The sometimes loved, sometimes loathed angry, irritable Brian returns today to discuss an issue that’s bothered him for a while now: Bullshit smoking policies. In particular, a policy that both wastes your time and insults you with surprising efficiency.
As I’m beginning this post, I’m on my third attempt at getting lunch. The previous two establishments I’ve tried failed a very simple test and have officially been added to Brian’s Bullshit Boycott list. That’s right, I sick of this ridiculous crap, and I’m not gonna sit idly by and let the anti-cigar bigots continue to operate in ignorance under the radar.
Who’s on the list and how did they get there, you ask? I’ll tell you. And I’m naming names and pulling no punches. I’ve spotted bullshit and and I’m calling the bullshitters out on it. They got on my list by failing a simple two question test.
Brian’s Bullshit Detector Test
Question 1: Do you allow smoking?
If they answer no, they pass the test. I support a business’s right to go the non-smoking route. To be honest, there are places I just don’t want to smoke a cigar or smell second hand smoke. (I know, I know, that’s sacrilege. A crime almost worthy excommunication from the world of premium tobacco. I’ll do my “Hail Don Pepin” penance later.) For some reason, a sushi bar comes to mind here. (You thought I was gonna fail ‘em if they said no, huh?)
If the answer is yes, then the follow up question is asked.
Question 2: Do you allow cigar smoking?
If the answer is yes, then they’ve not only passed the test, they’ve probably just been added to my unofficial list of favorite places. However, if the answer here is no, you’ve just detected bullshit.
OK, so you’ve detected something foul in the state of Denmark, now what? Do you walk away? Do you quietly sit down and abide by the rules? Do you kick the unwitting test-taker in the Jimmy? No. (And please don’t assault the wait staff, they don’t make the rules, they only follow them.) Here’s what you do.
How to deal with a bullshit peddler
Step 1: Educate.
Because they’re not yet sure if you’re a customer yet, you have a captive audience. Tell them that cigars are made of exactly the same thing as cigarettes. In fact, it’s made of fewer things. And cigar tobacco has been aged to reduce the amount of nicotine and other chemicals naturally present in the leaves! (Cigarettes, on the other hand have been processed to increase the amount of nicotine, and contain additives to improve their burn.) Cigars both smell better and release fewer chemicals into the air, making them arguably less of a health hazard. You might be surprised, they might actually agree with you, even though they can do nothing about the policy.
Step 2: Announce your intentions.
Tell them simply, “If you don’t allow cigars, you don’t allow smoking. I cannot support an establishment with such biased and hypocritical policies. I’m taking my business elsewhere. Please pass this along to the management.” Bonus points if you take the time to fill out a comment/complaint form. Doing this makes it more likely that management will actually get your feedback. Kudos to you if you take the time to do it!
Step 3: Leave.
When it comes to the world of commerce, few things speak louder than money. If you continue to patronize a shop with ridiculous and discriminatory smoking polices, you are supporting those policies.
And the Crusader Step: Revisit And Repeat
This step is for true Knights of the Premium Leaf. Brothers of the leaf that want to go above and beyond the call of duty can return to the same establishment in three to six months and repeat the process. You never know, they might change their policies to reflect the feedback they’ve received from cigar smokers, and you might find a new cigar-friendly establishment. If you do, give them your business, and tell them why you’re there! Otherwise, you have the opportunity to strike another blow for cigars and cigar smokers in your community.
In case you haven’t noticed, there’s a war in progress. And I’m not talking about Iraq. I’m talking about the war on cigars. This might sound like a tremendous hassle, but if we want to continue to exercise our right to smoke cigars, it’s time we all adjust our dangling man-orbs and make our feelings known the way they’ll be most appreciated. With our wallets. It’s the most powerful weapon we have. (And if you haven’t done it recently, why not head over to the RTDA website and tell your congressman to knock it off with the excessive and punishing cigar tax increase?)
Oh yes, and I said I’d name names. These establishments are the first on the newly created Brian’s Bullshit Boycott list:
- Taco Mac at Lindberg (Most of them have a stict no-smoking policy, which is fine, but this one allows cigarettes, but no cigars! Bullshit!)
- Everybody’s Pizza in Virginia Highlands
- Highland Tap in Virginia Highlands