The smoking ban, hows that going for you over there?

I have never smoked. I will never smoke. Ok now that I have said that, I post today about end to an era. An end, I dare point out, that was brought about by an (over)well meaning liberal government.

From 1920 through 1933 the United States had an experiment in legislating morality called the "Volstead Act" which went into effect on January 16 1920, and when ratified by the 18th Amendment, which made the sale, manufacture, and transportation of alcohol for consumption banned nationally. Europeans laughed at the United States for banning something which was so much a part of everyday life. Prohibition as it was called destroyed businesses, increased crime and in the end did nothing but increase that use of alcohol in the United States. It should have been an example to the world...

Social experimentation did not die the death it should have. One of those places it thrives is evidentaly France.

The following article is about the destruction of the local cafe in France, you know the corner Tabac where the local colour would congregate for a quick aperitif, before going home, a light luncheon, conversation. If you want to see this slice of life go to France quick, for the French have enacted a smoking ban in public places.

As I said in the beginning of this article, I have never smoked. My parents smoked, my grandfather, uncles and aunts smoked. My brother, sister and I never smoked, I guess it just seemed stupid to us like the Bob Newhart Monologue with Sir Walter Raleigh.

From Berry Deep France.

...Saturday lunchtime. My first trip of 2008 to my local « bar tabac » for 20 of my favourite coffin nails.

Normally the place is heaving on a Saturday lunchtime (and every lunchtime for that matter). Regulars propping up the bar, enjoying an aperitif or three, before they head home for their meat and two veg. The tables are normally taken up by the «lottery syndicates. » groups of friends enjoying a drink as they fill out their national lottery slip. Needless to say the place is normally very noisy and thick with smoke.

This lunchtime though, the bar was certainly smoke free, bit was also client free. It was a shock. In all the time that I have lived here, I can’t remember ever seeing any bar, no matter how awful, void of drinkers on a Saturday lunchtime.

The « patronne » was quite clear, her regulars just haven’t come back since the sloking ban, and if it carries on like this, she might have to close.

Our local bar tabac « Le Nemrode » is situated on the main road into Bourges from Moulins. Everyday hundreds of lorries and delivery vans trundle past the café. Many of the drivers stop to buy their cigarettes and have a coffee...

yet it doesn't end there, see this...

I know that I have written a somewhat tongue in check article and backing it up with the blog of a actual smoker but the same garbage goes on even in Ireland, England and the Republic of California.

thanks and a tip of the beret to Dirk, who does read my blog and probably won't but a tip just the same.

Dieu le Roy!

PS I hate the smell of Gualoises.

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