March 2006


Queer Coffee

Recently, on one of my trips to the States, I was at a coffee shop where 100% of the male clientele was gay and 80% of the females were lesbians.

I was there to get some work done.

The cool part was that there was a guy there who I thought was cute. I mean, really cute. Happily, he too thought I was cute. There was definite eye contact between the two of us that was making it difficult for me to get any work done since I kept looking at him every few minutes and looking away rapidly whenever we made eye contact.

Eventually I was able to not look as frequently—but I was still looking every so often and making eye contact—until he vanished.

I was puzzled—his stuff was still there, but he was not. I looked around and thought that perhaps he had gone to the bathroom.

Until I realized that he had gone outside to smoke.

Oddly, after that I was able to work without interruption. With one discovery Mr. Cutie turned into Mr. Not Interesting Whatsoever.

I point this out because I went to Café Laden Sunday morning where I had a couple cups of coffee and a piece of cake while reading The Economist. Although the shop was not crowded (understand there are 12 seats in the entire shop, plus a few places one can stand), a couple of attractive men came into the shop. One was close to my type: probably about 6’ 4” with blue eyes, blondish hair—with really only one down side: a slightly ugly goatee.

I’ll admit it: I was looking at him.

But then he lit a cigarette, something that is sadly legal inside in German restaurants, and I lost interest.

Smoking is one of the few places where I will say that on average the United States is far ahead of Europe. Certainly there are exceptions to this: Ireland is better than Kentucky.

I suppose I should get off my repetitive rhetorical soap-box. I’ve ranted about smoking before. I suppose I’ll rant about it again. It’s frustrating to me that in Germany one must be happy if the guy you are interested in only smokes a little instead of like a chimney.

6 comments to Queer Coffee

  • Canada’s smoking rates are lower than those in the United States and, on average, smoking laws are more restrictive here. Since major medical costs are borne by the public sector in Canada, governments have no qualms about restricting smoking, and the federal government has been agressive in implementing smoking cessation/prevention programs.

  • I forgot to mention something: with the exception of a tiny part of Ontario, Canada is not geographically or climatically suited to tobacco farming, so there has never been an agricultural component to the tobacco debate here. Although there are Various Canadian cigarette brands (DuMaurier, Series Seven), all must devote 50% of their packaging to graphic health warnings, and a pack of cigarettes can cost up to CDN$9 (including GST & PST).

  • ChrisC

    The only nice thing I can say about tobacco is that it is pretty when it blooms. Sadly, about the same time it blooms the farmers come through and harvest it all resulting in the end of a lovely field of flowers. *shrugs*

  • R.


  • Jerry: Comparing Kentucky and Montreal (1999 to 2004) I found a lot more smoking in Montreal than I did in Louisville.

    I think it was my expectation every restaurant should have a non-smoking section. That wasn’t true often in Montreal. (Though I hear they’re changing to all non-smoking.)

    In the streets I found a lot of young people smoking. Back in Louisville it was middle age and older who were the prime abusers.

    * This is not based on stats, but was only my observations.

  • As of 2004, Quebec’s smoking rate is no more than 24%, compared to 15% in BC (http://www.statcan.ca/Daily/English/050811/d050811c.htm ). During the same year, Kentucky reported that 27.4% of its population smoked (http://www.statehealthfacts.kff.org/cgi-bin/healthfacts.cgi?action=profile&area=Kentucky&category=Health+Status&subcategory=Smoking&topic=Smoking+Rate ).

    I guess it’s possible that a majority of Quebec’s smokers are concentrated in the Montreal area ? 🙂