Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Modern Dilemma

We were sitting outside in a pub beer garden with the kids. With the new anti-smoking laws, the beer garden is now the only place people can smoke within the pub grounds. When we went out there we were the only ones, and we decided to sit outside and have a drink because it was a nice day, and the kids could run around without being a nuisance to anyone.

Then someone came and sat at an ajacent table, and lit up a cigarette. Immediately Charlie started announcing loudly that someone was making poor choices and that smoking made you sick. We were trying to get him to be quiet, because although we don't smoke and would prefer that the gentleman in question wasn't smoking in our vicinity, we could hardly ask him to stop when we were sitting in the designated smoking area. So we found ourselves in the strange position of defending, to our almost 5 year old, this man's right to smoke even though it's a bad choice and makes you sick. Mostly we were just trying to get him to stop talking about other people at the top of his lungs. Each time someone else came out and lit up he was off again.

Has anyone else been in a similar situation? Apart from moving away from the smoker, what did you do?


fliss said...

It's such a pain and there doesn't seem to be much you can do about it apart from go inside or leave. That's always what we've done, mainly because smoke smell makes me want to chuck. Generally in these types of situations I'll say something along the lines of 'yes I heard you and we can talk about it later', change subject & distract as much as possible, then once out of earshot explain that yes the person is in a wheelchair/ a bit wobbly because they have something wrong with their brain(Parkinson's)/ doing something naughty (littering generally)/ etc and it's rude to point/talk about people you don't know in front of them when they can hear. Mind you - I only have about a 50% success rate with that....