News from the Tennessee Valley Columnists


A lot of blarney there, eh Paddy

Catch a leprechaun and kiss the Blarney stone! There is life in Irish pubs after the Emerald Isle banned smoking in 2004.

The Irish are fine storytellers, even if they havenít had a wee bit to drink, so take this anecdotal evidence as if you were chasing cascading rainbows during an Irish spring shower.

Life in the pubs is good. Pubs are still the center of social life. Patrons adapted. They step outside to a beer garden when they smoke. But, here is more anecdotal evidence: The Irish are smoking less and drinking more.

Pub folks need to keep busy, so instead of alternating a drink and a drag on a smoke, they double up on their drinks.

Pub owners are selling more pints.

And, if you can believe more hearsay, the music is better because of the 90 percent improved air quality.

The Irish are known for their accordions and bagpipes and other bellows-driven musical instruments. You know, they inhale and exhale air the same as human lungs.

These instruments needed constant repair before the ban because they filled with impurities from the smoky environment. One repairman said the soot-like cigarette smoke entered the bellows then clogged the reeds, thus effecting the quality of their music.

Counting today, Decaturís smoking ban is 14 days old, hardly enough time to be lucky enough to catch a leprechaun.

Tom Wright is executive editor.

Tom Wright Tom Wright
DAILY Executive Editor

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