Smoking should be banned in parks and on beaches, and in streets and on pathways, and on the outdoor balconies and verandahs of private houses. It should be banned in gardens, into which and out of which the winds can blow and carry away exhaled smoke – to other gardens, and to parks and streets and pathways. It should be banned on top of mountains and in valleys, on plains and steppes, in deserts. It should be banned on highways and freeways and backroads. It should be banned on the open sea.
What if a non-smoker should get a whiff of some stray smoke? What if he hates the smell? What if she can’t stand the sight of a smoker smoking? What if either of them can’t stand the sight of a smoker, full stop? What if children are present?
Not only smoking should be banned. Pictures of smoking should be excised from every old book, censored from every old movie, cut from every TV programme. People who smoke should be howled at, mocked, have anti-smoking pamphlets glued to the bottoms of their shoes. Their clothes should be confiscated once a month and shredded and they should be the ones to have to bear the cost of buying new garments. Giant posters showing smokers as pariahs should fill the public squares. Sounds of smoking should be broadcast, followed by the noise of violent retching. Up and down the land, the great and the famous should be shown vomiting at the sight of a cigarette. People should weep over such folly, hide in corners, moan in their beds. They should cover their eyes, block their ears, invoke the names of Purity, Virtue, Light.
Hey, buddy, got a light?
To paint the world in red and white