Only In Philadelphia

Smoky RoomWhen New York City announced its smoking ban in all restaurants and bars, smokers griped, people cheered and businesses lived on. It was viewed by many as the correct move to become more health conscious as a city entity. I personally longed for such a change in Philadelphia, but was convinced that it would never happen in a city like this. Such what did my wondering eyes peer? but a ban on smoking set before the new year. I rejoiced, my friends rejoiced this was a good sign in a city not know for having them. Can I go to a bar and not come out smelling like i slept in an ash tray?
For the record I have nothing against people wanting to smoke. Its your right and as an ex-smoker it would irritate me if smoking was banned entirely. That sort of overarching and overreaching type of governmental dictate is ridiculous. My position in regards to smoking, or anything else in public places has always been this. You should be free to do whatever you want in whatever manner no matter how odd or personally damaging in so far as it does not infringe upon another right not not share your experience. So in this case you can smoke as long as i don’t have to breath the smoke in. You can run around buck naked as long as i don’t have to see it. A little obtuse and I’m sure people can find holes in this but i think its a good general rule. Hence I should be able to drink in public regardless of how sloppy I become but at the point in which i inflict myself upon others it needs to stop.
Smoking outdoors is fine because the smoke is not enclosed, i am not being forced to breath it. But i should not have to make the decision to not go to any bars because one or two people might smoke. You can put one person smoking into a bar with 299 other people not smoking and that one person inflicts their decision upon 299 others. Whereas one person not smoking in a room full of 299 others does nothing. A small aside here in that i would hate to imagine an enclosed place with close to 300 people actively puffing away on their cigarette’s talk about foggy. The thick miasma that surrounds you after you return from one of these smoky haunts needs to be scrubbed off, hair washed before you contaminate your bedclothes with it.
Philly bar owners groused that it will drive away customers, have you heard of a little, small, insignificant town called New York? Apparently that berg is suffering no ill affects of their ban. Business according to some reports has even thrived as people put off by the reeking stench have returned to spend anew. But the Mayor held firm. Now after two some odd months with sparse enforcement there is a three week lift of the ban and the promise of a “exemption request” So small bars can request to be exempt from the ban. What happened, who greased what wheel?
Ridiculous, unbelievable, wait a minute I live in Philadelphia. This type of slippery slope, back room provincial bullshit, if you will excuse the term, is the reason that we will always remain a city on the brink of being great and never achieve that greatness. We are a nice place to live and I would never move. I honestly can’t stand New York just for the holier than thou image they project across the land, the sense of outright entitlement the exude, but damn people. For once couldn’t we get something right? Now i face the prospect of going out tonight for a celebratory jaunt with a group of friends and needing to take a shower before I hold my son upon returning home.


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