Unemployed ashtrays find new work | VailDaily.com

Unemployed ashtrays find new work

J.K. Perry
NWS Smoking Ban BH 3-11

EALGE COUNTY – Local government officials blackened an environmental eye passing the smoking ban, leaving thousands of useless bar room and restaurant ashtrays to fill local landfills.But bartenders and smokers were fighting back Saturday during the first day of the ban with creative if not downright clever new jobs for the cigarette-buttless ashtrays.”We’re going to melt down all of ours down and make a glass parrot for the Brass Parrot,” bartender Bill Graves said. “We’ll hang it beside the cigarette machine.”Avon cops stopped by the Brass Parrot late Friday evening to inform employees the ban began at 12:01 a.m., and also passed out stickers for the front door reading “By law this establishment is 100-percent smoke free. It’s all about health. Thank you for your support,” Graves said.”They said ‘We will be back by complaint only,’ ” Graves said.

No one seemed to be complaining when smokers fired up after the cops were gone and the clock struck midnight.”I said I think you should smoke outside and when they didn’t, I passed them an ashtray” so they wouldn’t burn the carpet, Graves said.At Paddy’s in Eagle-Vail, bartender Jen Brosch came up with an ashtray-recycling scheme of her own.”I’m thinking of bringing in some sculpting clay so everybody can decorate the ashtrays and then make them into peanut bowls,” Brosch joked.One could tell the smoking ban had taken place Saturday at Finnegan’s Wake in Avon as the smoke from Jessica Bechart’s Parliament Light wafted on the afternoon air. Bechart said she supported the smoking ban and she also formulated a plan for the lonely ashtrays.

“They should mold them into some kind of sculpture – a non-smoking sign,” Bechart said.Finnegan’s once employed 40 to 50 ashtrays now out of work and waiting in the unemployment line. Peanut bowls were once again mentioned by bartender Doug Russell as a way to put the struggling ashtrays back to work.Then Russell thought again, and came up with a better plan.”We should use them as shot glasses for all the smokers – of course cleaned out,” he joked.Russell said no one lit up Saturday afternoon at the bar. If someone did, Russell would simply ask the patron to extinguish the butt. On the other hand, a patron refusing might warrant a call to the police, Russell said.

Staff Writer J.K. Perry can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 14622, or jkperry@vaildaily.com.Vail, Colorado

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