Well, things hit home yesterday here in Ruidoso. The state-wide smoking ban went into effect Friday. Casinos are exempt but one place I like to eat banned smoking anyway. The buffet at The Inn of the Mountain Gods has been non-smoking but I never had time to smoke anyway. At least you can eat in the bar and smoke. K-Bob's Steak House sold out a couple months ago. The Western Steak and Grill took over and went non-smoking ahead of schedule. They also did away with one of the best salad bars I've ever come across. I left without eating the last trip and haven't been back.
I don't know how things are going to work out but I foresee a lot of anger, frustration, resentment and a tremendous loss of tourist trade. Smokers are in the minority now, but this is a smoking, drinking town. I feel like I've done all I can. When the media, the politicians and the stupid part of the public is against you, free speech, what's left of it, doesn't count for much. Ruidoso means noisy in Spanish and there used to be bars and dance halls on every block. Now, there's a 2 drink limit at the race track bars and no drinks in the casinos. I guess it's prohibition by degrees. My parents and their generation knew how to deal with it but this is the American Idol generation and entertainment rules at all costs. I'm very disappointed at how smokers have reacted. Americans, it seems, just don't care anymore about anything but spending their economically unsound money and getting fat off the temporary prosperity. Paris Hilton gets more play than something as important as the freedom issues surrounding smoking.
If it was just smoking, I'd quit, just like I've done before, contrary to the addiction theory. Habits are easier to break than addictions.
What I'd like to do is what I did at our church camp when I was in the 6th grade. The camp was for kids 8 to 18 from area churches. A tattle tale followed me behind the rest room where I normally went to smoke. After he told on me, I took his pants off and ran them up the flag pole. I told the camp officials that he was too little to beat up so I took his pants off and ran them up the flag pole. I'd like to show off the ignorance of ban proponents in the same way.