Choice is what made Poor Phil's smoke-free

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"We can't allow this to be a choice issue"

Yikes.

Herr Ansell was speaking about the just defeated restaurant smoking ban and Dennis Murphy's recent decision to ban smoking at Poor Phil's ("Poor Phil's says butts out").

Dennis' decision was based on some very solid thinking; it will be better for his business.

Fair enough.

Lucky for Dennis he lives in America, where he gets to make a choice. For now. Ansell would rather he didn't have that choice. He would rather make that choice for Dennis. And all the rest of the Oak Park restaurateurs.

Ansell also went on to say that the smoking ban is "what the people want."

This is the ban that was just voted down by, I assume, people. Apparently in the World According to Ansell, those people don't count. Those people had a choice. That choice thing makes everything so, well? messy. Like ashtrays.

So assuming Oak Park goes smoke free and the radical idea of choice gets extinguished where do we go from there?

I suppose also banning liquor at restaurants would be next. Got to be some health issues there I believe. Apparently, for the moment, the right to drink yourself under the table is more tolerable if there are no ashtrays on the table.

Personally I am offended by people who wear midriffs who should never ever wear midriffs. But I guess nausea isn't quite as deadly as cancer.

So, as long as we have the freedom of choice, those flabby bellies will keep oozing out and over those low-rise jeans.

And, as long as we have freedom of choice, people who don't mind smoke have their restaurants and people who do mind smoke will have theirs. Everyone wins.

Pretty interesting principle this choice deal. But certainly not one you'd want to base anything like a nation around. Just imagine actually living with choice.

Like the choice I made seven years ago to quit smoking. Did it all by myself. No help from David at all. Just like Dennis Murphy made his choice without any help from David at all.

Actually I'm beginning to think the real reason David doesn't want to make this an issue of choice is because he really doesn't care about what the people want. He really only cares about what David wants.

And that's the way it should be.

Because, after all, it's his choice.

Bernie Pitzel
Oak Park

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