Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Non-Smoking Bars

Hip Suburban White Guy, a/k/a Xavier Onassis, is a little cranky because he's giving up smoking. Actually, he's almost always a little cranky, so maybe it would be better to describe him as highly cranky.

In his supreme crankiness, he has decided to lash out at Lee's Summit for unanimously approving a smoking ban in public places, claiming that they should also ban cyclists (please go read his post if you want to try to follow the logic). Normally, I'd just sit back and enjoy the spectacle of a guy from Liberty attacking Lee's Summit, and dragging in cyclists. Intra-suburban rivalry with spandex-clad freaks! What could be more fun?

Alas, though, I must voice my disapproval of XO's disapproval. Smoking bans are the greatest thing for society since draft beer.

My last two pleasure trips have been to New York City and Minneapolis/St. Paul. Both places have vibrant night-lives that put Liberty and Lee's Summit to shame. In both places, we had the dawning realization that one of the reasons we were able to enjoy ourselves more fully in bars was that we weren't being smothered in second-hand smoke.

On Monday, I had a nice lunch at Harry's Country Club, and two women sat at a nearby table and lit up after finishing their meals. Inconsiderate twits!

Some people view the public smoking issue as a public health issue. I suppose that's valid, but I sincerely don't think I should be criticizing anybody's health choices as I shovel Harry's meat loaf into my maw. For me, it's a quality of life issue. My quality of life. Your right to enjoy a smoke in a public place ends where it starts impinging on my nose. If Shook Hardy allows Big Tobacco to market a smokeless cigarette that won't stink up the bars and restaurants, I'll happily pass you an ashtray. But, until then, I support smoking bans 1000%, and hope they are soon in force metro-wide.


Anonymous Andrea said...

I completely agree with you Dan. I love the smoking ban in Lawrence. And trips to Austin and Chicago are now fabulous because of the smoking ban.

And I hate the argument that smokers have a right to smoke in public. OK, fine but don't I have a right to (relatively) clean air?

8/16/2006 10:55 AM  
Blogger emawkc said...

I pretty much agree with you Dan. I think obnoxious (noxious?) smokers have brought it upon themselves by not being considerate with their smoking addiction.

That said, I think rather than ban smoking outright, smoking ordinances should force businesses to decide wether they want to be smoking or non-smoking. That way, when you go to a restaurant/bar, you know whether there will be damn dirty smokers there. You can then choose to go to a non-smoking place and breathe nice clean air and hang out with nice clean people.

Eventually, the market would decide how many smoking establishments are needed.

8/16/2006 1:56 PM  
Blogger Brian Stayton said...

I agree with emaw. Go ahead and have non-smoking bars and restaurants, along with smokers. Let the market decide how many of each. Which answers the biking metaphor: you can have biking and non-biking streets. We already do -- notice the ban on bikes on interstate highways? Let the bikers decide which of the rest of the routes are worth the risk.

8/16/2006 2:51 PM  
Blogger Xavier Onassis said...

Heh heh heh. The chum has been thrown in the water, so here comes the shark! LOL!

Here's the deal. I am just SO SICK AND TIRED of government at all levels trying to legislate what we can and cannot do, because it is becoming increasingly intrusive.

I don't even ride a motorcycle, but those helmet laws really piss me off. Same with seat belt laws.

I'm also fed up with one group of people who think they are better than another group of people trying to pass laws to make everybody be just like them.

Maybe people who live in houses with basements should try to get a law passed making it a crime for people to live in houses without basements. Ya know...for their own good! We live in tornado country. It's not safe for people to live in a house that doesn't have a basement. During a tornado, they might try to come into my basement and that would infringe on my rights and endanger my family by overcrowding my basement.

If you work in a smoke filled environment every single day, your health risk is only slightly greater than your odds of winning the lottery if you buy a ticket every single day.

What it really boils down to is non-smokers don't like the smell and they think they are better and smarter than smokers and want to impose their will on smokers to prove a point.

Wah, wah, wah.

I don't like the smell when I cross the Heart Of America bridge either, but I'm not trying to shut down whatever it is that stinks so bad. I just roll up my windows for 5 minutes and deal with it.

Get over yourselves. Learn to deal with life's little annoyances and injustices. And odors. It will build character and make you a better person.

8/16/2006 6:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous Me said...

For once I agree with XO:

Memo to the State, the Leviathian, and those nannies who wish to use it to compel us for our own safety:

It's my head, I'll decide whether to put a helmet on it.
It's my car, I'll decide whether to wear that seatbelt.

They're my lungs, I'll decide whether to pour smoke into them. And it's my restaurant; I'll decide whether to permit smoking.

The market will sort this out; we don't need the nanny state to do it for us. And I don't care if it's for my own good. Butt out.

8/17/2006 8:42 AM  
Anonymous travelingal said...

I also agree with XO (I must be but damn it, he's right. His analogy is right. How many times have you come up on a cyclist going a couple miles an hour cresting a hill with figgity teens panting to pass the cyclist and crash into my ass who is coming up the other side of the hill? I can tell you for sure out here in the mountains of Kansas that it's not uncommon. My health, my life is endangered but's legal and these cyclist guys, well, they're healthy...yah they are, but they don't care if I'm not.

And, for that matter I agree with his comments on the intrusion of government into our daily lives. Don't smoke, pay your taxes but forgive the illegal immigrant who isn't, don't say the N word or the F word or the ABC word..shit there are so many offensive words in so many languages I don't give a SHIT what I say anymore cause it won't be right.

Yah, that was my inconsiderate twit self that was smoking after that absolutely scrumptuous meal the other night..well not really but I've been the one before..sorry it offended..

8/17/2006 1:55 PM  
Blogger Xavier Onassis said...

I always knew travelingal would come around to my way of thinkin'.

Next thing you know, she'll be chasin' women, drinkin' like a fish and smokin' like a chimney.

8/18/2006 8:56 PM  

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