The Breakfast Table

Smoke in My Eyes

What ho, Charles. (And I mean that in every way.)

Is it over so soon? Time flies when you’re pontificating, doesn’t it? I do hate to be the last one to leave a party.

Yes, Monica was said to be stalking someone. There were even sort of the two obligatory sources, since another guy at the party had heard same complaint from same producer. I mean, this is a troubled girl/woman. Just for cheap frills, I also happen to know one Hollywood publicist who was the proud recipient of one of those scarves she knitted. She spent a lot of time this summer at his place, poolside, along with the comely lads who while away the hours there. There, at least, she faces little danger of seduction.

As for your change of subject, I know you to be a committed smoker and I can imagine how deeply it offends your libertarian self to imagine the smoking cops lounging in wait. But I say smoking inflicts a harm on third parties, including the waiters, so the state does have an interest in regulating. A cigarette could be compared with a slow-acting Saturday night special, as far as I’m concerned. Especially since taxpayers like us have to foot some of the resulting medical bills. If people want to open smoking bars, I think that’s legal (there are all sorts of cigar places out here, so there must be some provision in the law). But as the mother of a real child, I don’t want some desperado like you blowing smoke rings toward my baby at the pleasant neighborhood newsstand-cafe here in Westwood. I don’t want that nasty stuff wafting through the already-befouled air on planes. The thing I don’t understand about you libertarians, really, is that you ignore history. We have an Occupational Safety and Health Administration because employers were (are) killing people. We have a National Labor Relations Board because employers were (are) screwing people. The laws in both cases are undoubtedly flouted much more frequently than they are overzealously enforced. Richard Cohen (who could use a little regulating himself) wrote a great common-sense column about the need for regulation several years ago. The fact that dumb people apply regulations stupidly shouldn’t surprise anyone. But as with our judicial system, we do the best we can.

I read yesterday where one of the Net moguls said something like, “Privacy is gone. Get over it.” Did you see that? If you did, you must be apoplectic–gasping for air with your diminished-capacity lungs or desperately seeking Monica’s prescription. Even I–with my hearty appetite for government intrusion and with so very little to hide–got the chills from that one. “They” can trace everything you do with every piece of equipment in your home. Where will it lead?

Oh well. Everything from regulation to religion gets screwed up in the hands of the masses.

Before I go, I will give you only partial credit on the question of Monica’s motives for filing her false affidavit. From the bit I saw, it was clear that the biggest factor was a desire to spare herself the ensuring humiliation. Now that the humiliation ensued, she seems to be embracing it in her usual unbridled fashion. Back to the pool, girl!

And with that, I suppose. I’ve had the last word.

Hoping you’ll try a nicotine patch,