“I’m sorry, Mr. Roosevelt, you and Mr. Churchill will have to step outside to smoke.”

Following up on some links, I came across this.

As a beneficiary of indoor smoking bans, I can’t say that I agree with the sentiment, but the poster is pretty clever, and it got me thinking. Imagine Churchill on his regular dose of alcohol but without the moderating influence of the tobacco. Maybe would’ve been a disaster. Seems like a joke, but maybe we’d all be blogging in German right now. I’d like to think, though, Churchill would’ve switched to chewing tobacco and all would be ok. A spitoon in the corner is a small price to pay for freedom.

15 thoughts on ““I’m sorry, Mr. Roosevelt, you and Mr. Churchill will have to step outside to smoke.”

  1. Eh. Maybe they would have gotten over their addiction to nicotine and ended up healthier, happier people and more effective leaders.

    Anyway, apparently now there are "e-cigarettes" that vaporize liquid nicotine, letting addicts get their fix without blowing smoke.

  2. I may be missing the point here, but doesn't the attire being sported by Messrs Roosevelt and Churchill in that photo suggest that they were outside at the time? If someone told me to go outside when I already was outside, I wouldn't stand for it either.

  3. Or take this comment from Reagan in 1961, "You and I are going to spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it once was like in America when men were free." This was about the bill that eventually morphed into Medicare.

    It's pretty darn easy to predict the end of freedom. I guess we have the freedom to do that.

    And that photo is from Yalta and it was outside. They had limited photographer access to the 3. Stalin was also a smoker. Too bad he didn't die early of cancer.

  4. I was arrested while protesting the first Gulf War, along with hundreds of others. We had to appear in court, and some legal aid lawyers were there to help us out. I said I didn't want to be represented, because I figured that way I'd still get the benefit, but would have more room for saying my piece.

    At one point the judge wanted to meet with the lawyers in chambers (behind the courtroom). Since I was representing myself, I got to go in too. The judge lit up, and I (ever-so-politely) told the judge I was very sensitive to smoke and would appreciate it if he didn't. The lawyers (there were a bunch) all looked at me in shock. The judge raised an eyebrow and politely put out his cigarette.

    Good thing I didn't have to practice law in front of him next week. ;^)

  5. Stalin was the ultimate tough guy. You can bet that whoever told him to step outside to smoke would've found himself wearing cement shoes not long after.

  6. I can't help but raise an eyebrow at the tagline and its attendant image: "Protect Your Liberty"…next to an indian????? Self-conscious irony or lazy photoshopping?

  7. Am I the only one who finds it off to ask a man in a wheelchair to step outside? Of course FDR would not have stood for it — he needed a cane and an aide to stand for things.

  8. The historian at my Oxford college told a number of stories about Stalin, apparently he was one first to effectively use the telephone regularly calling not just his generals but even privates stationed by a phone on the front line asking them "how things were going tonight".

    So many common people did get to talk with him apparently fairly regularily.


  9. Interesting. I have no recollection of anything equivalent in France when the smoking ban was passed (opposition to the ban was very much limited to a few groups with no political thrust).

  10. Those cigar-smoking Great Men understood and accepted that smoking was permitted in certain circumstances and forbidden in others.

    Would Churchill have lit up an after-dinner cigar before the ladies had left the table?

    Gustav Mannerheim, the Finnish general who fought the Russians to a standstill against overwhelming odds, had to accept what allies he could get, which meant the Nazis. However, he didn't like them any better than the Soviets: He was an aristocrat of the old school, and his idea of a *proper* military officer was based on his training in the Tsar's army.

    At a formal dinner a German officer finished eating before Mannerheim, and asked if he, Mannerheim, would mind if he, the German officer, lit up his cigar before Mannerheim had finished eating.

    Mannerheim gave him a Look, and answered "I don't know. Nobody has ever dared."

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