I sat in the sun outside a pub today. It’s one of the nearest pubs to where I live, so I go there quite often. It’s also a pub that for the entire time I’ve been living here has never provided a single ashtray on any of the numerous tables in its gardens. One result of this has been that there have always been cigarette butts littering the grass.
Recently it changed hands, and has been refurbished, and is now selling rather more upmarket (and expensive) food than before. But when it re-opened a month or so ago, the zero-ashtray policy continued.
But a couple of days ago, there’d clearly been a rethink. Because every single table had a couple of little glass ashtrays on it. The management clearly doesn’t want to do its bit in the global war on smokers, and has decided to look after them a bit better. And that’s a tiny victory.
In other ashtray news, a month or two ago I was sitting outside a pub that does provide ashtrays, and was noticing that the number of ashtrays had declined. In fact, there was only one left.
They were simple clay dishes of the exact same kind as are used under flower pots. So the next day I bought a few of them at a local garden centre, and every time I’ve gone back to this particular pub, I’ve brought one with me, and discreetly left it on one of the tables. In this manner I’ve been slowly increasing the ashtray population back up to its former level, without the management seeming to notice.
It’s a tiny victory to find “my” ashtrays still in use whenever I return.
I might take to carrying around a few ashtrays for when I visit other pub gardens. At a quarter of the price of a pint of beer, they don’t cost much.
Ashtrays aren’t just useful for cigarette butts. They’re actually little waste bins. And they fill up with all sorts of bits and pieces.
A couple of things I came across today. John Pilger talking on Counterpunch, and more worried about a Clinton presidency than a Trump one (as am I).
And, H/T The Last Ditch, Camille Paglia in an illuminating conversation about the travails of feminism over the past few decades, appalled at today’s university “snowflakes” and their need for “safe spaces”.