Despite never being a smoker myself my tolerance threshold for a past-time that gets so many hot under the collar (not literally) is pretty high.
I’ve always been willing to adopt an “each to their own” attitude.
If people want to smoke, let them – although such an attitude obviously doesn’t stretch to Lichfield’s bad drivers, skateboarders in general, reality TV, Jamie Oliver, Thatcher…the list does go on a bit.
This easie-oasie approach to cigarettes (not forgetting cigars and pipes) explains why I felt the various anti-smoking laws introduced in recent years were a little draconian to say the least. But there is another reason why I now want the anti-smoking ban lifted – the noise.
There was a time when I used to get annoyed by the strains (in every sense of the word) of karaoke pumping out from one of any number of nearby boozers – although it has to be said that The Windmill at the bottom of Grange Lane did tend to be a habitual culprit.
On any given Friday, Saturday or Sunday night, someone would be doing a pretty grisly job of murdering “Angels” by that bloke who used to be the fat dancer in Take That, Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive” (always popular with ladies of a certain age), or any one of Neil Diamond’s timeless classics.
But at least the strangled vocals were muffled.
You would catch the odd “…I’m loving…mmm…nngghhnn…mmm…and through it AAAAALLLLLLL she….mmm…nnngghhhnnn…”. It was enough to grate, but not enough to issue a noise abatement notice.
There are times now, however, when I long for the nights when it was snatches of karaoke filling the night air.
These days, thanks to the smoking ban, the people murdering Robbie Williams are drowned out by the boozed-ed up shouting, screeching and brawling of the smokers banished to the pub car park or children’s play area by this misguided legislation.
I’m quite happy for people to be boozy and lairy – been there, done that, dribbled Guinness down my t-shirt.
But they should be doing it inside the pub and not outside for most of the night so that everyone in a 3-mile radius can hear.
If I wanted to be part of such inane conversations, I’d go inside the pub and join in rather than have to listen to them from half a mile away.
So scrap the anti-smoking legislation, give our ears a rest and let us watch the drivel served up on TV in peace.
Bring back karaoke.