In the early afternoon yesterday at a shopping mall in Fresno, California whose only remaining vendors are a Lidz, a Metro PCS, and a guy who says he’ll massage your feet for a dollar, our nation held its breath as we followed the news that the country’s first mass vaping event was unfolding. Two teens who should have been in school learning useful life skills like the volume of a cone or the meter of an old poem written by a guy with a weird foot made their way to the center of the mall, which at the time contained many more people than it should have, considering its distinct lack of business establishments.
The minors, whose identities have not been disclosed, began “vaping sick clouds with complete reckless abandon,” according to Jennifer LaFleur, the woman credited with de-escalating the situation. “When I arrived, they were going through cartridges and dropping blanks like I’ve never seen!” The woman acted quickly, walking with a purposeful gate toward the offenders and politely reminding them that they should stay aware of their surroundings should they find themselves among those who may be upset by their habit. One of the teens, clearly incensed, muttered, “Whatever, lady,” and the two subsequently left the mall.
In the wake of the event, people are calling for an across-the-board vaping ban, and several state legislatures are already drafting bills to deal with this chaotic situation in our society. “I just don’t like breathing something that’s been in someone else’s lungs,” said bystander Lauren Cooper-Henshaw. “It’s kind of gross.”
Another mall-goer, Reggie Marlow, had a follow-up to Cooper-Henshaw’s comment: “But what about the air that’s been in someone else’s lungs? People every single day are just walking down the streets breathing air near each other’s faces, and no one does a thing about it! That’s the invisible killer no one’s talking about!”
Whatever anyone’s individual stance on the issue, our hearts go out to the five citizens who had to hold their breath for a few seconds as they took a wide berth around the center of the mall while the event was taking place.
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