Well apparently it’s not. Stacey and I were in NYC last weekend for our son’s wedding. A great time was had by all. Monday morning we got up and walked to a nearby coffee shop called Think Coffee. We had a cup of very good coffee (although there was some confusion among the staff as to who roasted their coffee, and a bagel (sesame for me, everything bagel for Stacey).

Anyway, halfway through breakfast a girl and her companion came out of the shop, sat down at one of the sidewalk tables, and lit up a cigarette. So I moseyed inside and asked the barista whether, under New York’s new smoking laws, one was allowed to smoke under the awning.

“They are not” said the barista. “Why? Is someone out there smoking?”

Not just someone, I noted, but an employee of the coffee shop. “Well,” they paused, “I guess we should, um….”

“Fire her?” I said, half in jest.

Whereupon a customer (in his early 30’s I’d say) piped up “I say live and let live.”

Me: Really. That’s interesting because that’s what I say as well. Let me live without breathing in cigarette smoke.

Him: Your advocating her being fired was a bit extreme, I’d say.

Me: I said it (half) in jest. Nevertheless it is against the law and reflects poorly on the

Him: You can always vote with your feet.

Me: Let me get this straight. You’re suggesting that I, what, walk away in the middle of my breakfast? Or should I just sit there and breathe in cigarette smoke? You do know by now, like anybody who can read, that cigarette smoke is a class A carcinogen.

Him: So are a lot of things. Deal with it.

Me: And that guy outside with his baby in the stroller, should he just sit there as well? Or perhaps he should grab his baby and run away. Is that what you’re suggesting?

Him: That’s not what I’m suggesting at all. Goodbye.

Me: Goodbye. And don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.

(Ok, I didn’t really say that. After all, this is still New York. Or, as a good friend of mine once said: The subways here are very safe. Just don’t make eye contact with anybody).