Circa 1984, my dad and I climbed on a Greyhound to head up to the Soo. Our car had received some specialist attention in the big city, an hour-and-a-half drive away, and we were going to pick it up.
That, of course, is not remarkable. What is, seen through the lens of history, is that nearly everybody on the bus was smoking. The air was blue. The tiny open windows made no difference and we coughed and choked all the way down the highway.
For us, it was some level of hell. For them, the ones embarking on the open road, it could now be called a luxury. Imagine that: setting out on a public journey and sparking a cigarette.
Leaving home equals freedom. Think Vegas, whose marketing people made history with their slogan.
For some, it’s all about downing a few tequila shots and learning salsa from the pretty local on the resort dance-floor. For others, it’s being able to do what you want, when you want. Either way, travel can result in a direct line between us and our worst habits.
This can be bad.
Case in point: a recent article reveals the truth about vineyard tours, reporting that some people aren’t actually there to swirl the esteemed vintage around in the glass before pooling it on the tongue. Instead, they’re riding the bus down dusty California roads with a single mission in mind: getting loaded.
I’m sure people have been knocking on the vineyard gates, ready to tie one on for centuries, but the problem, says the article, is the usual. People getting rowdy and rude.
In a word: obnoxious drunks.
This is a shame, because as your grade school teacher taught you, these people are ruining it for everyone else. Formerly free vineyards are now charging admission in an effort to keep the drop-in drunkards from, well, dropping in.
In stranger other news, one man is now waging war on the anti-smoking tyrants by launching his own luxury airline where clients can smoke from Germany to Japan, as Globorati – where I may soon be making my debut – reports. The airline’s website even offers lots of proof that second-hand smoke doesn’t kill.
That’s a relief.