Repost: Smokeless in Seattle

From our friend Kevin Godbee at

Smokeless in Seattle

Let me paint you a picture with a my word-brush. A police officer leans on his car near the sidewalk of one of the more hipster neighborhoods of Seattle. In between sips of his delicious coffee, the officer sees three young adults, around 21 years old, shuffle out of a dispensary, guffawing and talking drowsily. One of them carries a plastic bag with a very recognizable leaf splattered all over it. Despite the roasted coffee inches from his nose, the officer detects the not-so-subtle aroma of cannabis wafting from the three bohemians. His face contorts as he resists the temptation to stop them—old habits die hard. He sighs, takes another sip from his coffee, and lets them go. Nothing to be done.

A couple of minutes later, he spots a gentleman sitting in the park across the street. He notices a plume of smoke rising from the man. After being unable to fulfill his sense of justice mere minutes earlier, he gulps down the dregs of his coffee, tosses the cup into a nearby bin, and storms over, propelled by an over-inflated sense of power and purpose.

When the officer arrives, his sees a man in his later years, puffing on a well-loved briar and tossing out breadcrumbs for the local wildlife. “Sir,” the officer says, “you know this is a public park.” “Of course, officer,” the wizened gentleman says after taking the briar out of his mouth. “I’ve been coming here every Sunday for twenty-three years. I used to come here with my wife; I would smoke my pipe and she would feed the pigeons. I always thought it was absurd. After all, they’re birds. Now that she’s gone, though, it doesn’t feel right not feeding the damned things.”

Throughout this entire time, the officer has been glaring at the man’s pipe. “Sir, this is a public park. There’s no smoking in…..”

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