Interesting developments with SmokyDrinky.
The main missing element when I launched it on Monday was somewhere where people could meet up to smoke and drink and chat on Skype or Facebook, and make subversive videos of them doing that.
But in the last couple of days my attention has been drawn to appear.in, which is a website that allows people to book virtual “rooms”, and invite people to come visit them in their room.
Last night Emily got hold of one of the rooms, decorated it with the interior of a bar, and invited GaryK and me to visit. We sat smoking and drinking and chatting for an hour or more. It was a real social occasion, in a virtual sort of way. I was actually in the UK, Emily was in Massachusetts, and Gary was in Illinois.
Once you’ve created a new room, you can keep it. And Emily has kept hers. I went back there this morning and sat in it (on my own). Here’s me in Emily’s bar:
Last night me and Emily and Gary were in a line together in the middle of the screen. Up to 8 people can be on screen at the same time (in the free version). And it doesn’t need any special software installed – although it apparently only works with some browsers (Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and another).
It’s a little virtual pub! And it’s open all day – as I found out this morning when I went back there. And you can smoke and drink and chat in this virtual pub.
I won’t tell anyone where Emily’s bar is, because it’s hers. But I’ll be opening my own one later today. Just not sure how to decorate it.
I can well imagine lots and lots of these little virtual pubs appearing. And if you can’t get into one (because it’s full, just like real pubs used to be), you can always try another. And that way you’ll probably get to meet new people, just like in real pubs.
The antis will hate it, of course. And they’ll probably invent new forms of secondhand smoke to ban. Twenty-seventh-hand smoke will be the smoke in virtual online pubs that pours out of the screen and onto the chiiiiildren, killing them instantly.
And they’ll probably start trying to get into the pubs and put up No Smoking signs, and lecturing people about how Smoking Kills You Dead. And you’ll have to flee to some other virtual pub to escape them.
While on the topic of smoky pubs, H/T Rose for this article from the Scotsman in 2006:
Pubs find effects of ban not all heaven scent
“THE smoke has cleared but now we know what pubs really smell like. Bars across Scotland have installed air fresheners and improved ventilation since the smoking ban was introduced, Scotland on Sunday can reveal.
Publicans have been besieged with complaints about unpleasant smells in their establishments since the ban on smoking in public places was introduced last month.
They claim odours from sweating drinkers, strong perfume and stench from toilets were previously masked by the cigarette fumes.
A straw poll of 82 bars in five Scottish cities, conducted by this newspaper, found nearly three-quarters had experienced problems with unpleasant odours since the ban was introduced at the end of March.
In Edinburgh, bosses at the City Caf said they had been forced to burn incense and install fans to deal with the smell. And at the Abbey in the city’s Newington area, staff have had to open windows and doors to let in fresh air. The Standard Bar in Glasgow has invested in air fresheners, while the city’s Doublet bar has had to keep its ventilation system turned on full to dispel the stench.”
Erm,… if “publicans have been besieged with complaints about unpleasant smells in their establishments since the ban on smoking in public places was introduced”, doesn’t that mean that nobody was complaining about smoke before it was banned?