Monday, August 18, 2008

Fag Failure

Remember when the smoking ban was introduced? A rhetorical question, perhaps: how could you not? The media told us it would happen for months leading up to it, all local pubs were doomed to shut, basic human righs were being violated in a democratic society...we were, apparently, one step away from an armageddon equal only to the arrival of the 24-hour license.

Well, life continued as normal: grumblers found something else to grumble about, smokers shuffled outside and air freshener businesses thrived as pubs turned out to smell pretty foul without the disguise of smoke.

My gripe is with Oxford smokers who gather in annoying places to blow smoke in my face. The top spots I've found so far have been:

- Outside the train station - which makes it extra annoying when you're standing inside and it all comes wafting in.

- Outside The Royal Oak - I swear the cloud of smoke extends right to the other side of the road. If I wanted a smoked Ali's, I'd ask for one!

- Bus queues - as if they're not torturous enough! Huddled outside Sainsburys or on Queen Street, with thousands of shopping bags with legs whacking you on their way past, small children howling and the roar of smoke-producing pollution machines. Cue someone blowing their fag-ash riddled CO2 in your face. Lovely.

Okay, so perhaps the last place isn't a result of the smoking ban, and yes, I am grateful that the insides of buildings are now relative havens, but it's hardly a solution moving everyone to the entrance of places which are unavoidable. I'm not proposing a solution, just going to grumble. Because sometimes that really is the most satisfying thing to do.

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