Smokers

Whenever I’m going about my day and I come across somebody who’s smoking, I’m not quite sure what to do. When I get a cloud of smoke in my face, I feel the need to cough, but then I think “Hang on, isn’t that rude?” since some people do an exaggerated cough and splutter every time they see a smoker, perhaps they’d think I was doing the same thing! Then it might make them feel even worse about their unhealthy habit. So, usually what I do is just hold in the coughing until I’ve passed them, but it sometimes backfires; by holding in the coughing, when I finally release it, it’s much more severe than it would have been otherwise, the risk here being that it might look even more like I’m doing an over the top cough and maybe make it seem that I was too afraid to do it when I was near them.
    Anyway, on the subject of smokers, I found myself with a somewhat unusual moral dilemma the other day. I was heading down to the bus stop early one morning so that I could get to the Job Centre. It was raining quite heavily at the time, and one person was already inside the shelter. At most, you could fit three people in that shelter. I arrived at about the same time as one other person, and he got into the shelter before me. Of course, I’d have gone in too, except for the fact that he took out a cigarette and started smoking in there!
    The glass shelter was very clearly marked as a ‘No Smoking’ zone and that’s probably because it would get very smoky in their very quickly if anybody were to smoke in there. To make matters worse, the other person in the shelter also pulled out a cigarette and joined him! So, of course, I didn’t want to go in.
    “Hey, buddy,” said the first smoker. “Why are you standing out there getting wet, join us in here!”
    Now, it was a very cold day and I wasn’t enjoying standing in the rain, but it was probably nicer than standing in the smoke.
    “Oh, no, don’t worry! I like the rain,” I said to him, and smiled. I don’t like to lie, and this wasn’t technically a lie, because I do like it when it rains, but I don’t like standing in freezing rain first thing in the morning. I’d have loved to stand in a smoke-free bus shelter, but I didn’t want either one of them to feel bad about their habits, so I said nothing. Instead, I just stood and got colder and colder…
    Eventually the bus came and I don’t think I’ve ever appreciated its arrival more.

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