Thursday, August 24, 2006

The Twin Cities -- Polluted livers, pure lungs

Posted by Craig Westover | 10:41 AM |  

According to the first-ever “drunkest cities” evaluation by Forbes Magazine, the Twin Cities chugs with the best. Only Milwaukeeans abuse their livers more.

Bob Hume, spokesman for St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman, notes that only two months ago, Kiplinger's Magazine ranked the Twin Cities metro area second in its "Smart Places to Live" survey. How, he asked, could the same metro area be the nation's second-drunkest?

I have a guess -- smoking bans.

Remember the innocent Blake Van Denburgh? Earlier this year the Minnesota Daily quoted the aspiring animal science major as saying the smoking ban in St. Paul has encouraged him to go to bars more often.

“The smoky environment kept me from going out before,” he said.

I hope this young man and other Twin Citians driven to drink in our smoke-free bars aren’t drinking and driving. To paraphrase a comment attributed to Strib sports reporter Patrick Reusse (“I hope to live long enough to die from secondhand smoke“), everyone should be lucky enough to live long enough to where second hand smoke exposure actually is dangerous.

BTW: I’m still waiting for Bob Moffitt to pick a Thursday night to enjoy a Fish ’n Chips platter at Keegans -- his prize for finishing the sad tale of Blake Van Denburg’s seduction by demon rum.