Let's ban anything that's unhealthy

Letter to the editor

Posted: Thursday, April 08, 2004

By now everyone has heard about the Juneau Clean Air Committee, which is trying to extend the smoke-free workplaces to include all restaurants and bars. Part of their argument focuses on safety in the workplace. I pose this question to you folks: Why stop at smoking?

In a recent conversation with one of the cooks at Henry's Food and Spirits, "Tom" stated, "You know Jay, I really hate going home smelling like grease. Why should I have to put up with smelling like hog lard so people can eat French fries?" My thoughts exactly. I think that we should next focus on banning fried foods in restaurants. First of all, there is the danger that it will splatter on the cooks when they drop the delectable frozen food into the hot oil and they will be scorched. Second, there is the danger that people will eat these high-fat foods, which we know all lead to obesity, the current No. 2 killer in the U.S. People who work in restaurants are much more likely to eat these foods on a regular basis due to the accessibility, and will become obese and unhealthy. Thus, we must next work on banning the unsafe deep-fat fryers from all restaurants.

And I'll tell you something else. As a bartender, I get sick of going home smelling like booze. Whether it's pouring drinks, spilling drinks, or cleaning up drinks, it always seems like I go home smelling like booze. Therefore, I am asking the members of the JCAC to help me ban drinking in bars (after, of, course we ban the smoking and greasy foods). For one, there is an enormous danger that by working in a bar, I will be more likely to have a cocktail after working my shift. Potentially, this could lead to alcoholism, something that is hereditary in everyone, and something that my father died of. In addition, going into a bar and having a drink increases the chances that the drinker will operate an automobile after a cocktail. And we all know how deadly drinking and driving can be. So I beg of you, JCAC members, help me eliminate the horrors associated with alcohol in my profession.

Oh, but if we do all that, I'll be out of a job, my boss will go under (not to mention all of the other entrepreneurs who own bars in town), and the city will lose millions per year because of all this. What was I thinking?

Jay Dennison


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