Goodbye

photo, cafe bar tabac le nazier Must we give up sights like this?

Cruel Smoke

by Ric Erickson

Paris:– Saturday, 29. December:–  Was up around Abbesses this eve. Caught this bar tabac in all its final glory. Smoking in public places stops in France on Wednesday, 2. January. It was supposed to stop on January 1st, but somebody whose name might be Nicolas Bling–Bling Sarkozy decided the French should be able to puff at will on the first day of the year for the last time.

photo, corner cafe, warm, winter, cozyA port in life's storm.

Look at the Nazier! This is what the French propose to toss out just so they can be politically correct like all the rest of the world's proper panty–waists. Obviously something is wrong with this notion. Look again at this beacon of good–will and joy, this haven for the tired and weary – this all–round one–stop destination for your most necessary earthly needs. You can get a lot of comfort in a tabac.

Cigarettes aren't banned and nobody has to give up smoking, except in public places – like places like the Nazier that sell tobacco and cigarettes, beer, whisky and wine, scratch and lucky Loto tickets, postage stamps and parking fine collections, pipe cleaners and roll–your–own stuff, hot dogs and croque monsieurs, salads for the pen–pushing greenies and steak–frites for the construction workers. They used to have public telephones, but they still have public toilets. What I ask, will a tabac be, without a right to smoke? A place to stand outside?

photo, smoking chickens Holy smokin' chickens!

Yes. On the TV–news they've said we can stand on a cafe terrace, in a designated ghetto, and smoke. Needless to say that some tabacs have no terrace. A café is supposed to be a place where you can be inside, with your neighbors and folks passing through, and maybe have a friendly chat at the bar – away from the parafin fumes belched out of taxis and buses, trucks and scooters, sheltered from the noise and dirt, in the warmth and mellow light.

This is what Sarkozy gives us. Forced to the street. Is that what he wants? A bunch of French people in the street, in a foul mood? If he think he can hide in Egypt we know that he has to come back and face the music. Take away our perks, lengthen the work week – overtime starts after 40 hours instead of after 35 – close the courts, fire the judges, charge us for our aspirins...

Do what you want Sarkozy, but putting us in the street isn't a good idea! We've been in the streets before you know.

A bientôt à Paris
signature, regards, ric

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