OPINION: Praise the lord and pass the Tim Tams, Tariana Turia has spoken.
If, says Mrs Turia, you see a driver smoking with kids in the car, you must toot your horn. You must wag your finger. You must tick the bugger off.
If you fail to do so you fail the child. If you fail to do so you condemn the innocent darling to the fate we baby-boomers have suffered, we who were the most smoked-over generation ever, we whose fathers all learned to smoke in the war.
We kids were smoked like kippers. That we have gone on to become the longest-lived generation in the history of human civilisation, is immaterial. Toot that horn.
According to the NZTA the horn should only be used as a reasonable traffic warning, but a life is at stake so nuts to that. If you get stopped and fined, pay with pride. Make your cheque out to The Murderer's Accomplice.
And don't fret that a blast of the horn makes everyone jump, makes them feel guilt, makes them turn round to see who's honking whom. Your duty to admonish comes first. Honk for the children. Wag that finger till it threatens to break. All that is needed for evil to flourish is for non-smokers to do nothing.
My only quibble with Mrs Turia is that she doesn't go far enough. I've bought one of those sirens fired by a gas cylinder and slung it from a holster on my belt. So even if I'm out shopping I can give the bastards a blast from the pavement. You should see the pedestrians jump. Excellent. I'm spreading the word.
Some of the smokers drive SUVs, vehicles so elevated that I can't tell whether there are children inside being asphyxiated or not. I give them a blast anyway. You never know.
A proper wagging calls for a better finger than I've got. So I've had one made, a strap-on. Gnarled and judgmental, it's a real smoker-scarer. I won't pretend it's a joy to wear but there are duties in this world and I take mine seriously. What, I ask you, is the moral alternative? Are you happy to be complicit in a litter of infant corpses?
My kids just love it. Sunday afternoon and they don't want to go to the zoo any more, or play those terrible video games. Oh no. It's, "Mummy, can we go smoker-hunting? It's such fun." They've got horns of their own now and prosthetic fingers, and I've even sewn them expeditionary uniforms. Their classmates are so envious of those little brown shirts that I've suggested they start a club at school.
Some days it's hard to find enough smokers on the road to keep the kids amused. So we've widened things a bit. We give it to fatsos now too, fatsos eating burgers in front of their adorable little children, fatsos blithely handing on the obesity epidemic from generation to generation. I pull alongside them and give them a full 10 seconds on the horn, my tut-tut finger going like a flagstaff in a gale, and kids leaning out of the back windows blasting their own horns, wagging their own fingers and bellowing "murdering fat bastard" at the top of their little lungs. It's a treat to hear them.
Because, you see, we've done apathy and look where it's got us. We've done tolerance, and look where it's got us. Now is the time to act. Now is the time to teach the next generation right from wrong.
Sometimes, and you'll find this hard to believe, the smoking murderers kick back, blasting their own horns and giving me the fingers. Well they don't scare me. I follow them, stick right on their bumper, giving them a blast every few seconds to let them know I'm not giving up. I follow them all the way home.
"That's where they live, kids," I say when they pull up. "Remember that address, eh. " I don't have to say any more.
An evening or two later the kids don their little brown shirts and announce that they and their classmates are just going out to play for a bit. "Good on you, kids," I say, "and here's a snack for the road," and I hand them a tray of rotten eggs that I've been saving specially.
"Oh and no throwing stones," I say. "They can do terrible damage to windows."
Off they go, my little darlings, and my heart just swells with pride and with love.
- The Dominion Post