… and the smokers on it only players. At least that’s what the bar owners in Minnesota have decided. They have taken a loophole in the state no-smoking law to allow their patrons to have their tobacco, even if they have to sing for their supper, so to speak:
On a night when wind chills were expected to reach minus-40 or below, revelers hunkered down for a night of drinking at Barnacle’s Resort, a popular winter redoubt for ice fishermen and snowmobilers on the north shore of Lake Mille Lacs.
Helmets and jackets were stuffed everywhere. A plastic kiddie pool full of crushed ice held red meat, which was raffled off throughout the night. Two tables of Texas Hold ‘Em were full, and someone was telling the story of the night Minnesota Vikings fullback Jim Kleinsasser sat there – right there – in that very stool. Smoke wafted through the bar.
Wait … smoke? As in cigarettes?
On this Saturday night, and every Saturday night going forward until someone tells them to stop, the owners at Barnacle’s are allowing their customers to light up. It’s not so much an act of civil disobedience against the statewide smoking ban as it is exploiting an exception that allows smoking as part of a theatrical production.
You see, all those people drinking and smoking and laughing and telling the government to mind its own business? They’re really actors.
Is this a lame dodge, a technicality? Of course it is, although ice fishermen up here are no strangers to spinning a few yarns for a drink or two. It’s a lame dodge around a lame law that tells bar and restaurant owners that they cannot choose to serve smokers on property they own.
The state legislature may wind up with a theatrical boom in Minnesota. The arts have always had a strong following in the North Star State, but this year it may really be smoking. If the rest of the bars and restaurants follow the lead of Barnacle’s, we may see a lot of poetry readings and Shakespearean sonnets in Minnesota bars. And while the acting may be as rotten as something in Denmark, the play’s the thing — in which they hope to catch the attention of the legislature. (via QandO)