Before I begin, I just heard that former Congressman Mark Foley’s father died at 85. It’s always touching to see a son be able to give his father one final moment of pride before his passing. One can only hope that the Reverend Ted Haggard has a similar opportunity.

Speaking of smoking, I’ve been doing some thinking about this, and I think it’s time to ban it across the board.

Belmont, California has just become the first city to ban smoking entirely, with the exception of single family detached residences. This is completely outrageous. Why are people still being allowed to smoke in their homes? Even if a resident lives alone, did you know that second-hand smoke was responsible for the deaths of 140,041 dogs, cats and random pet vermin last year? I got that stat from the same people who seem to know exactly how hot it’ll be in 100 years and yet can’t tell us what the overnight low in Scranton will be two weeks from Tuesday – so I know it’s reliable.

There are some good reasons to ban smoking. Here are only a few:

10. It destroys innocent life. Some women are wheezing so bad that they can barely make it to the abortion clinic.

9. The government would lose huge amounts of tax money, and be forced to turn to taxing trans-fatty foods. When a Whopper costs $35, our much needed weight loss will be greatly facilitated.

8. If smoking is illegal across the board, there’s a good chance we’ll be able to throw Sean Penn in jail.

7. There would be no possibility that television ads encouraging people not to smoke do nothing more than remind teens to smoke, which can ultimately cause emphysema for everybody else in the free condom line.

6. If we make it illegal to not only smoke, but to drink alcohol, eat meat, drive SUV’s, display Christian symbols, use chemicals on our lawns, hunt, fish, build additions on our homes, shop at Wal-Mart and wear fur – we’ll have much more available time and be in better condition to bash George W. Bush for stomping on our privacy rights.

5. When smoking bans have been instituted in prisons, it has drastically lowered the number of cases of chronic cough in murderers, rapists and pedophiles while providing the additional benefit of removing the main method of payment in the illicit prisoner trade industry.

4. Once smoking is banned, we can focus on eradicating the real killer: running on the playground.

3. The government often invests in big tobacco stock and uses some of the dividend money to buy ads to tell us not to smoke. This counterproductive practice would come to an end, allowing Uncle Sam to instead invest in distilleries and use the dividend money to buy ads telling us not to drink.

2. Courtney Love was almost killed last year after lighting up after sex and accidentally setting fire to the bag on her head. Similar accidents can be avoided nationally.

1. Smoking contributes to global warming, and Al Gore’s dartboard and Magic 8-ball are never wrong.

So, if you’re the kind of person who freaks out because a terrorist detonated a belt-bomb — and your first thought is that you’re afraid it might have contained asbestos — then let’s get to work to ban smoking and anything else people do that we don’t like. By banning these things and creating a healthier world, we’ll be able to celebrate what this country is all about: Freedom!


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