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    © Leslie Gallagher and LG Inventories (Inventories, Inspections & Testing), 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Leslie Gallagher and LG Inventories (Inventories, Inspections & Testing) with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

The Smokers Gauntlet

I went shopping today with the wife at the local shopping centre. We parked up in the free car park about 1/2 a mile from the shopping centre and proceeded to walk towards the shopping centre. As we got closer, that now familiar uneasiness came over me. My mouth turned dry and I could feel the cold sweat on the palms of my hands. The ritual would soon be upon us. Yes the same ritual that occurs thousands of times, every single day outside every single public place in the country.

I could see them waiting for us, the pariahs of modern society, the smokers. They peered at us, through their smoke clouds to see if we were smoking, hoping we were one of them and would join them in their pleasure. When they realised we weren’t,  they huddled closer together, their herd like mentality taking over them, disappointment etched on their tobacco stained faces,  knowing they were being hunted down and driven to extinction.

As we neared the entrance to the shopping centre, they grudgingly stepped aside, forming a gauntlet either side of the entrance that they knew we had to walk through. The unspoken ritual that human beings somehow adopt without any form of communication, yet we all understand what part we have to play.

I took a deep breath and placed my hand over my nose and mouth, and started to walk quickly towards the entrance, but it was too late, they started blowing their smoke at me, in my face, forcing me to breathe it in, knowing I had no choice but to endure this gauntlet that had been forced on me by over zealous governments and a nanny state. They blatantly stood inside the yellow line which said ‘no smoking beyond this line’, glaring at me, daring me to say something, knowing that the government hadn’t yet created a smoke police force to enforce the law and arrest these ‘smokers’ for breaking the law. I couldn’t though, the acrid smoke had caught the back of my throat, forcing me to exhale, and, at the same time trying not to inhale. It briefly crossed my mind to make a citizen’s arrest but I knew it was hopeless, they were still too strong, I would bide my time and wait for the right moment.

Then suddenly, we were through the doors into the shopping centre. We had made it into that smoke free haven. I breathed in deeply of what I thought would be clean air, but instead I could taste the pungency of human sweat, as a rather large, red faced lady brushed passed me on her way out. Ah, the trade-off for not breathing in smoke, I have to endure the smell of the great unwashed. Still, I haven’t heard of anyone dying from passive sweating yet, so I am assuming it’s still safe to breath in other people’s sweat.

Hmm, just had a thought there, maybe I could start a petition to get the smell of sweat banned in public places, get 100,000 people to sign up for it, and get it debated in the House of Commons. You can do things like that these days you know.

Until the next time.

© Leslie Gallagher and LG Inventories (Inventories, Inspections & Testing), 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Leslie Gallagher and LG Inventories (Inventories, Inspections & Testing) with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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