Last evening, I went out onto the back porch to enjoy a cigarette and some peace and quiet. Things were going along very nicely. My king size, non-filtered cigarette glowed and crackled happily as I drew on it and filled my mouth and lungs with its luxurious essence. Then, the peace and quiet was shattered when from over the wall separating my yard from the neighbor’s came the sound of a door opening and a number of people stepping out onto their patio.
I should take a moment, here, to explain that here in Phoenix (unlike some other parts of the country) we build walls between houses instead of fences, or no divider at all, because we understand what grievous nuisances neighbors can be.
Anyway, I was in the process of reconciling myself to the noise pollution of people talking and laughing amongst themselves when, with shocking suddenness, things took a disgusting turn for the worse.
The light southerly breeze, which had been making lazy patterns with my smoke as it drifted away, all of a sudden enveloped me in a horrendous stench. Being rather on the short side, it took a few moments to locate something to stand on so I could see over the wall and try to identify just what activity was going on next door that was assaulting my olfactory organ with such ferocity.
My worst suspicions were confirmed when once my head popped up above the wall and I could take in the scene thus exposed. Sure enough, those people were exposing bloody bits of animal to a briskly burning fire pit. Flames leapt up as animal juices dripped onto the glowing coals, and a bluish-white smoke rose in substantial volume from this disgusting mess.
“Do you not realize that your smoke is polluting my air and ruining my cigarette enjoyment?” I asked of no particular member of the group.
“Mind your own business,” was the rejoinder from a young man whose spatula baton and apron identified him as the Master of Ceremonies at this animal burning.
“Do you not care that now I’ll have the devil getting the smell of your burnt flesh out of my clothes? Is it of no concern to you that this red meat you’re about to ingest is bad for your health, and for all we know just the fumes from it could be bad for mine? Are you oblivious to the fact that you stink after engaging in that activity and subject others to your smelly ways?” I responded, giving him the entire litany of common complaints all in one breath.
“Go to Hell” was my reward for attempting to illuminate these cretins.
There should be a law banning cookers and eaters from engaging in their noxious activity any place where it can infringe on the right of others to breath the air of their choice.