that anyone can overcome anything, if they have the will and the guts to do so.

Also, think hard when you see that group of smokers standing outside in the freezing cold or the pouring rain. Their present may be your future.

"If one of us is chained, none of us are free" - Lynyrd Skynyrd

[edit on 27-5-2008 by TheRedneck]

[edit on 27-5-2008 by TheRedneck]

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