It was a cool 48ºF Wednesday morning as Boomer & I made our way to “Joe’s Café & Coffee,” and the sky was clear. Fall was definitely in the air.
Carl & Fred were already at their usual places at the counter and Josef was hovering near the cash register with a carafe of freshly brewed organic and shade-grown, fair-trade, Sumatran-blend coffee, to fill our Danger Bay Collectible Mugs with that elixir of the gods (as you will readily see in the graphic above—there is a gap of a couple of counter stools between Boomer & I. Those are reserved for you, so join us and speak your mind).
As is always the case when we are gathered at the café, we talked “of many things – of shoes – and ships – and sealing-wax…” (with apologies to the estate of Lewis Carroll). Anyway, the discussion came around to the Minnesota statewide workplace smoking ban that recently went into effect.
“Ya know, guys,” Boomer said, “with all the discussion of how the ban would affect bars & restaurants, it was lost on me that it would have an impact on all workplaces.”
“I guess on some level,” Fred, looking up from his morning paper, offered, “I knew that, but with all the opposition coming from the bar-owners who are blaming our city council member Dave Thune for this thing…”
“…It sort of became a bar and restaurant issue,” Carl rumbled, finishing Fred’s thought, “but Thune had little to do with the bipartisan bill the governor signed.”
“That’s true, but Thune gets the blame anyway. Yesterday, I stopped at my favorite body shop with a part delivery,” Boomer continued, “and the owner and his two employees “Bodyman” and “Painter Guy” were outside on break. Usually when on break, they would sit just inside the roll-up door to the shop.”
“So, they were outside because of the new law,” I interjected, “no big deal.”
“It was for them,” Boomer said, “they viewed it as an intrusion on their ‘personal rights,’ and they put the blame on Thune. Mr. & Mrs. Owner are non-smokers, but their two long-time employees both smoke.”
“As do you, Pariah,” Carl boomed, smiling.
“Sometimes I feel that way Carl,” Boomer smiled back, “but I also feel that my rights end where another’s begin. It’s legal for me to smoke, but it’s your right not to inhale my smoke. These guys were angry, their perception being that their rights had yet again been stomped on by the government.”
“Did you set’em straight?” Fred asked, knowing full well what Boomer’s answer would be.
“I represent Saturn when I am there,” he answered, “I won’t argue with a customer. But you know, these guys seldom concern themselves with the rights of others.”
“What do you mean?” Carl asked.
“They view the world strictly from their own perspective,” Boomer answered, “They are smart, but don’t view things beyond their world. They see the world in stereotypes, and as such become stereotypical themselves.”
“Ahh, they are the victims kind of people.” Carl rumbled.
“I guess,” Boomer sighed, “but still, in a one-on-one situation they treat everyone well—and they do fine bodywork.”