Winter in New Jersey

February 19, 2007

How do you know it’s late summer in New Jersey? When you hear the merchants along the Shore are complaining that God hasn’t provided enough warm weather to keep the bennies and shoobies buying sodas, pizza and T-shirts — that’s when you know it’s late summer in New Jersey.

How do you know it’s winter in New Jersey? When you hear the Atlantic City casino operators are whining that not enough rubes have been coming to gamble away their mortgage payments and their kids’s college funds — that’s when you know it’s winter in New Jersey.

Here’s something particularly ludicrous:

Smoking restrictions are another wild card. As of April 15, casinos must designate at least 75 percent of their gambling floors as smoke-free. The industry is worried about losing its smoking patrons, as well as the millions of dollars it will cost each property to wall off smoking areas and install expensive ventilation systems.

Having lobbied like hell to get themselves some kind of exemption from the smoking ban in public places, the casinos are now complaining about the expense they incurred for themselves by getting the state to approve a partial ban for their industry. No doubt some kind of subsidy will be added to the pot as a result.

I hereby summon the mighty power of the Internets to track me down a citation from Charles Dickens, who wrote a scalding passage in one of his novels about the coal mining companies and factories, and how they screeched that financial ruin would be the result whenever someone suggested they stop using child labor, or pay their workers a penny or two extra. If I remember correctly, Dickens marveled that such huge industries were apparently as fragile as glass, judging from the way they fretted at being asked to alter their ways even slightly.

Find me that passage, somebody! I suspect that by substituting “casino” for “coal mine” or “factory,” we’ll have a pretty good assessment of the New Jersey casino industry.

4 Responses to “Winter in New Jersey”

  1. Caveat Says:

    I tried, I really did. Couldn’t find it.

  2. Cautious Man Says:

    Maybe you’re thinking of “Hard Times” –

    “Surely there never was such fragile china-ware as that of which the millers of Coketown were made. Handle them never so lightly, and they fell to pieces with such ease that you might suspect them of having been flawed before. They were ruined, when they were required to send labouring children to school; they were ruined when inspectors were appointed to look into their works; they were ruined, when such inspectors considered it doubtful whether they were quite justified in chopping people up with their machinery; they were utterly undone, when it was hinted that perhaps they need not always make quite so much smoke.”

    And you’re right, it does sound very similar.

  3. Steven Hart Says:

    Cautious Man bags the big game!

  4. Damn beaten to the punch!

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