One absolute about me is that I am a passionate non-smoker. I’ve always hated the smell of cigarette smoke of any sort and there aren’t many more miserable experiences for me than being trapped in a situation where others are smoking.
My first visits to Las Vegas (passing through on the way to Bryce and Zion National Parks in southern Utah) were memorable for the way even the tiniest hotels on the interstate, well off The Strip, were still a miasma of grey toxins from all of the chain smokers. I swore that I would never go back to Las Vegas – and I didn’t until much later when they had changed and there were lots of places were smoking was banned.
I’ve refused to take rental cars that stank of cigarette smoke, and I’ve demanded a different hotel room on occasion for the same reason. Back in my dating days, I ended a blind, first date almost immediately when the woman who had claimed to be a non-smoker asked if I would mind if she lit up in my car.
Now we’re in the heart of the tobacco industry for a few days. We’re also seeing a lot of the downtown revitalization that’s going on and we’re quite impressed. Many of the old tobacco warehouses and headquarters for various cigarette companies have been completely gutted, cleaned up, and rebuilt as condos, offices, restaurants, and other repurposed spaces. It’s quite a job!
But, as The Long-Suffering Wife pointed out today, there’s a heavy dollop of irony in the way it’s being done.
One of those really nice, renovated spaces where we went for dinner today.
This is what it used to be, and a lot of the signage and identifying features were kept as part of the historical ambiance.
But what is it that The Long-Suffering Wife has discovered at the entrance?
Irony, thy name is The Surgeon General’s Warning!