INDIANAPOLIS – In light of the Indiana Supreme Court’s decision last May declaring it illegal to resist unlawful police entry into their homes and the recently passed National Defense Authorization Act of 2012, a provision of which permits indefinite detention without due process for any citizen deemed likely to engage or support a violent act, the majority of Hoosiers view a pending smoking ban in public places as no big whoop.
“Seriously?” responded Brad Tarlack, 31, of Speedway, when asked about the proposed anti-smoking measure. “When I realize it’s now okay that the police can come and do as they please in my home, and I could also get thrown in jail for, like, ever without evidence of actual wrongdoing, I can honestly say I don’t care about not being allowed to light up in a voting booth. All things considered, it’s no big whoop.”
“Really?” said Misty Felhorne, 46, of Hamilton County. “Not only do I have to stand by while some drunk cop crashes his motorcycle into my screened-in porch and calls me a meth dealer, I don’t even get a phone call if Starsky plants a Koran on me to cover his butt. So yeah, compared to that, not being able to have a cigarette ten feet from a Denny’s is no big whoop.”
Even local bar and restaurant owners, for whom the ban’s passage could arguably bring financial hardship, seem lackadaisical in their reaction to the proposed legislation.
“Honestly?” said Tab Clinger, 28, manager of Tabby’s Pub in Beech Grove. “I thought it already went through. I mean, no one’s showed up and told me my customers can’t smoke or anything. I just figure it’ll be dealt with another way if someone decides I’m in violation of something.”
“You know,” continued Clinger, “the police will sneak into my home in the middle of the night without a warrant, shoot my dog, throw a hood over my head and cart me off to Guantanamo where I will rot until the end of my days without hope of ever seeing a court of law. Something like that.”
When informed enforcement of the ban would likely entail a series of warnings and fines, Mr. Clinger seemed genuinely surprised. “For real? Huh. Well, that’s no big whoop.”
While disaffected malaise was the predominant reaction among Hoosiers polled about the pending smoking ban, there were some whose reaction was generally more enthusiastic, albeit a minority.
“No, no, this is a great thing,” said Amir Hadad, 37, who recently emigrated to Indianapolis from Damascus. “This is a fine and natural thing, no smoking!”
“Let the police know they are always welcome, always welcome day or night. Please! Come over – no papers! Whenever! Have the time with my wife, take the good fingers from my children, it’s okay, it’s okay,” Mr. Hadad gushed. “It’s fine! The Larry Bird, Appleball, the pie! Take the dump in my mouth and we will call it a trip to Baskin Robbins, it’s great! Ice cream!”
Mr. Hadad even praised the SOPA bill currently under consideration in the Capitol. “No, no, the SOPA is fine! The Green Lantern is not too much on the iTunes without refund, it’s okay. No need for value-based pricing, it’s fine! Come over, use the wife, stab the children, look at the web sites, it’s okay! The Green Lantern should be twice the money. I will give you this money, this is fine! Please! No big whoop!”