As I was leaving the office on Friday, I got a text from Gilby Clarke. Seems he had ducats for the College World Series game that evening, and I immediately jumped at the offer. This was the infamous rain delayed game from the previous evening, which had started and lasted all of 15 minutes before being delayed. The rain never stopped, and the game was eventually postponed until Friday.
And so it was that the game on Friday began with the bases loaded, one out, and North Carolina trailing LSU 1-0.
On Tuesday, Omaha’s complete smoking ban unexpectedly went into effect when a state judge signed papers striking down the exemptions in the previous law. The partial ban held that if an establishment served food, smoking was banned. If there was no kitchen, or if the establishment had Keno, smoking was OK. These labyrinthine-esque exemptions led to lots of confusion, apparently. Or so I’m told. Anyway, the state agreed with the confused people, ruled the exemptions unconstitutional, and struck them down.
Wednesday, Dick Herculanum and I headed out to the bars to test this newfound smoke-free paradise. Calls to Continental Frutiger and Gilby Clarke went unreturned; we already knew what his answer would be, so we didn’t bother calling Cliff Glypha. Now, the Omaha Police were allowing a grace period through the weekend, so that all barowners had time to learn of the new law since it came so unexpectedly. So we were curious who would enforce it, and who would play dumb.
Before we headed to the bar, we met at an ice cream parlor in Dundee for a local graphic design social happy hour. I don’t know about anyone else, but ice cream is way better than beer. And I like beer a lot, as you well know. So imagine how much I love ice cream.
As we sat at tables on the sidewalk, we observed as a local TV crew went into the bar across the street. This particular bar, the loathsome Beer and Loathing in Dundee, is considering mounting a counter-attack on the judges’ ruling, and no doubt the TV news crew wanted a juicy soundbite for the news. Whether or not you think smoking in bars is OK or not, a statewide ban for Nebraska takes effect in 11 months, so what are they really gaining? It will take two months to get a hearing, so even if they win, they get what, nine extra months of smoking before having to ban it again? They’ll spend a fortune in legal fees for a short-term victory. Genius, those guys.