Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The Carseat and the Smoker

These were written by Jillian Tyrer
Reprinted with permission

Phone call...

"Ring, ring"....

Jen: Hi Tina, OMG, you'll never ever guess what happened!

Tina: What??

Jen: Okay, you know my friend Pat? She was driving to the store this morning and got in an accident and her baby's carseat malfunctioned and that poor little baby is in the hospital now! That disgusting carseat company has been knowingly leaving out this important clip thingy that anchors the carseat because it's too expensive to produce or something ridiculous like that. Isn't that awful?

Tina: Are you serious?

Jen: Yup. He's not in such good shape. And the worst part is that I have the exact same carseat. I am sooooo getting a new one today! And you know what, I am seriously calling all my friends to tell them what happened and to tell them the name of that carseat so it won't happen to them. Oh ya, and I'm also calling the tv station so they can broadcast the name of that carseat.

Tina: Why? Why would you do that? You CAN'T do that!

Jen: Huh? Why not???

Tina: Well, you're just going to make all those people who use that carseat feel guilty.

Jen: Are you serious Tina? People NEED to know this information. Those carseats are DANGEROUS! That little boy could die! What's more important? Some hurt feelings or kids' lives????

Tina: You are such a bitch! Don't you have any feelings? You don't know any of those people's situations! What if they HAVE to use that carseat? What if they don't have a choice, huh? Ya, smart girl, what about that? What if they can't afford another carseat and then you go and tell them the only carseat they have could kill their kid. What then? Man, you are such a bitch.

Jen: Are you for real? They could borrow a carseat or call the manufacturer or use the bus. There are options you know.

Tina: Options, shmoptions. Not everyone lives in this perfect fantasy world with all these fancy options like you, Jen. You must feel so smug with all your IN-FOR-MA-TION and all your lovely OP-TIONS. Now, all these poor mothers are going to feel like such shit if they choose to keep using this carseat. Now, they're going to feel like you're saying they're killing their babies if they keep the carseat! Seriously Jen, I can't even talk to you anymore.

Jen: Am I on Candid Camera here? Are you serious Tina? We're talking about babies! Babies and death! Babies and their safety!

Tina: How many babies do you personally know who have died from using a carseat? How many, huh? C'mon, how many??? Listen, if the carseat was dangerous, don't you think the company would have said something, you know, like a press release? See, I watch the news every single day and I read the newspaper and I've never heard of anything about this carseat, okay? So, there!

Jen: Whew! Wow! I seriously am starting to loose it here with you Tina! The proof is that my friend's kid is in the hospital! What do you want to happen? Do you want something bad to happen to your kid so you will finally believe it?

Tina: Proof huh? Really? Right, okay Jen...... whatever...... you seriously are so mean and I can't even believe that you are considering making this information public......

Jen: banging head against wall.....................

And so it continues....................

Telephone call....

Ring, ring........

Nancy: Good Morning, this is the American Cancer Society, Nancy speaking, how may I help you?

Barbara: Uuum, ya... Hi.... Listen, I was just at my doctor's office and I picked up one of your information pamphlets about reducing the risk of cancer and it says that smoking increases the risk of cancer.

N: Yes Madam....

B: Well, I'm a smoker and I just want to tell that I am a very offended by what this pamphlet says.

N: Excuse me?

B: Ya, how dare you make me feel guilty for smoking. I mean, I have feelings too, ya know. I've been smoking for 32 years and I'm just fine and I really take offence to you implying that smoking causes cancer.

N: Madam, smoking does cause cancer.

B: How do you KNOW that Nancy? If smoking was that dangerous, why do they sell cigarettes then huh? Answer that!

N: Madam, this is not our opinion. Studies have been carried out for 60 years on millions of people and it is a proven fact that smoking directly causes cancer. It also causes a host of other medical conditions that affect the quality of life of the smoker. Smoking also can cause cancer in non smokers, it affects the quality of air, leads to increased pollution and places an increased burden on the health system due to the increased medical problems associated with smoking.

B: Listen bitch, are you calling me a burden? How dare you!!! I don't know one single person who has died from cancer you know! Not one single person! All my family smokes and we're all fine.

N: Okay, listen. Perhaps YOU personally have not met anyone who has died from cancer or emphysema but that doesn't erase the fact that others have. I'm not sure where you are going with this, but I'm starting to get frustrated here. Smoking DOES cause cancer and I'm not too sure why we are even having this conversation.

B: Why the fuck are you attacking me??? Why are you judging me??? I had no choice! I had to smoke! You don't know me at all! Both my parents smoked so I grew up in the house with it all around me! I was addicted by the time I was a little kid! What do you expect? Stop judging me!

N: Excuse me, but each time you light a cigarette, you are making a decision to smoke. You are making a decision to do something that has been proven to be harmful. I cannot help it if knowing that information makes you feel bad.

B: Stupid bitch! Who the hell do you think you are? I didn't have a choice! Aren't you listening to me?

N: Madam, please. This information is important and people deserve the right to know it. Smoking is harmful and deadly. It is a proven fact. The American Cancer Society is dedicated to dispelling the myths about smoking and promoting awareness. It is not about assuaging people's guilt about why they chose to smoke. If this information bothers you, perhaps you might want to consider quitting.

B: How dare you! Smoking is MY CHOICE! I have the right to smoke!!!

N: I thought you said you didn't have a choice!

B: Listen bitch! Why are you making me feel guilty? Your information makes me feel like shit and I don't think it's fair.

N: Well, perhaps it makes you feel guilty and you don't like hearing it, but maybe other people do want to hear it so they can pass on the information to a loved one who may be considering smoking and who doesn't know the risks. I suggest you not read the pamphlet then if you are unwilling to accept the information.

B: Wait a sec! Smoking is a choice. People should be allowed to smoke. It's their body and they should be allowed to do with it what they want How dare you make them feel guilty about that!

N: Listen Madam. I really don't have the patience for this. If you don't want to accept the truth, that's fine. But please don't prevent others from hearing the message because of your hurt feelings.

B: Bitch! What did you just say?

and on and on and on and on and on ......................................................................................................................

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