Oxygen for sale
Posted: Thursday, August 7, 2008 9:36 pm
It’s official. People have more money than sense. Have you heard about oxygen bars? For those of you who have never heard of oxygen bars, I’m more than glad to use this column to educate. First, I know there are fellow citizens who need oxygen tanks with them at all times due to specific health issues. I understand that. But the people with medical issues are not the ones who are flocking to oxygen bars. No. Oxygen bars are designed for people who are perfectly healthy. Prepare to be amazed.
An oxygen bar is similar to a coffee bar or a bar that sells alcohol. But instead of selling a drink, they sell oxygen. Yes. Oxygen. I know what some of you are thinking. You’re thinking, “Wait a second. I thought all of us breathe oxygen every day. Isn’t oxygen just floating out there in the air all the time for free?” Precisely. So you can imagine my shock when I walked by an oxygen bar in a major city and saw perfectly healthy-looking people hooking up to the oxygen masks with such enthusiasm. Ten minutes for $10. Yes. You just walk in and get comfortable on a bar stool while a staff member takes your $10 and hooks you up, allowing you to breathe a 40 percent oxygen solution for 10 minutes. You can even get your oxygen scented with essential oils like eucalyptus, lemon or lavender. I know. What’s wrong with America?
I immediately came home and did some Internet research. I assumed this was just a West Coast or East Coast phenomenon. I refused to believe that Southerners could fall for such nonsense. You can imagine my shock upon learning that most all major Southern cities were right in there with the oxygen bars. My favorite business name was “Air Heads Oxygen and Aroma Therapy Bar.” If that doesn’t lay it out clearly, what does? Another one was called “Smoothie and Oxygen Bar.” Now there’s an idea. Come in and get a fat-free sugar-free mocha boysenberry smoothie for $5.99 and we’ll throw in 10 minutes of oxygen for only $10. Wow! That’s a deal. I could get no sugar, no fat and breathe for 10 minutes ... for a mere $15.99. What’s not to love about that?
The more I studied the concept of oxygen bars, the prouder I was of our rural lifestyle. I doubt an oxygen bar could make it in our area. People are just too sensible. But, just in case, I thought I’d make a little plug for a home business my boys and I are starting called “The Smartt Oxygen and Fresh Tomato Bar.” Just pull into our driveway, sit on the front porch rockers ... and breathe that fresh country air. After 10 minutes, we’ll supply you with a homegrown tomato and a salt shaker. After 15 minutes, if you’re still not feeling fully revitalized, we’ll let you take a spin through the yard on our old mower turned four-wheeler. It’ll be a fresh air experience you’ll never forget. I think those big city folks would gladly shell out the cash for such a service. Of course, we’d provide it for free. That’s the way country folks do things. I’m still amazed when I think about paying for oxygen. Before we know it, people are gonna start selling water in bottles. Uh-oh.
Editor’s note: Lisa Smartt’s column appears each Wednesday in the Friends and Neighbors section of The Messenger. Mrs. Smartt is the wife of Philip Smartt, the University of Tennessee at Martin parks and recreation and forestry professor, and is mother to two boys, Stephen and Jonathan. She is a freelance writer and speaker. Her book “The Smartt View: Life, Love, and Cluttered Closets” is available at The Messenger, The University of Tennessee at Martin bookstore or by mail for $10, plus $2 shipping. Send checks to Lisa Smartt, 300 Parrott Road, Dresden TN 38225. She can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Published in The Messenger 8.6.08