Sanity Injection

Injecting a dose of sanity into your day’s news and current events.

I smell something funny, all right…

Posted by sanityinjection on September 30, 2009

Have you ever been reading a news story and found yourself repeatedly double-checking to make sure you weren’t on a fake news site like The Onion?

That’s how I felt reading this story from DallasNews.com about a mother and daughter suing their neighbor for smoking in the neighbor’s own home. Chris Daniel and her daughter Cary claim that their property and health were damaged by second-hand smoke leaking through the wall that separated their townhouse from that of their neighbor, Rebecca Williams.

You have to read the whole story to appreciate the level of  whack-jobbery involved here. This is a direct result of the hysterical nonsense that has been spread widely about the dangers of second-hand smoke. While it’s certainly true that exposure to enough cigarette smoke can damage both lungs and property, there’s no way that enough of it could have entered the Daniels’ home within a year’s time to cause significant damage to either.

Even if Daniels were a semi-normal hypochondriac, she would have moved out of the apartment if she really felt it was that serious of a problem. Instead, she became the scourge not only of her neighbor but of the property management, who tried multiple times to improve the insulation in the Daniels’ home in order to address the objections. Clearly, the issue became Daniels’ cause celebre; she must have felt that pursuing it gave her life purpose and value (“I’m protecting my daughter!”). Thus, to let it go would be to suffer the agony of a more mundane existence.

I think my favorite part is the photo accompanying the story, which shows the Daniels’ wearing the gas masks and goggles they say are necessary just to spend a short amount of time in their former home to move their belongings. Although funny, it’s also sad to see the degree to which this lady has infected her daughter with her lunacy.

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3 Responses to “I smell something funny, all right…”

  1. Ms. D said

    Wow, those people in Dallas are nuts!!! Can you believe that? They should really consider moving to Arlington, it’s much nicer and has a brand new Cowboy’s stadium, the team which I think they are renaming “The Arlington Cowboy’s” . . . unless I am mistaken. Just another reason for them too, after this story, I’m sure Jerry will make the necessary changes. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Graham said

    I feel a little obliged to chip in a little on the side of people who have been affected by ‘second hand smoke’.

    While I agree that the obsessiveness shown by this particular lady is somewhat over the top, I can empathise with some of her opinions.

    I live in a ordinary apartment, 3 levels tall, with good gardens and space surrounding. So its not a city block, but its still cluster homes.

    Our neighbour one level below us has the habit of smoking pretty much non-stop. While I couldn’t care less about what he does inside his own home (as you say, getting smoke through walls and floors is a little over the top!) when he does so on his balcony, his smoke clouds float straight through our windows and balcony doors.

    So, naturally, we now keep our windows and doors closed, and no longer use what would other wise be a lovely balcony to view the gardens. Please note, this fellow could just as easily smoke in the garden, where the open air woould take away any smoke he would produce. However, he insists on chain smoking on the balcony.

    In winter, keeping the windows closed is pretty much a given anyway – however, summer is another story, and being stifled in your own home due to anothers inconsiderate behaviour is pretty much undignified.

    So – in some ways, I feel the lady did have a case – but likewise agree, she should have simply moved if she felt it was that dangerous.

    Our solution – we are planning on moving before summer 🙂

    • Graham – Your story, and your proposed solution to your problem are instructive. Instead of expecting everyone else in the world to solve the problem for you, you are taking responsibility for solving it yourself – even though it’s not your fault. Rather than remain in a situation that makes you unhappy, and whine about it, you’re choosing to take action to become happier.

      I once lived in an apartment below someone who had a pool table. You can imagine what it was like living underneath that. The person was nice enough and when I would complain they would usually stop and quiet down for a time, but eventually both they and I got tired of my complaining. So, although I think a pool table is ridiculous to have in an upper floor apartment, I didn’t campaign to have it banned from the building. I just moved. And now we are both happier.

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