As sick as I can get of Russia, it’s nothing compared to
how tiresome I find America these days.
Smokin’ Hot
The Americans have become big “banners.” Since I’ve
been expatriated, for example, the use of trans fat has
been prohibited in New York City, California and
various other less interesting locations (like Maryland).
Trans fat? The stuff in butter? Really?
Over bagels one Sunday morning in Suburbia, someone
pointed out to me that bans work. Once cigarette
smoking was prohibited in public spaces, lots of people
gave the habit up simply because it was too annoying to
huddle and skulk.
Well, of course they work. That doesn’t surprise me in
the least. So why don’t we Americans just ban
everything that’s dangerous: like salt, sugar, alcohol,
not using sunscreen every day, unprotected sex, driving,
toxic relationships with our family members and falling
in love with the wrong guy?
By Deidre Dare
In my opinion one of the best things about living
in Moscow is that I can smoke anywhere I please.
This has become even more important to me of late
because I’ve been back in the USA for the past two
months - a place where smokers are forced to hurriedly
suck down their fags huddled on street corners or
skulking in deserted alleyways.
At the moment, there is nothing nicer than the prospect
of going back to Moscow and sitting down at the bar in
Pushkin with a gin martini and a cigarette. And if you
added a tormented Russian man to the mix, I’d be in
Ironically, there’s actually no solid proof that smoking
harms you at all (they never tell you THAT, do they?)
but there is that stress does. So while we’re at it, let’s
ban stress too. After all, it’s a silent killer that is
reportedly responsible for 60-90% of illnesses in the
I’ve seen ankle-less people, people with four chins and
even people whose knees and eyes have disappeared
under layers of puckered blubber.
And the Surgeon General wants to worry about my
smoking a cigarette in-between my salad course and my
He or she obviously hasn’t spent much time at Tyson’s
Rumour has it that we have no “rule of law” in Russia and maybe we don’t. But I prefer that situation to the
situation we now have in the USA, which I refer to as
the “Law of Rules.”
Being back in America feels like being a seven year old
again: you’re not allowed to do anything without asking
your parents first.
And then they just say “no.”
If I stay here much longer I’ll end up doing something
crazy like joining the Tea Party or hiding out in a cabin
in Oregon and becoming the next Unabomber.
As strange as it sounds, I feel a lot freer in Moscow than
I do in the “land of the free.” Moscow has a live and let
live philosophy I’m totally down with.
But the real reason I find all these smoking bans in
America so annoying is because the single unhealthiest
thing a person can do is be overweight.
Or, now that I think about it, our philosophy in Moscow
is more James Bond-esque than plain old live and let
And, my God, these people over here are grotesquely
I mean in this ever-changing world in which we live in:
For the love of God, let’s please “live and let die.”
Walking through any shopping centre in the States is
enough to make one gag: it’s nothing less than a freak
Almost everyone shuffling through these suburban
malls looks like the damned Elephant Man.