Comments: The Ethics of the Mundane


Perhaps, as a smoker, you do not understand the hell which we non-smokers are faced with whenever we attempt to find a non-smoking room. Contrary to popular belief, SMOKING is not a God-given right. Breathing clean air, however, seems to be. Additionally, it's in the Constitution -- life, liberty and whatnot.

Anyway, I have no time to go into it now. Suffice it to say that a clean, smoke-free room should be the MINIMUM you get at a $65/night motel. Clean sheets would be nice too. You claimed the place WAS clean, and yet from her description, it clearly was not.

You, sir, should expect higher standards.


Posted by Matt at June 8, 2004 10:07 AM


What was that old saying about the right to extend your fist ends at my nose, something to that effect? :-D

I also recall something about guarding against the tyranny of the majority. In any event, I should not have to remind you, a legal scholar, of the following:

Primus. No one has to stay at any lodging establishment against their will. They can go somewhere else if they are not receiving proper service; and in this case, given the locale, that is not a difficult proposition.

Secundus. When making hotel reservations in future, you may wish to specifically request a non-smoking room. On many travel sites, such as the one I use, this can be done with the push of a button. I am sorry, but I do not see how this compares to suffering the eternal tortures of the damned, which include everlasting fire, boils, brimstone (whatever that is) and watching reruns of "My Mother the Car."

Tertius. In that vein, I more than understand the "hell" which non-smokers go through, as I have made several attempts to quit smoking in my day. I can assure you it is even worse for a reformed smoker to encounter smoke than a non-smoker. That said, if you are uncomfortable with smoking, you have every right to politely ask the smoker to extinguish his or her cigarette. You have done so with me, for instance, although if I recall correctly you made a big scene by waving your hands back and forth and saying "Ewwwwwwww!", you Puritan, you.

Ultimus. As a former resident of Los Angeles, I do agree with you that smoking is not a God-given right. However, neither is breathing clean air. That said, the owner of a lodging establishment does have the right under the law to offer rooms which are all non-smoking, all smoking, or a mix of both. As this hotel does have non-smoking rooms, I would deduce the travelers in question failed to make their request known to the innkeepers beforehand, and then pitched a royal fit when they arrived at 11 pm to find all the non-smoking rooms had been taken.

As I said, I stayed there before and found the place fine, both in terms of the exterior and interior; these comments were arbitrary and capricious. Either that or Margaret G. visited on a very, very bad day.

Posted by Benjamin Kepple at June 8, 2004 09:04 PM