Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Remnants of the Smoking Age

Oh those were the days when every room had a built in ashtray, at restaurants, hotels, hospitals, the office….

I was in an older hotel a little while ago and I came across this in the bathrooms by the conference rooms – I had to snap a picture.   

Now taking photographs in a john is usually frowned upon and I was quick to snap the pic before anyone walked in, lest I would Iook like some kind of weirdo, which would have been a perfectly acceptable look if one were to hear a camera click and a flash go off in a public restroom.  Anyway -I was safe, no one saw or heard me take a picture in a bathroom.  Of course, until now…

This just brought back memories, as a kid I always disliked it when people smoked in family restaurants, not the kind that had bars and served drinks – but the Big Boy kind of restaurants, without smoke eaters zapping in the ceilings.  I never understood why – weren’t you there to eat with your kids and get out?

But everywhere else, I suppose you had leisure time to relax with a cigarette…

Like say while on the toilet – really, what else were you doing, there weren’t cell phones to play games or text on back in the day and there aren’t any magazines in a public john, so yeah – go ahead, light up – get a couple things done at once….

I remember when I moved to Detroit, my first job was downtown – not quite in the city center, but close and there were ashtrays built into the walls of the building - every five feet or so – all around the perimeter.   You know, so you didn’t have to go too far from your desk to flick that ash, let alone go outside.  Outside would have been a ridiculous suggestion….

I also should say this place was a brokerage, lots of stress, lot and lots of smoking…

They also had lounge chairs in the women’s bathroom in a separate room as you walked in, you know, in case us ladies ever felt faint and needed a little rest.   

It was an interesting place, where you parked inside a barbed wire parking lot, with full security and the bums rolled down the block with fires built inside shopping carts – portable heaters per-se.  

Oh and the parking lot sometimes became a giant sink hole, there are old salt mines under Detroit, twice I came outside to see two or three cars swallowed up in a giant hole from the parking lot collapsing into the abyss.  A vision you never forget…big Lincoln Town cars, tilted and sunken into the earth.

Ooooh and we used to get hams or turkeys for Christmas, remember those days?  Wow – now that really was a long time ago!  The brokerage doesn't exist anymore, Manufactures Bank – who also doesn’t exist anymore, bought them out and did them in, as they did themselves in….

Ah, those were the days, just think, if you were a smoker, you could have smoked the ham right at your desk getting it ready for the holiday – yet again, accomplishing more than one unrelated thing at a time….Bleh