Is COVID-19 getting to our heads to the point where common social norms seem to be out the window? For one smoking "Karen," or "Ken" to follow internet standards, there's clearly some COVID-stress going on for this gentleman and his stunt almost ended very badly.

It's petty well known that a person can't smoke inside a restaurant in New York State and that includes the legendary sub shop. Mello's Subs, a Utica staple. Witnesses say that an unidentified man wanted to smoke in the hallway at Mello's Sub Shop and was told he couldn't and was asked to leave. Those bystanders and business owners say he then became irate and took it to the next level.

According to witnesses, the man grabbed the table and chairs from Mello's, carried them into the center of the busy four-lane Genesee Street in Downton Utica and seemingly smoked what he had.

"Absolutely the truth," said Mello Testa, the former owner of Mello's Subs (the business is now owned by Mello's brother, Donnie). The man became irate and sat in the chair right in the middle of oncoming traffic. A bystander known as Jaded Love on Facebook starting recording on her phone and almost caught a disaster in the making.

"He moved the table in the middle of the road cuz Mello’s said he cant smoke in their hall," is how the video was described on Facebook. But when a Utica fire truck came barreling down the street, he wisely got up and walked to the sidewalk. The problem is that he left the table and chairs sitting in the middle of the street. It almost caused a disaster as the emergency vehicle had to swerve into oncoming traffic to miss the furniture.

"I’ve been in downtown Utica since 1977 and I’ve seen some crazy things," said Testa, "but this yesterday just about tops them all."

See how close the stunt was to becoming a disaster in the video below.

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