Monday, July 04, 2005

Sorry Mr Ports, a story of a smoker getting away with it.....

It seems hard to believe, but Italians are taking the new no-smoking law seriously, so seriously that a jeweller is down £23,000 on a Rolex watch.

A man strolled into a store in Milan's famous shopping street, Via Montenapoleone, and asked to see a few Rolexes. As he perused the glittering merchandise, he told the shop owner he only had foreign currency, but he was definitely interested.

Then, according to La Repubblica newspaper, he reached for his lighter. If it was a calculated hit, it was an exercise in minimalism.

The shop owner, conscious of the Jan. 10 smoking ban in public places, invited him to go out of the shop."Please, enjoy your cigarette outside," the newspaper reported the 53-year-old owner saying.

It was a bad call: the jeweller, at worst, could have been fined a maximum of 2,000 euro. That is, if the five police officers in Milan assigned to the anti-cigarette patrol had happened by the shop at lunchtime. The owner preferred not to take his chances with the fine and as he phoned the bank to ask about the foreign currency, the would-be customer went outside to have his smoke -- making a clean get away with the precious watch.

As Homer says "Doh!, Doh!, Doh!, Doh!, Doh!, Doh!, Doh!, Doh!"

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