Smoky Joe

Smoky Joe

“We who are of the non-smoking variety don’t want your smoke on us. You know why? Because it stinks, which in turn means, you stink.”

By Rachel Birdsell

The Giant Coffee Cyborg known as Starbucks, has been under fire lately, namely because they are of the devil and they hate smokers. Not the kind of smokers you use in the backyard to make delicious barbecue, but rather the people who smoke cigarettes. Starbucks has implemented a ban on any smoking 25 feet from their stores. Yes, smokers, we realize that Starbucks can’t enforce the ban unless they actually own the property that’s 25 feet from the store. So, you can stop howling about that part of it, but feel free to keep wailing about the part where Starbucks is taking away your right to inflict your odious habit on the rest of us. I mean, how dare Starbucks stop the people who are slowing killing themselves with nicotine from slowly killing the people who are walking into a Starbucks to slowly kill themselves with their sugary, double mocha, triple caffeine, latte that has been frapped into a dither? I think that last sentence should make it blatantly obvious that I don’t frequent Starbucks.

Seriously, smokers, chill out. We who are of the non-smoking variety don’t want your smoke on us. You know why? Because it stinks, which in turn means, you stink. There’s just no nice way to put it. Cigarette smoke stinks, especially when it’s been marinating in someone’s hair and clothing in between showers. I know that we former smokers are the worst about bitching about cigarette smoke, but it’s only because we have emerged from the rank dark side and stand glorious on this brighter side where we don’t reek and where we can breathe without coughing.

I know smokers like to play the victim and say that they’re being persecuted because they should be able to smoke wherever they want outside, but I think they’re being a bit dramatic about it. Would you want an exterminator standing outside dousing the Starbucks patio with pesticide while you’re trying to enjoy your hipster coffee? Of course not, because pesticide stinks and isn’t healthy to inhale. You know what else fits that description? I’ll give you a hint: It rhymes with cigarette smoke.

As far as Starbucks being of the devil, well, it is. I knew this before Pastor Steven Andrews of USA Christian Ministries told me, too. He thinks we need to boycott companies which endorse marriage equality like Starbucks because they are, “working against Jesus and leading people to sin and to possibly go to hell.” Steve also spouted that “If you love Jesus, you won’t give your money to those working against Jesus, our Savior.” Obviously Pastor Steve is unaware that Jesus is actually on the board of directors at Starbucks, so by doing business with them, you’re actually helping pay Jesus’ salary. Jesus is also the one who came up with the smoking ban. So, smokers and Pastor Steve, and especially smokers named Pastor Steve, need to stop crabbing about Starbucks. You can still smoke and be a homophobe; the rest of us just ask that you please do both in the comfort of your own home.

Rachel Birdsell is a freelance writer and artist. You can drop her a line at

Categories: Commentary