The idiocy of people, part #2May 04
Imagine, for a moment, the distance between your nipples.
On Friday night a couple of friends, my wife and I went for drinks at an establishment called “Cobblestone Pub” inside a cozy little place called Monte Casino.
Actually, we were planning on going to a place called @Monte but upon arrival found the air in the place to be dank with the scent of overdrawn credit cards and perfume purloined from Edgars. We immediately opted for more common pastures, “Cobblestone Pub” winning the ballot.
Let me set the scene: the entrance to the pub is right next door to one of the entrances to the Monte Casino complex. Looking at the entrance to the pub, the Monte entrance is to your left.
To get to the outside area where we were seated, one walks through the pub and out a door on the far side of the bar. The door opens to a covered, outside seating area with several tables, demarcated by a steel tube banister. Standing with the door to your back, immediately to your right, there is a gap in the banister (presumably designed for pedestrians to walk through) blocked by two thin chains that can be unhooked to allow unimpeded passage.
Around the corner to your left, right next door to the Monte Casino entrance, is a similar arrangement with two chains that may be moved to allow a person to pass. Three meters from this chain, at the entrance of the casino is the ashtray/dustbin arrangement typically found at entrances to non smoking establishments, with flocks of smokers circling it.
The pub is mostly non smoking, inside and outside, with the smoking area on the second floor, accessable by a staircase.
At this time, I would ask you to peruse the picture of the establishment below.
As you can see in the picture, we sat right next to the banister. My wife and I quit smoking several years ago but since my friends still smoke, we thought we’d accommodate their nasty addiction and seat ourselves in a position where they would not be terribly inconvenienced when they felt ‘the urge’.
Shortly after arriving and ordering the ritualistically required double vodka and Red Bull, The Hamish felt the urge to burn a tobacco stick.
Being the conscientious guy he is, stood up from the table an proceeded to move the chain (located a meter or so away from the table) that was blocking the easy access to the ‘outside’ where smoking was allowed.
The fricking world almost came to an end.
Immediately he was beset on all sides by rabid security guards. They appeared from nowhere, like a pack of wild Hyenas in the bush homing in on a rotting carcass; foaming at the mouth and chomping at the bit for an easy kill.
Apparently, moving that chain to go ‘outside’ for a smoke was a HUGE FRICKING MISTAKE. The security guards made it abundantly clear that nobody, ever, under any circumstances would ever be allowed to walk through that gap in the railing for a smoke and woe betide the bastard who dared try.
Yes, you were allowed to smoke ‘outside’ the railing. No, you were not allowed to smoke ‘inside’ the railing. Not, under any circumstances was anybody allowed to climb over the railing, move the chains or lean over the railing.
The ONLY acceptable option to Captain Security was the following: turn around, walk back into the pub, fight your way through Friday night crowd, turn right at the door, walk through the front door, turn right, walk around the ‘outside’ area demarcated by the railing and come to stand right there, in front of the table where we were sitting.
The distance between where The Hamish smoked his cigarettes legally and where he sat eating his food was equal to the distance between your nipples. And in between, was thin air, a hip high steel tube railing and a pack of rabid security personnel.
To GET to where he could smoke a cigarette, he had to walk about a hundred meters, possibly more.
Now, you might argue that the ‘rules’ exist so that people could not skip the cover charge. There was no cover charge. You might argue that walking straight out was a security risk; however nobody stopped us from passing things (anything) to each other while The Hamish and her majesty, Rita of Benoni, was outside. One might think that ‘casino robbers’ could pass assault rifles over the railing to each other, but since there were two security guards who’s sole purpose in life was to watch that piece of railing (and us I guess, ALL bloody night), I seriously doubt that to be the case.
Once we got over the idiocy of the matter, no small amount of entertainment was to be had by acting as if we were about to climb the railing but not actually doing it… repeatedly.
Quite a bit of amusement was also enjoyed when another new group of patrons joined the next table, also wanting a smoke, unaware of the draconian railing laws. They had similar plans for scaling the banister that were also ruined by the cat-like reflexes of the highly trained, banister guarding combat security personnel.
When you get right down to it, the smoke from the smokers drifted through the entire ‘inside’ area anyway and the ONLY benefit resulting from the insane ‘railing’ rules and harsh anti smoking laws were that the smokers burnt an extra half calorie for having to walk around the whole place for every smoke.
The idiocy of people will never cease to amaze me. So much so that there isn’t even anything to learn from this story.