Posted in Around Town, Issues

The First Graffiti of Summer

But first, a bit about Santa Monica.

I celebrated Father’s Day by taking my dad to Santa Monica, the town that maintains a firing squad for anyone caught smoking anywhere. We sat on the patio sidewalk in front of this place, and my dad asked the waiter server if he could smoke. He knew the answer would be no, but he wanted to see what the guy would say. Server-dude said it’s okay to smoke six feet away from the eating area.

Minutes later, another restaurant patron lit up while sitting at his table. I’m not sure if server-dude saw this or not. No one was at the table next to the guy. In fact, no one was within six feet of this guy. No one was offended. No one said anything.

Later we walked through Palisades Park. I pointed out the “No Smoking” signs. We walked out to the pier, which is also a no smoking area. I saw two elderly tourists, a European-looking couple, both with a cigarette in hand. I thought how incredibly ridiculous it would be for a police officer to approach them and request that they extinguish their smoking materials.

Aggressive anti-smoking ordinances are only effective if they can be enforced. When ordinances are so comprehensive as to be unenforceable, they just end up being silly. Santa Monica, you’ve gone too far. Everyone, even smokers, knows that smoking is bad, even the blind smokers that have to buy the special cigarette packs with the surgeon general’s warning in Braille (not really, I just made that up). I can’t imagine Santa Monica wants to yank cigarettes out of tourists hands and end up losing tourism income. Or will nicotine replacement soon be available at the Visitor’s Center?

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It’s been weeks, people, WEEKS since I’ve seen any egregious graffiti in my little corner of District 1. That really doesn’t mean much considering how I’ve been chained to my desk working on a project. Anyway, this little Father’s Day gift was deposited at the northeast corner of Lincoln and Montana.

In fairness, the WWMHS was not on the wall. It’s just that I figured out that I could put text on photos, so I had to try it out.