Warning: Contents of this post may indicate that I have taken this a little too personally. You have been warned.As you may have read in previous posts, part of my job involves promoting smokefree legislation, which (in Missouri, at least) is tantamount to proclaiming Pauly Shore a comedy genius. Missouri tends to avoid change like a kindergartener avoids clean underwear. (I have no idea where that came from, folks). So any attempt to do something that might be beneficial...well, you might as well try to turn a pork steak into motor oil.
Ballwin is a case in point - since August, it has been an almost bare knuckle brawl between the Board of Aldermen and the local restaurant owners. Most of the press has been focused on the restaurant owners, whose shenanigans both in front of and behind the cameras have been less-than-honorable. (As well as mine, but more on that later).
Just a few hours ago, the city council passed a smokefree workplace ordinance (5 - 3 against), and of course, the pro-smoking contingent complained.
"We didn't get our say! This was railroaded!" This after a four month process where they received the lion's share of the attention.
"Hey, what about our rights?" You have a right to smoke - and I have a right to breathe clean air.
(For some of you who live in states with such legislation, it may be hard to understand - next time you're in town, I'll explain it to you over the beverage of your choice).
Of course, rather than take the high road - and being the only person in favor of such legislation - I decided to take on one of my opponents, a man who lives in Rock Hill (five miles away) who criticized me for "coming into" Ballwin and pushing my way inside. Soon, I realized that as the two of us were talking, the tv camera was filming us...and I looked like a pushy, obnoxious dude.
(OK, I am a pushy obnoxious dude, but I don't need it immortalized on videotape).
After a semi-sheepish television interview, I called my bosses, let them know what happened, and went home.
Even though I'm rather tired, and still a little buzzed about the "victory", it reminds me of why I enjoy comics so much. Even in dealing with people who assume they are right, who show their true colors through their actions, it's nice to know that sometimes, doing what I believe is right can be the most heroic thing I can do in one day, and that most people can agree to disagree and remain civil.