What is it about smoking that still seems cool to people in this day and age?

In a classic example of the good old boy (and girl) mentality that keeps dragging us to the backwaters, the Post-Gazette ran a little article about illicit smoking in the City-County Building.  They refer to it as "surreptitious" but that's just fancy talk for sneaky.  

Apparently, our elected officials are already breaking the rules on smoking INSIDE the building.  Wink, wink, nudge, nudge ... all the kids are doing it giggles Student Body President Doug Shields.

"We're not allowed to smoke in the building, though I've been known to -- eh, heh heh -- in a closed room," said City Council President Doug Shields, an on-again, off-again smoker.

Is it just me or is Shields trying to sound ...cool?  First, "eh, heh, heh" is just an incredibly creepy and disturbing quote for a grown man in an elected position of power and authority. Second, its nice that Shields has such respect for the health and welfare of all his employees, colleagues and the residents of Pittsburgh (and the county) that he would smoke in a closed room.  Because we all know how effective that closed door is at preventing cancer.  Finally, it sort of gives support to the claim that Shields is firmly wedged up the ass of the powers that be if he doesn't have the gonads to set a good example on SMOKING.  What kind of leadership is that?  A "fuck you, I'm hanging with the cool guys like Luke" type. 

Our newest elected Councilwoman Darlene Harris' has solved the problem by spending tax payer dollars to purchase a smoke eating machine, the Trion Eliminator Series SE 800E.   Its to keep the office from being so stuffy.  Harris rationalizes that a long day in City Hall justifies breaking the rules b/c she's a hard working gal ...

Does she smoke in the office? "If I'm here until 10:30 at night, yeah, I'll have one," she said.

That's the kind of superior, self-satisfied Chesire Cat mentality you folks in our neighboring Northside communities have saddled yourselves with for the next term.  Good luck with that. 

Here's the best part --- Harris justifies the purchase b/c she took advantage of the county contract that got a better deal.  The same county that passed the smoking ordinance paved the way for Harris to say "fuck you" to county residents in the City-County building.  That's delicious irony. 

County Council President Rich Fitzgerald does a nice job of passing the butt, er buck, on enforcement.

"I'm sure we're going to get all kinds of reports about people smoking," said County Council President Rich Fitzgerald. "It's not up to County Council to arrest people. It's up to people to follow the law."

Does that include elected people who get paid by tax dollars?  Should they follow the law  Rich?  Will the PG article prompt you and Doug to call your members (and yourselves) to task on this bad behavior?  Or will you continue to wallow in the delusion that shirking the law somehow adds to your allure? 

Has the ascension of the boy who would be mayor dragged the entire city back to high school?  Or has it merely brought to light that we've been there all along?