Students and workers demand beer breaks, claiming lack of equality

Illustration by Ed Appleby
Illustration by Ed Appleby

Smoke breaks trigger outcry from beer drinkers

By Chandler Walter, Assistant Editor

Many Vancouverites are up in arms, taking to the streets with signs and shouts, demanding a 10-minute break during work or school hours to indulge in their chosen vice for the sake of equality.

Jim Gusler, a second year student at Douglas College, stormed out of class last Wednesday when he was denied the right to “go have a quick pint down at the pub.” Gusler claimed that he is being discriminated against based on his chosen vice, and said that it isn’t right to respect one group’s addiction, and not another’s.

Gusler’s outrage sparked a wildfire of controversy around the topic, with workers going on strike, classrooms being left empty, and casual smokers everywhere being seen as privileged assholes.

“They think they’re something special, don’t they?” said beer drinker Jason Sipps. “Why should they get to have 10 minutes off every few hours to smoke? I need a beer a few times a day to keep me from careening into a dark pit of despair and self-loathing, but I have to do that while hiding in the bushes.”

Sipps is one of many who believe that designated beer breaks should be mandatory in all post-secondary classes and work environments.

“Now, I’m not saying everyone has to dummy a sixer before the end of the work day,” Sipps eloquently explained, “but it’s not like they expect everyone to go have a smoke during the break either. I’m just looking for a little fairness here. It doesn’t even have to be for very long—I bet I could finish two beers before you could finish a cigarette. Go ahead, watch me!”

Sipps did indeed manage to shotgun two cans of beer, though unfortunately there was no cigarette present to test the validity of his claims.

Many bars around school campuses have added their voice to the conversation, stating that there will always be a place in their establishments for those who need to take the edge off before a test, or if they’re feeling stressed out about a big essay.

“Hey, it’s not on me to judge what people use to cope,” said bar owner James Tapler, “but, I mean, it is kind of silly that we make allowances for people who are addicted to inhaling chemicals that literally only calm them down because they’ve accidentally become addicted to it, so what really is the harm of a nice, cold glass of beer?”

Unfortunately, Tapler had to end the interview there, as he had a keg in the back to finish off before the end of his break.