Welcome to Stepford.

I am continually bemused by my fellow citizens who want to turn Oak Park into Stepford. Or worse, Winnetka.

Recent VIEWPOINTS contributors, Barry Abrams (“Secondhand smoke is worse for Oak Park than a ban is for restaurants”) and Jennifer Fredericks (“Banning smoking would only add more charm to downtown”), come to mind.

Barry, who certainly isn’t a smoker because no smoker could be so long winded, and Jennifer are both terribly upset that Oak Parkers actually have a choice as to the type of environment they wish to dine in. Smoky or smoke-free.

Barry is very concerned for our children (thank goodness there are no endangered buffalo in Oak Park or I don’t think the man would sleep). Apparently, according to Barry, there are no eating establishments for children in Oak Park devoid of smoke. I think Barry needs to get out more.

And Jennifer truly believes “every person who works and lives in our great village deserves and needs to be protected.” Couldn’t agree more. I especially want to be protected from people who want to take away our freedom of choice. Freedom of choice is one of the few things left that separates us from some of the less fortunate regimes around the world and I’m all for it.

So here’s a simple dining tip if you’re about to enter a restaurant filled with deranged smokers. Don’t go in. See how easy that was?

No doubt smoking is bad. Actually, smoking is terrible. I’ve been a non-smoker for over ten years and proud of it. But the thing I’m most proud about is that I choose to quit. I wasn’t forced to quit. Made that decision all on my own. And having that option to choose for myself makes me breathe easier. About a lot of things.
Bernie Pitzel
Oak Park

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