Ed parked the car in the middle of the parking lot and he and Betty walked hand in hand toward the store. They passed a man leaning against a car, smoking a cigarette.
"Disgusting," Ed said, waving a hand at the thin billowing cloud of smoke. "What a vile habit."
The man flicked his cigarette away and grabbed Ed by the lapels. “My smoke bothering you, buddy?” he snarled.
"I…I…" Ed said, as frightened Betty looked on.
"I’m outside, away from everyone, just trying to enjoy a quiet smoke," the man said. "And I still have to listen to whiny, judgmental little fuckers like you." He cuffed Ed on the jaw and shook him back and forth.
"But… but… second-hand smoke."
The man pulled Ed’s face close to his and said, “Oh, are you afraid you won’t live long enough to enjoy another double bacon cheeseburger?” He poked viciously at Ed’s flabby mid section.
"Smoking is bad for you!" Ed revealed.
"You know what’s also bad for you?" the man said. "Not minding your own damn business and bothering other people. You know what? You’re going to have a cigarette now, you bitchy little fuck."
The man let Ed go long enough to pull a pack of smokes out of his pocket. He jammed one in Ed’s mouth.
"You’re going to smoke it," he said.
"But I don’t—-"
The man pulled a revolver out of his other pocket and pointed it at Betty.
"Smoke it or your wife dies!"
Ed had no choice but to accept the man’s light and smoke. Sobbing and coughing, he finished the cigarette in four long drags.
Then his lips fell off and he immediately died from cancer.
The smoker lived another four years. He died after being hit by a bus.
Betty died eight years after that, of chronic alcoholism.