I experience a miracle

I‘m having lunch at a LongHorn Steakhouse in Savannah. It smells better than our LongHorn in the Vista.
Here’s why:

When I walked in, I asked for a table in nonsmoking. The hostess dismissed my request with the finest words I’ve ever heard in a restaurant:
"There’s no smoking in Georgia."

I am stunned. This is so fantastic. I’m just sitting here, breathing freely and deeply, as though it were the most natural thing in the world.
Which, if you actually THINK about it for a change, it actually IS, even though it is a departure from what I’ve experienced my whole life up to now.

Why, in the name of God and all that makes any kind of sense, did I have to wait 53 years for this? Why will I NOT be able to experience it when I go home?
I can think of no reason.

19 thoughts on “I experience a miracle

  1. bud

    Do you go to the Blue Marlin? It’s supposed to be a non-smoking restaraunt. And they have great food too!

  2. Agricola

    You’re welcome to move to the Holy City, where all smoking will be illegal in xis months. Join the ever-growing crowd of cum-yahs and tell us how to do things.

  3. Mark Whittington

    Just think about it Brad-you can move to Georgia! They have a Chamber of Commerce there too you know. That’s the ticket.
    I sometimes wonder how many of our soldiers who have been killed in Iraq were smokers. I’m still waiting for your embed assignment. Perhaps the stench of death will cure your olfactory senses of their aversion to cigarette smoke. Perhaps taking a good whiff or two of rotting bodies will give you yet another epiphany, and you’ll finally see yourself for what you really are.

  4. ed

    I don’t think Brads’ perspective has changed about the act of smoking, no matter whether some thing or other affects him personally at the moment or not. He and Cindi have been pretty consistently and maniacally opposed to the act of smoking, and/or the right that anyone in this country has to engage in the act of smoking. The other thing they’ve been consistently maniacal about is their love for the tax revenues that smokers represent. They purport to hate smoking and smokers, but obviously love and covet the tax money that smokers must pay, and are never satisfied that smokers pay quite enough. Have it both ways…it’s a beautiful thing. Ed

  5. Mary Rosh

    Ed, maybe learn to read a little better?
    And I don’t want to compromise anyone’s “right” to smoke. I just don’t want them smoking around me.
    Look at it this way. Suppose you’re in a restaurant and there’s an alcoholic a couple of tables over, slamming down booze like he was trying to get alcohol toxicity. No problem, right, so long as he doesn’t start talking too loud, or fighting, and doesn’t try to drive.
    But that’s not how it is with smokers. When someone smokes in a public place, it isn’t just him that smokes, it’s everyone around him. It’s like having the alcoholic be able to go around to the other patrons in the restaurant and make all of them drink what he’s drinking.
    I had an experience that was the opposite of Warthen’s about 7 years ago. I was on a trip, and I went to this restaurant, and there was somebody SMOKING IN THE RESTAURANT!!! And the restaurant ALLOWED SMOKING – IT WAS NOT A NO-SMOKING RESTAURANT!!! I said to my wife, well, you can sure tell we’re not at home now.

  6. Mark Whittington

    I can see how nonsmokers don’t want to be around smoke. On the other hand, today there would be no problem creating smoking and no smoking restaurants where the employees of smoking restaurants are smokers themselves, and where all public places have positive pressure/electrostatic air ventilation systems.
    Cigarette taxes are indeed regressive taxes because people who smoke today are mostly in the working class. It’s easy to pick on smokers because as a group, people in the working class have no political representation whatsoever.

  7. Ed

    I do not smoke, neither do I want to be around people when they are doing it. I especially dislike being subjected to cigarette smoke while I am trying to enjoy a meal in a restaurant. I simply point out the utter hypocrisy of people who
    engage in over-the-top anti-smoking rhetoric (like Brad and Cindi in the pages of The State) while plotting all the while to extract as much tax money as they possibly can from smokers. I don’t believe that tax policy ought to be used as a tool for social engineering, but…if you are going to so use it, can you not at least have the courage and decency to do it openly? Ed

  8. Brad Warthen

    Ed, here I go agreeing with Mary again (even though I still don’t understand what “she” meant about my perspective changing, which it hasn’t).
    You need to read what we actually say. And what we have said all along is that the revenues from an increase in the cigarette tax don’t matter. We’ve even said burn the money for all we care. The point of raising the cigarette tax is the same for us as reducing the problem in public place — to cut down on smoking, and the damage it does to public health.
    Higher cigarette taxes have a proven effect of reducing teen smoking. The teen years are when most smokers get addicted — not their adult years.
    But your misreading of our position provokes an interesting question. Sure, it would be irresponsible to just burn the money, but what if we did? Which would infuriate the anti-tax, anti-government types more — if you raised a tax and then burned it, or if you turned around and spent it on Medicaid to help poor kids get health care?
    Which is more offensive to them — the money being pried out of their tights little fists or seeing “their” money go to benefit somebody else?

  9. Ed

    Brad, I don’t but it. You’ve never (to my knowledge) taken the position that any other taxes extracted from citizens, whether they be from property, sales or income, could simply be “burned.” Rather, I recollect that you’ve regularly sought to expand the reach of government through the collection and expenditure of tax money. We can disagree about that I guess, (although I’ll continue to expose it when and where I see it). However, there is a more elemental question here. While you have the right to believe and say any damned thing you want, I assert that government has absolutely NO business attempting to shape and control the behaviour of its’ citizens using tax policy…and wasting the money collected while doing so (as you would allow) would make it DOUBLY wrong and heinous. If you believe (as I do) that tobacco use is addictive and deadly, rather than advocating for the government to receive a windfall in taxes, why don’t you do the honorable thing and advocate for a ban on tobacco use? Just have the courage of your convictions and press for making tobacco illegal; at least that way you might have some creds on this issue. As it stands, and given your historical bent for higher taxes and big gubbamint, the position you try to take on tobacco is extremely suspect. Again, I don’t buy it for a sec. Ed

  10. Brad Warthen

    NOW I’m worried about you, Ed.
    You refusing to “but” it when I tell you what my position is and always has been — the whole written record supports me on that — is weird enough. (What IS it you aren’t buying?)
    But understanding Mary — whoa.

  11. Ready to Hurl

    What serendipity, Brad!
    Savannah is home to the 3rd Infantry Division.
    You could aid the war effort that you’re so willing for OTHER people to underwrite with THEIR money and lives.
    Move to Savannah; enjoy the smoke-free restaurants; and, help the soldiers and families that you ask to fight in a futile, fraudulent and mistaken war.

  12. Ed

    Brad, I’m too tired to fool with Mary lately so I just admit that I understand her point, whatever it was, and move on. I did notice that she managed yet again to weave her usual rant about your failure to go to Iraq and fight and die into her riff on perspective. I’d have thought there was plenty of “Warthenist Hypocrisy” just on the smoking/taxes issue to satisfy her, but she’s so upset with your social apathy that she apparently can’t help herself. It’s good to know that some things never change I guess. Ed

  13. Ed

    Brad, I don’t buy you “nonchalance” about the tax money your scheme would send to government for one. You’ve never been nonchalant or ambivalent about the raising and expenditure of taxes before. You’ve almost peed your pants on the editors page to get scads of new taxes on the books and collected in the past, and you’ve always had very sharply defined ideas about how they were to be expended and what they were to accomplish. Dang it, even when a tax was completely and undeniably illegitimate, (speaking of the 2% restaurant tax), you couldn’t force yourself to clearly denounce it. So you got NO creds on the tax issue. Zero. Again, why give government a windfall? If your concern is that tobacco is addictive and deadly, and you don’t want teens to smoke, and you hate that it runs up health care costs, then do the right thing and advocate for making tobacco illegal. Ban it. This to me is the only principled position you can take. The part that I don’t buy is your whole position…you won’t do the right and moral thing, but you’re perfectly willing to give government a windfall. Based on your pi$$-poor track record, I believe that this is your underlying motive to begin with, and I think you have very clear designs for the tax money that would be collected…the “burn it” line is just a ruse. So there it is, that’s what I don’t buy…your whole so-called “position.” Ed

  14. Annee

    Even France is putting a ban on smoking in public places, beginning the end of 2007 I think…but lot’s of restaurants are already banning it … I read that the waiters etc., were relieved because they were suffering from asthma and all kinds of ailments….anyway – I about fell out of my chair when I read that France of all places was banning public smoking!! 🙂

  15. Lee

    Patrons hogging down gobs of fat and swilling alcholo in a steakhouse, congratulate themselves on how health-concious and good they are because they don’t allow anyone else to smoke tobacco there.

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