Putting Out The Fires

, , , , | Friendly | May 17, 2019

(When I was around four or five, my parents, my grandparents, and I are on a small trip through Canada. When we decide to stop at a steakhouse restaurant for lunch, my grandmother quietly complains about everyone smoking inside, despite the fact that there are “NO SMOKING” signs everywhere. This was nearly 20 years ago, so I assume the smoking laws — even in Canada — were not as strict. She doesn’t kick up a fuss or bother anyone about it, but she does continue muttering about it while she looks at the menu. Being a rule follower myself — and having smokers for parents who are very strict about smoking areas — this bothers me, as well. I ask to be excused from the table. My family allows it, thinking that I am just going to go play at the arcade. Nope. I approach one of the tables where an older couple is smoking, and I point at the “NO SMOKING” sign hanging on the wall. Mind you, we are placed pretty much in the middle of the restaurant. A little American girl in a white, frilly dress approaching a table of strangers is very noticeable.)

Me: *in a loud voice* “Excuse me, but isn’t that a ‘No Smoking’ sign on the wall?”

(Conversations go silent. The man frowns while the woman awkwardly laughs and says:)

Woman: “Yes. Yes, it is.”

Me: “Then why are you smoking?”

(The couple looked at me, then at each other, and then doused their cigarettes on a plate they were using as an ashtray. The rest of the patrons followed suit, and I happily thanked the couple before going back to my table. My grandmother was super proud and my grandpa snickered. My parents, on the other hand, decided that we needed to eat quickly and leave because it was hunting season.)

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