Have a cigar . . . or not

On a cold, wet wintry day this week (which particular day doesn’t matter since they were all cold, wet and wintry)...

On a cold, wet wintry day this week (which particular day doesn’t matter since they were all cold, wet and wintry), I had a sudden urge to get out of the house, call up some pals and enjoy a rich, Cuban cigar, a mug of good coffee and a jovial chat.

Some of the lads said they would rather have a hearty pint of chocolate stout or at least a wee snifter of cognac on the side.

Unfortunately, the only place we’re allowed to indulge in such socially repellent habits is in somebody’s cold garden shed with a handmade sign outside that reads: “Cuban Appreciation Society. No Entry Allowed — unless one of us is in trouble with a spouse and the rest of us can rib him/her about it.”

I remember fondly those wintry nights when the lads and lassies could head to the neighbourhood pub, slip our shoes off by the fire, order a pint and light up a cigar. Everybody knew pubs were smoky and boisterous and no place for kids — and everyone was happy.

But then Big Brother decided that the good of the many outweighed the needs of the few, so smoking — although cigarettes and cigars would remain legal to purchase — should be banned in all indoor public places.

No exceptions. No arguments. Just do as we say.

I’ve never had a problem with smoking being banned in restaurants and movie theatres and any place that allows children. But I find it ridiculous that pubs and cigar lounges can’t get special licenses to operate a smoking environment. The free market should be allowed to decide if this is a money-making or money-losing proposition, not a government mandate.

But government loves laws.

“Marijuana is illegal. Why?”

“Because we say so.”

“But alcohol is more dangerous and its legal. Why?”

“Because we say so.”

“Cigarettes are legal.”

“Yes.”

“But we’re not allowed to smoke where we enjoyed it most. Why?”

“Because we say so.”

“What’s next?”

“You can’t feed the birds.”

“Really?”

“Yes. You also can’t feed the raccoons, squirrels, rabbits or deer.”

“What if the raccoons sneak through the cat door and eat my cat’s food?”

“The fine is $350.”

“Raccoon stew it is. Thanks, Big Brother. Have a cigar.” M

Just Posted

Arkells rallying around their fans

Canada’s biggest band (for now) looks to outdo their last show in Victoria

DANCING ANYONE? Museum puts a swing into your step

Royal BC Museum hosting its next adult-only Night Shift event, a swing dance/mixer

Getting OUT with Intrepid Theatre

OUTstages queer theatre festival features packed week of entertainment for fifth anniversary

Vic High theatre staging musical class struggle tale

Cry Baby a love story and social commentary piece presented with campy style

Readers Theatre returns to Congregation Emanu-El

Audience members encouraged to envision plays’ actions from hearing scripts

VIDEO: RBCM’s Wonder Sunday brings fossils into focus

Every Sunday from 1 to 3 p.m. kids learn about science and history through interactive activities

B.C. animators land Oscar nominations

‘Animal Behaviour’ by Vancouver’s David Fine and Alison Snowden among several Canadians on the short list

Hollywood announces 2019 Oscar nominations

Netflix has scored its first best picture nomination, something the streaming giant has dearly sought

Reflections of Ladysmith: The Art of Michael Dean

Work, place and people are inseparable for Vancouver Island painter

‘Gotti’ leads Razzie nominations, Trump up for worst actor

The nominations were announced on Monday, Jan. 21 with some movies earning up to six nominations

Sidney Museum’s Lego Exhibition larger than ever

Hundreds of thousands of pieces on display in creations big and small, now through March 31

2019 Canadian Whisky Awards’ big winners announced

Awards held in conjunction with Victoria Whisky Festival

Netflix rejects request to remove Lac-Megantic images from ‘Bird Box’

At least two shows on Netflix’s Canadian platform briefly use actual footage of the 2013 tragedy

Most Read