Thursday, April 20, 2006

Charred Acres

It's no secret around Green Acres that I've been an advocate of smoking cessation, and of turning our facility smoke-free. We're currently the only psychiatric facility in the state that allows smoking. Even the jails and prisons (from which we admit patients if they demonstrate enough mental illness) are non-smoking.

But I stopped my active push to end smoking a couple years ago, after (1) my petition signed by every member of the medical, psychiatry, psychology, and social work staff was ignored by those in charge, and (2) I realized I was on the verge of receiving death-threats.

The evidence in my favor, however, keeps piling up. Or burning down, depending how you look at it. Last night, there was the third fire in a year due to cigarettes. I witnessed the first one from my office window: a large area of landscaping mulch was literally ablaze. It almost lit some bushes on fire. Interestingly, our Safety Officer did not send out any sort of communication after this event (though he usually sends a HIGH IMPORTANCE email for the most minor of safety issues). Later in the week I passed him in the hallway and asked if he was going to do any education in response to the conflagration in the parking lot. "The what?", he asked. "The fire", I said. "Oh. Well, you wouldn't believe how dry that mulch was that they delivered us. I'm going to make sure we don't get such dry mulch in the future." That was it.

So last fall we almost burned down the landscaping again, and again last night. But still, the puffing continues.

I'm going to push for beer at lunchtime. I don't see why not. It's legal, nonflammable, and you can't get liver damage from second-hand drinking. Plus, if we had a keg in the staff room, we could use it to put out fires.


Blogger Katinka said...

oh my goodness..."the mulch was dry"???
Perhaps the Safety Officer is a closet pyromaniac...that's the only logical explanation that comes to mind.

After trying a homemade cigarette at the age of 4 (made from lawn clippings) I've never been able to figure out what the appeal is...

4/20/06, 8:39 PM  
Blogger charlsiekate said...

Kegs are fun.

4/21/06, 1:45 PM  
Anonymous Adrift At Sea said...

Used kegs are a bit harder to hide than cigarette butts.... and less damaging to the environment IMHO.

4/22/06, 1:49 PM  

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