So let's start here. Rumors that we're hearing at The Tattler suggest that our very own local bastion of decisive and clear thinking, The Sierra Madre Chamber Of Commerce, might be having some second thoughts on the possibility of an ordinance against the kind of in-your-face tobacco consumption we've been seeing downtown as of late. The idea being that if you chase the smokers from places such as the tables in front of Beantown, our in-town cappuccino, tobacco and beer-based economy may somehow collapse, provoking a crisis only rivaled by what is going on in the rest of the country.
And they do have a point, public smoking does bring in some business. A lot of the kids one can find wiling away their days in front of certain local establishments quaffing lattes and consuming the fine tobacco products of such global corporate entities as Philip Morris (AKA Kraft Foods), R.J. Reynolds, and Brown & Williamson (it's all about our individuality, man!), are not from Sierra Madre. They're here because the towns surrounding our stalwart little bastion of the freedom to smoke yourself to death in a bucolic public setting have literally run their unfortunate habit out of town. Making Sierra Madre a lifestyle sanctuary for this self-styled oppressed refugee community.
So in the ethical spirit of our noble and caring Chamber of Commerce, can't we take this one an additional step further? We here at The Tattler, in the hopes of strengthening the business community of downtown Sierra Madre, now propose that all ordinances against public outdoor alcohol consumption be immediately rescinded. Since drinking outdoors and in public is banished from the streets of every other town in the San Gabriel Valley, doesn't it logically follow that if we allow people to get their Budweiser on in Kersting Court, word will spread and those who wish to engage in this kind of behavior will flock here to party like there is no tomorrow? Bringing with them an infusion of new business to our challenged local economy? And most of them do pay cash, you know. We're talking some real liquidity here.
And hey, maybe our highly entrepreneurial COC could come up with some new products all their own! How about Wisteria Wine, served in its own specially designed recycled brown paper bag? Michillinda Malt Liquor? Heasley High Life? The opportunities are endless.
And after all, if the tobacco wacky kids of our happy valley have discovered that Sierra Madre is the one place that allows them to freely express their individuality by smoking in the vicinity of small children (therefore making a positive contribution to the downtown economy), wouldn't public drinking bring a similar benefit to town? And since the Chamber of Commerce now seems willing to jettison all public health considerations in favor of doing a little bidness, certainly some there should find this modest proposal appealing.
Speaking of absurdities, have you seen the sign Beantown has put up in its window? A reader kindly sent the above photo in to firstname.lastname@example.org, and we have now published it here. As you can see from this picture, the owner of Beantown is instructing his puffing proto-pals to do the following: "No smoking around children, no smoking around people who are eating," et cetera. So let's try and get this straight. If our Hot Topic bohemians (can individuality really be the product of global commerce?) smoking in front of this establishment obey his wishes here, won't they be following exactly the same kinds of things a Sierra Madre outdoor smoking ordinance would have them do?
Deliberations on the smoking tip by our City Council have been postponed for a couple of weeks. And there are some issues that need to be dealt with first. But none of them are more absurd than what we are seeing around town now from the "ban the ban" crowd. You have to wonder if perhaps certain people haven't lost their cotton picking minds.