"Let us go forth a while, and get better air in our lungs. Let us leave our closed rooms...
The game of ball is glorious."

--Walt Whitman

Saturday, January 15, 2005

Karma's a Bitch

Last night we braved the arctic tundra to see a Wild Colonial Bhoys show--and if you haven't seen them, you should!--at O'Donovan's Irish Pub downtown. We've seen them before, at Kieran's and The Liffey.

O'Donovan's is a great place. They have what is quite possibly the best corned beef this side of Ireland, Finnegan's on tap, and an excellent staff. What they do not have, as we discovered after ten o'clock when the place got crowded, is a good ventilation system. Now, we've been there many times before, but never late on a weekend night.

There was a time, not so long ago, when a smoky bar was exactly the sort of place I wanted to spend a cold Friday night. Three years after my last cigarette, however, a couple of hours of heavy secondhand smoke have left my lungs feeling like they've been scrubbed with steel wool. We had to leave before the end of the last set because Mr. TBL and I were both gasping for air. I was coughing uncontrollably and am still hacking intermittently today.

I certainly regret every cigarette I ever smoked, and every wisp of secondhand smoke I ever inflicted on others. If I'd had an experience like last night's before I started smoking, I wonder if I would have started at all. I certainly had a sense that I was on the bad end of some cosmic retribution as my lungs attempted to flee my body halfway through the second set.

The indoor smoking ban goes into effect in Minneapolis on March 31st. A lot of people say it infringes on smokers' rights. Now, I never had much sympathy for that sort of talk even when I smoked--I was the one with the filthy habit, and if it was bothering people, I was okay with taking it outside. What little sympathy I did have is now gone. Your right to smoke ends where the air going into my lungs begins. When two sets of civil liberties conflict, the one that doesn't hurt anyone wins. End of discussion.

The Bhoys will still be at O'Donovan's in April, if the schedule holds. Now that is going to be a great show.

1 rejoinders:

Fourth pew, center sounded off...

She may be a bitch, but she does have a sense of humor.
(snicker from a life-long non-smoker)