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  • Writer's pictureTina

Man Blog

Another month has passed by in the blink of an eye. It seems the older I get, the faster time goes. It is also the case that what was once the norm is now odd and what was strange is now the norm. For over six years I have avoided watching the news. I have to admit that occasionally The Mrs. will have it on when I am in the room. Just like that, I remember why I tuned out. One story, in particular, made me realize how much things have changed since I was young. It seems there is a beach in Florida where smoking has become outlawed, complete with fines and possible jail time. An open-air, constantly wind-blowing beach has the most significant problem it could face with smoking. It seems like not that long ago, every restaurant had a smoking section. There were absolutely no dividers between smoking and nonsmoking. Mostly there wasn't even any logical setup between the two. The booth or table beside yours was smoking, and yours was not; end of story, no fines or jail time. I admit that if I was at the said beach choking on secondhand smoke, I would first and foremost wonder why there was a secondhand smoke issue at a beach in the open air; then, I would move.

Historians always have theories of significant events or battles that are the most crucial to life. Mine is simple, bottled water. I cannot imagine being the first salesperson to pitch that idea to a producer. "You know how people have free water, and there are water fountains everywhere? I believe we can charge for water." That is where everything got turned upside down, in my opinion. We had five channels on our television to choose from when I was growing up. They were free. Again, there was enough push to take something that was free and turn it into a bill. There were enough bills to fund a satellite into orbit to transmit hundreds of channels of mind-numbing nonsense to be gobbled up. What is better for ratings than the oddest of the odd? From MTV to Jerry Springer and every reality show ever created, the odd has become commonplace, and common has become odd.

Years ago, only a specific type of people had tattoos: ex-cons, military vets, bikers, and fast women. At first glance at my "body art" my dad reassured me, "If I were born with a mark like that, I would pay good money to get it removed." Today if a kindergarten teacher doesn't have a full sleeve and the ongoing extension creeping up her neck, she seems out of place. The mildest, most law-abiding among us have tattoos. Back in the day, said gentle mannered folks would have been confused for a felon wanted in a bank heist. Smoking tobacco in a Mcdonald's would now result in being dragged out in handcuffs. While burning a joint in the parking lot is all right because pot is now medicine. Oh my, how times have changed.

Raw milk is another complete role reversal. Getting milk out of a local farmer's bulk tank wasn't uncommon when I was young. It was cheaper. The farmer was paid more for the milk than they would have gotten for the same gallon going for bulk. Everyone won. It wasn't trendy. Folks with money or status wouldn't be caught dead buying milk directly from a farmer. Civilized folks with culture went to the grocery store for milk. Anything else was savage. Now it is trendy and in style. Somehow years of consuming food from giant corporations, all available at chain grocery stores turned out to be a bad idea. Getting to see the producers and their setup was a long-overdue change.

The status symbol of being off the grid always makes me giggle. Folks that went "off the grid" in the past didn't pay their electric bill. There was not a giant story on Insta-Face about how exciting their new journey is, and the hardships faced by giving up modern amenities. Plane and simple bills weren't paid, warnings were ignored, and the plug was pulled. It was due to a lack of money. Today the jump to pull the plug takes money and lots of it. Everyone wants to be off the grid with all of the perks of being on the grid. Solar, wind, and hydroelectric are all fancy ways of living poor while being trendy rich. The folks I know that are genuinely on their own have too much hard work for me to be interested in making the switch. Wood-burning stoves require a wood cutting and splitting sacrifice. Not to mention the fact that they need tending to. You don't set a dial to keep the house at 70 degrees when you are not home. Ice houses need to be stocked with ice cut in the winter. Who wants to watch someone carrying firewood or ice when it is more exciting to see them unbox a new solar panel?

The Mrs. loves to watch her home improvement shows. About two minutes into any of them I realized that the Pamela Anderson-types had launched their revenge against men. After years of being objectified by men, unlike myself, who didn't watch Baywatch for the exciting plot, they struck back. They struck back by making it look like an entire home could be destroyed, rebuilt, and worth multiple times the original value in under a forty-five-minute episode. The only thing that makes me happier than house projects is giant unrealistic house projects spurred on by someone that doesn't have the credibility of once being married to a member of Mötley Crüe. If the bottled water had not been successful, satellite TV would not have existed, thus leading to someone other than Bob Villa doing renovations. I'm pretty sure Bob is a good guy and, with the proper begging, could have been talked into a mishap to highlight the dangers of house projects, resulting in everyone avoiding projects.

While the debate will always linger about assassinations in Europe changing the course of history or expeditions to new worlds changing the current state of the world, in modern history, it all boils down to bottled water. The change occurred the first time free could be billed for and billed for became better than free. The snowball effect was unknown to the original bottled water creators at the time. However, it has led to the complete reversal of all that is odd being the norm and Pamela Anderson-types causing misery and sorrow. Before you act, remember that just because you can doesn't mean you should. Until next month stay safe and wash on.

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I just want to comment on the issue of banning cigarettes on beaches in Florida. This has absolutely nothing to do with second hand smoke but everything to do with pollution. Pollution in the fact that the "butts" do not degrade and are carried, as runoff, to drains and from there to rivers, beaches and oceans. Preliminary studies show that organic compounds (such as nicotine, pesticide residues and metal) seep from cigarette butts into aquatic ecosystems, becoming acutely toxic to fish and microorganisms. So this is the main reason why smoking has become illegal on Florida beaches.... I am sure you can appreciate this as we are only trying to do our best to protect this ecosystem.


Kimberly Graham
Kimberly Graham
Feb 01, 2023

You are absolutely correct! If it's not broke don't fix it or make it a law to fix it.

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