The Smokers' Guide To Post-Ban New York, Part 1: 5 Other Behavior-Bans New Yorkers Should Enforce

by Deb Sperling · May 25, 2011

    As you're undoubtedly aware, Mayor Bloomberg's ludicrous smoking ban went into effect. That means New Yorkers who light up at the beach, or in public parks or pedestrian plazas, will get a $50 fine. We're here to help with The Smokers' Guide To Post-Ban New York. Today we mourn the loss of nicotine-friendly streets by taking a look at other behaviors that should be outlawed instead.

    1. Walking Too Damn Slowly.

    Obesity is high up on the list with smoking as one of the leading causes of death in this country. We need a law in place to curb this terrible epidemic. Plus, second-hand walking -too-slow puts us all at risk: When the person in front of you walks too slow, you also have to walk too slow, and then neither of you gets enough exercise. We get that some people have legit reasons to move more slowly, like old-age, severe health problems and brand new pairs of Manolos. These people should move to the right, so everyone else can pass on the left.

    Along with this one comes walking in rows of more than two, and stopping suddenly, especially at the top of an escalator of flight of stairs. Crush injuries from backed-up crowds are a serious health risk.


    2. Irresponsible Smart Phone Use.

    There is a ton of irresponsible cell use in the city. Checking your phone while walking may result in zombie-like symptoms, including but not limited to: slow and/or zig-zaggy sidewalk movements, blurred peripheral vision and sudden-stop-syndrome. These symptoms can often lead to other, more serious conditions including multi-pedestrian pile-ups, pedestrian-related traffic accidents, and dangerously embarrassing or inaccurate Tweets. Also, it's rude when in meetings, at dinner, on a date, while the Starbuck's barista and the line behind you waits for you to finish your novella before you look up and realize it's your time to pay.

    3. Potato Chips.

    And all other junk food. This stuff contributes to the aforementioned obesity epidemic. It also creates just as much litter in public spaces, if you count crumbs, packaging and grease stains. Plus, when the person next to you on the train is digging into their bag of chips, you're at super-high-risk of being first-hand elbowed in the ribs. I think we all learned a big lesson with the spaghetti lady about eating on the train.

    4. Pregnancy.

    I am going to tell you a secret. Do you know what the single biggest contributor to the environmental crisis is? Human beings! That's right: the more babies we make, the more resources they'll use. Every adorable, fuzzy, sniveling little brat you give birth to will grow up to generate more garbage, drive more cars, and probably not always remember to recycle. Next time you see a pregnant woman on the street,  tell her you are not willing to be exposed to second-hand crying. (Also important to remember: we're just joking!)

    5. Umbrellas.

    May cause all of the aforementioned walking/stopping/crowd control issues. Will definitely cause mass blindness.

    What other annoying behaviors do you think should be banned?