CH. 18 «Smoking Indoors»



I continue to find amusement in the way smokers are viewed by the inhabitants of Mars. Ask anyone who lives elsewhere and they’ll agree: that whole world has to be smoking something! If there’s anything I remember about my image of Martians from my childhood it’s that they smoke like chimneys. I mean tobacco cigis and otherwise, as Cannabis Iapetus is practically legal on this planet. Since the turn of the century, and the Martian Green Rush, there’s been legislation in the works to treat the herb like alcohol in terms of sale, tax and penalty for possession. I would be lying if I said the availability of such green grass on Mars didn’t sway my decision to move here.

Mars is so progressive. In this forward thinking spirit the past decade has seen an unprecedented concern for human health, and smoking of cigis was, of course, banned in all indoor establishments, even in bars and restaurants. Everyone assumed it would just pass like every other crazy decree Mars had issued in the past, but it caught on like wildfire, especially to parents with little ones and parents-to-be. Go figure.

It was so successful in implementation that it was carried across the rest of Sol. Now it seems like every major city on Earth has put a ban on smokers, starting with DT and New Tros. I bet by know you can’t even smoke your pipe in Brightleaf—the capital of big tobacco on Earth. If I could think of one thing I enjoyed most about being back at home in the suburbs, it was being able to light up at the table the nano I was done nomming.

There’s just something about a filling meal and cigis that go hand in hand so well. Whether it’s relaxing the blood vessels hard at work carrying new nutrients to your body, or if it eases the flow of digestion and your bowels, or if it’s just the idea of doing the worst thing for your body right after the best thing–a cigi makes a perfect dessert. The fact that you have can’t smoke inside here is enough to make you not want to eat out at all. I’d rather just order a pizza and wait half an hour than have to step away from the table for a smoke every 20 minutes.

Diners must have lost millions from star-freighters not being able to relax and stick around for those extra two slices of cherry pie, and late night waffle units from the rockers, freaks and students that now leave after they’ve finished their meal, instead of lounging about in a vinyl booth for another hour or two until they’re hungry again. Could this be why fast food is so prolific on Mars?

The non-smokers may have won the battle, but they still think there is a war to be won. I’m sitting outside at the Gypsy Den, a cafe catering to hip youths and rebellious types. I usually get breakfast here sometime in the early afternoon—or whenever I wake up from a night of playing music with the band. But even in this indie joint where everyone sits outside because they need to have something smoldering in their tips, people the other tables tactlessly pantomime waving smoke from their face, or shoot you mean looks from behind their lattes. No, rather than accept that artists and writers are going to smoke, they have to raise a big stink about lighting up in the very refugee zones we’re restricted to. It’s not like they don’t have the entire indoor seating area to themselves to enjoy or anything either.

Nothing’s ever enough with these Martians!

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PREV: CH. 17 «Marsquake»

PREV: CH. 17 «Marsquake»

NEXT: CH. 19 «Martian Couples»

NEXT: CH. 19 «Martian Couples»


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