Since setting the Mounties upon Guitar Hero and his wife, the white trash renters to our north have not been an issue. For the most part we so seldom saw them that Rob didn’t realize she worked at his plant and their recent newborn addition was a surprise to us.
But with the new spawn came unexpected emergence from their four-walls and a roof cocoon and they took to sitting on the front porch with their toddler for smoke breaks. The owners of the house are militant about smoking indoors and apparently Mama Hero, having done her duty with two children under the age of two, is now able to indulge in what appears to be quite the addiction.
I think smoking is the ultimate dummy tax from a financial perspective as well as a health stance, but the thing about smoking that really bugs me is that I don’t want to and yet I do by virtue of living around smokers who don’t want smoke in their own homes but think nothing of blowing it into mine.
Our front windows are open all the time during the summer to aid the circulation and keep the house cool. Like most people here, we don’t have central air. It really is an unnecessary expense. The neighbors’ second hand smoke snakes in and fills the lower level of the house and so windows must be closed. Not a big deal? Well, some people are more philosophical about this than I am, but it’s not just a smelly annoyance for me. It aggravates allergies and kicks up my asthma and both have long ranging consequences in terms of reduced ability to exercise and increased need of medication.
I have done nothing but endure smoking neighbors. Creepy Neighbor smoked and I was forced to keep windows closed pretty much all the time in the warm weather. He was a chain smoker. I seldom saw him without a cigarette in hand. The house before that I had to contend with Will smoking. Yeah, irony, but my afflictions worsened considerably with the stress of caring for him and the single working mom gig. Will, to his credit, quit. He promised me he would and he did. His illness however was already in play and he had lapses that he blamed on the hypnotist he saw,
“I think that guy did something to my brain,” he would say.
The apartments I lived in always had at least one smoker who had to sit upwind when puffing but ironically, I had less trouble with smokers when I was in university than I had at any point in my life despite the fact that this was pre-anti smoking era, smokers were a lot more considerate and it seemed, to me, that fewer people smoked.
The Hero family moved this past weekend. Loaded up Clampett style and are gone. The last time the house vacated it was empty most of the summer. Let’s hope for a similarly ghost-like situation. Rentals out here seem to be sitting empty longer now that housing prices have fallen a tad and the upgrader projects are stalled. We’ll breathe easier for a while.