For the past week, I’ve been in London working on the last details for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. My eyes have been really dry and scratchy, which made me worry I was geting conjunctivitis (a.k.a. “pink eye”) or a stye (a.k.a. “who hit you?”). For various reasons — stress, lack of sleep — these eye disorders tend to plague me when starting production.
Imagine my relief when I realized the real reason for my miserable eyes: everyone in London smokes.
Now, this is not a slag on Londoners or their great city. Lord knows I love both. But I quickly realized the term “non-smoking room” means that the blankets are not currently on fire. And the non-smoking section of a restaurant is the table without an ashtray.
Yes, I know I’m spoiled coming from Los Angeles, where smoking indoors, or in the presence of any living creature, is considered abhorant. But here’s to social shaming. When I come home from dinner, I want to feel it in my stomach, not smell it on my clothes.
Truthfully, in my week here, I have seen a few people not smoking. But they were children, and looked a little daft.