NOTE: I wrote most of this blog on Sunday with the assumption that the Smoking Ban would pass in Cape Girardeau. As I edit this on Tuesday night, that is obviously not the case. However, there's no point in wasting a perfectly good blog even if one fact happens to be wrong...
The smoking ban passed in the city of Cape Girardeau yesterday. This was not surprising.
I figured that a majority would vote in favor of it purely because they neither smoke nor like smoking. Heck, I don't like smoking either, but I guess I view this matter differently than some people. I personally believe the ordinance is too restrictive and the process was an excellent example of out-of-town money buying a local election.
But what's done is done and now plenty of places will be smoke free. According to the ordinance, there appears to be no transition period from the election to the ban. The language in the proposal says it "will take effect immediately upon its passage and approval."
I guess those places that allowed smoking had better toss out their ashtrays before the local San Smoking militia -- also known as the S.S. -- starts doing spot checks to verify that their will is being followed.
However, before all the restaurants and bars discard their smoking sections and open them up to one and all, I beg those business' proprietors to pause for a second and listen to this humble request:
Since these spaces already exist within your restaurants, could you please make them Adults Only areas? And when I say Adults, I mean 21 and older.
No babies. No toddlers. No preschoolers or precocious elementary age kiddies. No tweens with thumbs flying on cell phones or teens sullenly listening to the music on their iWhatever. Only drinking-age adults should be allowed in these areas. Your wait-staff will appreciate this, since the people who would want to be in this area tend to tip better.
People with children in tow can have the rest of the restaurant, but leave this space for the childless adults to ruminate in peace while they enjoy a cold draft or a mixed drink.
Now those of you with children or grand children under the age of 21 might be appalled that I would suggest such segregation. I'm being age-ist, you might say, and you'd be absolutely right.
But I'm obviously not talking about YOUR children. YOUR children are little darlings who know their manners and never act up in public and always listen to their elders. They're never loud and they speak when spoken to. Your babies don't have colic and never ever squall like a hurricane.
In short, I know that your offspring are just perfect angels and the Adults Only area is really not intended to keep them out. Really, it's not.
It's for those OTHER children. You know the ones I'm talking about. Those discourteous hellions with the oblivious parents who will probably grow up to be terrorists or outlaw bikers or politicians or even -- God help us -- smokers.