December 5, 2006


Do you ever hear reader comments on a news show, and start yelling at your TV? But you realize it's futile to carry the debate on any further, so you sadly have to let it go.

Unless you have your own website.

A woman called into Live@5:30 last night, a show I occasionally guest on (oh, Lawrence? How about more occasionally?). She was taking umbrage at remarks the previous night from one of the hosts, Donna Skelly.

Apparently, she felt that Donna had no right, no right at all, to take smokers to task for lighting up in their car with their kids in there. Or their homes. Those are her kids, dammit, and she will abuse them any way she sees fit. Or something like that.

For the record, I like Donna. She's funny, she's smart and she's never at a loss for words. It's handy to have those attributes if you're going to spar with people. Politically, Donna and I are pretty much opposites, which makes for better interaction. I respect her, which means we can disagree without resorting to the blundering, stupid name-calling some of the viewers have mastered. And then I ask her where she got her shoes.

Anyway, to the viewer? SMOKING IN YOUR CAR WITH YOUR KIDS? No, lady, I do not have to wait until I'm making your car and insurance payments for you before I tell you what you are doing is immoral and should be illegal. I do not have to pay your mortage before I tell you that subjecting your children to a cocktail of toxic by-products is abusive, dangerous and selfish. Your habit, your choice. Sure, for YOU. Children tethered to carseats (you do put them in carseats, right?)in a gas chamber? Not so much choice.

Do me a favour. Take a trip to the Firestone Clinic, or any other facility that specializes in respiratory illnesses. Spend a little time with anyone who has emphysema or other related lung disease. Watch someone die s-l-o-w-l-y, as my father did, strapped to an oxygen tank and gasping for every breath, in between coughing fits that make them spit up little pieces of their lungs, bit by bit.

My father never smoked. Ever. He worked at Dofasco - the air in this town, indeed in this whole Windsor - Hamilton - Toronto corridor is toxic enough to kill us.

My father lived, and ultimately died, protecting and providing for his family. He never wanted any of us to have to work in that environment, but he knew by choosing it, at a time when it was one of the best jobs around, that we would never have to.

There was a nobility in my father's death that I didn't really see in his life. He was my Dad. But every decision he made was to take care of his family, keep them safe from harm, and protect them from all the things parents imagine they have any control over.

To listen to you spewing that you have the right to subject your children to this is intolerable. When you have a child, you enter into a convenant to do the best you can with the information you have. You are certainly entitled to make mistakes, to learn as you go, to ask for help. But to intentionally decide to place their health in danger, in the face of all the information you DO have is more noxious than the cigarettes themselves.

And we wonder why some kids don't respect their parents. The parents don't deserve it.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bravo! Kills me when I see it too. My husband has to physically restrain me in the car from getting out and screaming my face off at the offenders. Thanks for letting them have it.

Al's girl (another one)

December 05, 2006 1:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Once again, Lorraine, thank you for the opportunity to spew forth my view...

I not only agree wholeheartedly with both Donna and yourself regarding the "immoral" implications of smoking while driving with children (or any other "captive passengers"), but I'd also like to know why it's not illegal???

Seems to me that there has been one heck of a lot of lobbying to rid us of those reckless folks who use their cell phones while driving. Would someone please explain to me the difference in danger level between placing a telephone call (or worse, texting a message) compared to "lighting up" while driving (that is, aside from the caustic factor).

I can't help but believe that if any of the previously mentioned actions were taken, not only the offending driver, but also the "trapped" occupants (both child or adult) of their car (not to mention, oncoming traffic) are equally at risk.

Just curious...

December 05, 2006 2:34 PM  

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