Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Musings on a theme of scallops.

Last evening at the Bank Street Brewhouse, we hosted the monthly First Tuesday networking mixer, an event sponsored by Develop New Albany, the city’s volunteer-staffed Main Street organization.

We set up a cold plate in the area soon to be occupied by the brewery, and served beer and wine to roughly 100 people, some of whom remained afterward to dine and drink in front. As things wound down, I paused at the bar to chat with Syd and Cory. They were eating frites and scallops, but it wasn’t just the appetizing aroma of the food on their plates that caught my attention.

In fact, the whole room smelled like scallops. It made me hungry just thinking about it … and that’s the point. If smoking were allowed, the room would not have smelled like scallops. It would have smelled like cigarettes.

I always knew it, but sometimes you need a bit of olfactory reinforcement. Food of that caliber merits a smoke-free room, not out of considerations of employment safety, not owing to our obtusely ignoring personal rights and freedoms, but from a purely aesthetic consideration.

You'll be able to taste the beer better, too.

1 comment:

The Homeroaster said...

As one that has never smoked, I find any kind of smoking repulsive and disgusting. I sat in the pub tonight and the smoke was much thicker than usual. It was chokingly thick and made my eyes sting. I literally had to get up and move to another spot to catch my breath because I was surrounded by several patrons who lit up at the same time. One big noxious cigar was doing triple duty at making the smoke unpleasant. I am sitting at home now, two hours later and literally reek with the smell of smoke. I absolutely hate it. I continue to spend time in the smoking part of the bar because it is a wonderful place to drink great beer and spend time with friends. There is no comparable environment in the non-smoking parts of the pub, so I go and 'literally' suck it up, usually keeping my mouth shut.

Lets face it folks, I covet clean, safe, fresh smelling air as much or more than smokers desire to smoke.

But even with my vitriolic disgust of smoking and smoke, I am torn over the idea of a ban on the use of a legally purchased and taxed product. It should be less an issue of an outright smoking ban and more one of regulation based on the air quality inside an establishment. The EPA regulates air quality everywhere else, why can't there be a standard of air quality required inside a public business? If the owner has the means and chooses to meet the standard with pricy air movement and filtration systems, then that should suffice. If not, then the business owner may choose to put limits on smoking to meet the standard. Let the choice be that of the owner and not an outright strongarm intervention by enforcing a ban.

Clean air should be the goal of our entire living environment. I'll vote for that.