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Why so serious? (long post)

(32 posts)
  1. sjb3

    sjb3

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    I know quite a few people on here have had a few confrontations with non-smokers in public places about our hobby, with one member even having that confrontation turn physical a while back. Given some recent posts about dirty looks and what not, I thought about my own personal confrontation with a non smoker about 7 months ago. I was smoking with a couple of friends (they had cigars) on my friend's patio when a middle age woman came up to us and started telling us that smoking will kill us (needless to say her tone of voice was very unpleasant). My friends are very polite to people so they just smiled and nodded (plus they knew I'm not one to shy away from anything, especially a debate). So I calmly replied to her "so does time, automobiles, sex, judges in Texas, etc." She didn't like my answer and went on a tirade about how we were setting a bad example for kids while strongly inferring that we were contributing to their (possible) deaths (apparently she was not one to shy away from debates either). I tried to explain to her that people are responsible for their own choices in life which made her very upset. She called us scum (as if child killers wasn't bad enough) and stormed off. I often think back to that day (especially when I read about similar confrontations on here) and wonder why non smokers are so mad and judgmental? Is it the instinctual desire to control the actions of others? Is it the "group" mentality that creates an us vs. them conflict between smokers and non smokers? Is it blind irrational-ism or fanaticism? Or is it just genuine concern for the health of smokers (even if the concern is expressed in negative fashion)? Or is it something else? I notice that I find myself on the defensive when this kind of thing occurs and that my emotion gets in the way of me explaining our hobby in a clear and concise way. I think it is important for us to try and figure out why non smokers are so aggressive/passionate in their interactions with us so that we may better express the joys of our hobby and bring the risks into a more unbiased perspective (good or bad). What do ya'll (Yes, I'm from Texas) think?

    Posted 5 years ago #
  2. woodsroad

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    I think she's a liberal.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  3. kashmir

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    People are nuts ... What more is there to say? Once when I was driving my truck with pipe firmly clenched a woman in the oncoming lane making a turn in front of me gave me a viscious horrified look, and I could see her lips moving as if she were screaming at me. She failed the turn and hit a telephone pole to my right. Not too strongly. But her airbag inflated. When the lights changed to green, I just kept on driving. Like I said. People are nuts.

    The pipe eases you into the present moment - savor your pipe & you'll savor this moment.
    Posted 5 years ago #
  4. philip

    Philip

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    I think nothing you say is likely to change her point of view.
    Still a genuine good-natured smile and a truthful yet kind and polite reply has the best chance.
    Anything less is likely to do more harm than good.
    I'd like people to think the pipe smokers are not hot tempered, even if we are child killers.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  5. mso489

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    Some people have had health problems in their family that they attribute to smoking, though perhaps not pipe smoking,
    and feel it is their assigned mission in life to crusade against smoking. A similar campaign was launched by temperance
    organizations that ended in prohibition (of alcohol in the U.S.) for a while. On the other hand, in dealing with the public,
    as any of you know who do it in your profession, you are going to run into nearly anything you can imagine. A large fraction
    of the population is trying to work out their own anger and frustration by engaging in confrontations where ever they can
    create them. We all know people who will debate with a door stop for hours with almost no provocation. Best not engage
    them at all, or if you must, to do it in some degree of good humor and calculating your exit all the while. The world is full
    of crazies, and while they may not be dangerous to you, you are sending them home to their frail elderly, helpless children,
    and innocent companion animals.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  6. cortezattic

    Cortez

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    Good story, Kashmir!

    Face the facts. Smoking is not the most healthy thing to do.
    Whether one should do it is based on personal risk/benefit decisions.
    Some people feel they can dictate how I should live. I don't understand why.

    Tom (mso489), very insightful post. Thanks.

    I find myself sitting idly on the line dividing past and future,
    as if I could kill time without injuring eternity. -- Thoreau
    Posted 5 years ago #
  7. petes03

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    When people ask me nicely, I don't care a bit to explain to them about our hobby. On the other hand, when unprovoked people want to be an ass about it, I'll be an ass in reply! I have no use for people like that! Another thing, if she came onto private property just to bitch, she'd have got the cops called on her, and a good cussing while they were in transit! I know that might not have been the best way to handle things, but I can be a real bastard when I get pissed!

    Posted 5 years ago #
  8. anthonyrosenthal74

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    I'm just wondering why the woman thought she had the right to trespass on your friends property and tell all of you how to live your lives. The way I see it, I'd have probably said in a very polite (because I'm from Texas too and we're polite down here to the ladies) way... "Ma'am. What I'm legally doing on my own property with friends with a legal substance ain't none of your damn business. Now get off my property before I sick the dog on you. Thank you ma'am." I don't even have a dog... but I bet the lady would have thought twice before walking within sight of my place again.

    Arrrrr, shiver me timbers! International Talk Like a Pirate Day is September the 19th!!!
    Brothers Of The Black Frigate
    Posted 5 years ago #
  9. vigil

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    Some people are so selfish and confident in their belief that they have the absolute authority to tell you what color you can paint your house that to not acquiesce to their royal countenance elicits rage.

    And, somehow, its your fault that they are being challenged for telling you that you should obey them.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  10. brian64

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    Good story, Kashmir!

    +1

    She called us scum (as if child killers wasn't bad enough) and stormed off. I often think back to that day (especially when I read about similar confrontations on here) and wonder why non smokers are so mad and judgmental?

    They’re brainwashed and hypnotized by the establishment media. Their beliefs and perceptions as to what is safe or dangerous, good or evil, true or false, important or unimportant, healthy or unhealthy, are downloaded into them, primarily from the images and voices on TV.

    If they really cared about children, they would start asking better questions as to what is actually causing the modern epidemic of pediatric cancer and many other chronic diseases in children at rates that were unheard of until fairly recent times. It’s not tobacco.

    “Bipartisan usually means some larger-than-usual deception is being carried out.” – George Carlin
    Posted 5 years ago #
  11. escioe

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    I think she's a liberal.

    So are lots of folks here.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  12. nscoyote

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    As far as tobacco is concerned the "anti" crowd goes back to the first public smoking displays after it was brought from the americas to europe when the religious zealots thought those smoking where fire breathing heathen savage devil worshippers * yes look it up its there*. much like alcohol, guns, sex, various religions there will always be some special interest group bolstering hyperbole and false information to make the world what they want it to be. yes the act of smoking tobacco does carry negative risks to your health, but those risks are no greater then many socially acceptable aspects of our daily life in modern times. generally as a rule when confronted on the street a polite "why thank you sir/ma'am everyone one is entitled to their own opinion, but you have yourself a great day" is usually how i deal with that. in theological debates with friends or even strangers i bring out the big guns such as independent studies, case law and rulings, and pure modern science. usually i get my point across and they find themselves stunned that what they were told by the various cancer societies and mainstream media that garner the majority of there financing from the fact that smoking and tobacco is believed to be such an evil substance and what they think isnt exactly an accurate reality in relation to fact. as for beign serious hell man i aint got the patience to deal with zealots i got bigger worries in life then what someone else thinks

    Posted 5 years ago #
  13. cmdrmcbragg

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    I find myself more libertarian aligned and believe in freedom of choice. It is our choice to smoke and it is her choice to bitch about it. Fair enough, but she brought the ruckus to you. People like that, as you said as well, will generally be engaged in debate by myself. Now, I know walking in that it will go nowhere. They won't change my mind and I won't change theirs. My principle is you make your own choices about your body and I'll make mine without your input. Their principle is to believe they know what is best for others and they should do what they will to see it through.

    The point of letting them know your opinion is to shove back against their intrusion into your day. It is best to have an informed opinion and to form a reasoned argument. But it is also advisable (I believe) to give them their own dose with a hefty helping of sarcasm and a dash of crass.

    I'm all for being the "better man" but when someone frames their appeal to you like THAT, they deserve a not so kind reply.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  14. pipesdownunder

    pipesdownunder

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    I've never had strangers confront me about the smoking and I've smoked in public in a few different venues, cities, countries. The only people that have are family or close friends.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  15. warren

    warren

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    I explain to people that observe that my smoking will kill me with, "Life itself is a terminal situation." Then I'd go over to her house and turn out the red light on her porch so her income would drop dramatically.

    A man without a shillelagh is a man without an expedient.
    Posted 5 years ago #
  16. sablebrush52

    sablebrush52

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    I guess I've just been lucky. In all of the years that I've been puffing away I've only had one unpleasant experience. I was taking a break and was sitting out in front of my workplace in a "smoking permitted" area when a rather excited fellow advanced forward and started giving me a load of grief over my pipe. He demanded that I put it out. I pointed to the sign and suggested that he go elsewhere. The fellow then proceeded over to a security guard and began a loud harangue, pointing at me. I waved back, smiling pleasantly. The security guard politely suggested to the screamer that he might be happier somewhere else and that I was within my rights to smoke in a "smoking permitted" area. The guy went ballistic. It ended with two security guards escorting him off of the property.

    Other than that, I generally get smiles from others, and have had many people compliment me on the fragrance of the smoke, or how cool a particular pipe is that I'm smoking.

    Some people just have a need to be in control that goes beyond any form of rationality.

    It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt. - Mark Twain

    It is pointless to argue with a fanatic since a dim bulb can't be converted into a searchlight. - Jesse Silver
    Posted 5 years ago #
  17. petes03

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    @sablebrush, it makes me happy for some reason, to hear that the maniac was kicked off the property by security!

    I'd also like to add, nearly all of the comments I receive from strangers are positive in nature! My wife and I recently got back from a weekend trip to Gatlinburg TN. While we were there I smoked my pipe the whole time. Several times, while walking down the street, I was complimented. I group of guys about my age (late 20's/ early 30's) came up to me and said it was "cool" that I was smoking a pipe. While I was in the Gatlin-Burlier B&M, there were two guys that came in for cigars while me and Richard from the Burlier were talking and smoking our pipes. They came over and watched us for a moment, then proceeded to tell us we were pros at pipe smoking, lol! We then started talking to them about pipes, which brought Ira (the owner) into the conversation, next thing you know, they were buying their first pipes and the tobacco to fill them with! Again while walking down the street, a family was walking towards me with a small boy at the father's side, when they got near me the father said "Look there son, that man's smoking a pipe! Isn't that neat?!" I got many looks while there, but I don't recall any of them being anything other than friendly or curious. That's generally the kind of reactions I get here in Tennessee, 95% of the time anyway.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  18. dryseason91

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    I think she's a liberal.
    So are lots of folks here.

    Escoie, thanks for pointing that out. Not all liberals are interested in berating strangers in the street about their personal choices.

    BUT that's a different issue. Thanks for posting your story, Sjb3. I've never experienced a confrontation with that level of vitriol from an anti-smoker but I think I'd struggle to keep my cool.

    Tenants of the house,
    Thoughts of a dry brain in a dry season.
    - 'Gerontion'
    Posted 5 years ago #
  19. craig94yj

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    I think she's a liberal.
    So are lots of folks here.

    Maybe you should differentiate between a Liberal and a Soapbox Liberal. It is one thing to have your beliefs and to live your life according to those beliefs. It is entirely another thing when you have your beliefs and think that everybody else who does not conform to your way of thinking is wrong and must be converted lest ye burn in the fires of Hell for eternity!!!! ( extreme sarcasm here ) I don't need to be saved by you or anybody with your "cause". Oh by the way, don't go away mad. Just go away.

    " I always wanted to be somebody. Now I realize I should have been more specific. " - Lily Tomlin
    Posted 5 years ago #
  20. woodsroad

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    A few folks here seem to have internalized my comment.

    Just take it for what it is, no need to parse it, expand on it or attempt to redefine it. I am not attributing her behavior to a larger group of people, nor am I assuming that this forum is a monoculture in any way shape or form.

    It is what it is.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  21. pylorns

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    I think she's a liberal.

    Has nothing to do with it. The people in our society that want to get rid of all smokers, are the same people who wanted to get rid of alcohol in the 20s. Progressives. They exist in both parties and know what's best for you so you need to shut your mouth and just do what they say.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  22. woodsroad

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    I didn't mean to kick the hive.

    I'm out before the

    Posted 5 years ago #
  23. msandoval858

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    In my experience, it's simply a matter of fact that some people are just a-holes and like to get in others business. I don't think it's a liberal or polictical thing. Unfortunately smokers seem to have become one of the acceptable groups to discriminate against this days it seems

    Mike
    Posted 5 years ago #
  24. dochudson

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    I'm just wondering why the woman thought she had the right to trespass on your friends property and tell all of you how to live your lives. The way I see it, I'd have probably said in a very polite (because I'm from Texas too and we're polite down here to the ladies) way... "Ma'am. What I'm legally doing on my own property with friends with a legal substance ain't none of your damn business. Now get off my property before I sick the dog on you. Thank you ma'am." I don't even have a dog... but I bet the lady would have thought twice before walking within sight of my place again.

    exactly! what is a total stranger doing coming onto your friends patio?

    I Enjoy Aromatics
    I Enjoy Peterson Pipes
    Posted 5 years ago #
  25. krizzose

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    That sort of behavior is just an unfortunate part of human nature. It's no different than bible thumpers so convinced of their righteousness that they need to interrupt my day and darken my porch to tell me all about it, or the a$$holes outside the polls trying to tell me how to vote as I walk in. It's not hard to find someone in this world who thinks they know better than you and are more than willing to yap about it.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  26. dryseason91

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    Yep, it's not an issue of being a liberal or a conservative or anything else, but just being an unredeemable $%%&%&£&$%&%$%£$&%£%.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  27. fitzy

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    Some people just want to be able to tell us what we can and can't do with our lives just like there are some people who want to be told what they can and can't do.

    I agree there are people in both parties that want to tell us what to do however it is of my opinion that that percentage of people is MUCH higher in the democratic party.

    NYC, California, Oregon and Washington are prefect examples of that.

    "These are ghosts that are more at home in a girdle-filled drawer than one of my pipes." Quote by Neil Archer Roan on lakeland ghosts
    Posted 5 years ago #
  28. shaintiques

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    What I have found with non smokers or health nuts is this. I can speak from experience as my wife is a health nut. After explaining all of the benefits that I personally get from pipe smoking, especially how it relaxes me after a stressful day, she tried it herself. She has only tried it once, but I guess she felt that she couldn't judge it till she did it, and it mellowed her right out. Now when she is with me and people ask, she answers the questions for me, and since they know that she is extremely healthy, they seem to take her word for it, or at least begin to have an open mind. And comparatively pipe smoking though not really healthy is healthier than other options.

    I know what I need, smoke, I can't recall the last time I tasted it....Gandalf in the mines of Moria.

    "we shall have to share pipes, as good friends must at a pinch'....'I keep a treasure or two near my skin, as precious as rings to me. Here's one: my old wooden pipe. And here's another an unused one...He held up a small pipe with a wide flattened bowl, and handed it to Gimli. 'Does that settle the score between us', said Merry. 'Most noble hobbit, it leaves me deep in your debt."
    Posted 5 years ago #
  29. cosmicfolklore

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    I'm trying to remember which book it was, but I do remember reading that in some towns of Germany in the 1700's, it was acceptable to beat a pipe smoker with a stick. I don't think this is anything new. We just have to fight it as our ancestors fought it, with warm smiles and and an aromatic wink.

    Michael
    Posted 5 years ago #
  30. foggymountain

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    I would just laugh in her face.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  31. judcole

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    ep, it's not an issue of being a liberal or a conservative or anything else, but just being an unredeemable $%%&%&£&$%&%$%£$&%£%

    Busybodies. There's a ton of 'em out there, on both sides of the political fence. They just differ in what they want to regulate.

    Thought in the early morning, solace in time of woes,
    Peace in the hush of the twilight, balm ere my eyelids close
    Rudyard Kipling
    Posted 5 years ago #
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    plateauguy

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    I love people who think they can force their beliefs on others.

    I would have said, "Madame, whatever makes you think that I give a s**t about your opinion? Opinions are like assholes, everyone has one."

    Posted 5 years ago #

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