May 5, 2002

No Smoking as a Way of Life

By BRUCE McCALL

A Manhattan co-op board has forbidden new buyers to smoke in their apartments. The board has said if buyers admit to being smokers, it could lead to the rejection of their applications.

YOUR request for an interview with the Co-op Board is dependent on completion of this form. Smoking while considering your answers will disqualify you.

1. Answer YES or NO:

If Winston Churchill had ever come to my house for dinner, I would have kicked him out.

Everybody should spend an afternoon at the library, crossing out smoking scenes in great novels.

If my only child were to marry a smoker, everyone on our family's side at the wedding would wear gas masks.

Abandon this application if you did not compile a perfect score of 3 yesses.

2. Complete the following sentence:

I have nothing to hide and would welcome an unannounced midnight raid with tobacco-sniffing German shepherd dogs on my present h---.

3. Akimbo Arms residents found with pencils, straws or other placebos in their mouths will be confined to their basement lockers for the time required to smoke a carton of cigarettes.

The Akimbo Arms Co-op Board reserves the right to conduct strip-searches of residents suspected of wearing the patch and thus liable to be smoking recidivists, and to inspect the pupils of their eyes for signs of being under hypnosis.

4. The doorman at Akimbo Arms will eject any arriving guest who has "nicotine fingers"/"smoker's cough"/tobacco seeds in pocket/purse.

5. I hereby affirm that I will report to the Board anyone in the Akimbo Arms whose apartment has likenesses of:

Sherlock Holmes/Groucho Marx/Edward R. Murrow/George Burns/The Rat Pack.

6. I agree to permanently seal all windows shut in my apartment to keep out secondary, third-hand, atmospheric and former smoke.

7. Fill in the blanks:

Mom came for Thanksgiving but when she opened her purse and pulled out a pack of -----, I had no recourse but to buzz the doorman and have her ----- out in a snowbank.

8. Residents are required to submit their air conditioner filters weekly from May l to Oct. l for examination. If traces of tobacco or marijuana smoke are found, residents must run a gantlet in the lobby en route out of the building.

A MESSAGE FROM THE BOARD

The Board is pleased to inform you that your application is denied, for the reason(s) listed below:

a) No one has ever met the criteria.

b) The jittery handwriting on the application shows you are a smoker.

c) You recently quit smoking and will be driven to talk about it, thus violating Board Ordinance 345-A against use of the words "smoking," "tobacco" and "lungs" in the Akimbo Arms elevator, lobby and garage.

Right of Appeal

There is no right of appeal. Your name will be referred to one of the residential hotels in the Times Square area that do not enforce nonsmoking in rooms. Your kind will be happier there.


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