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Post Column: Hookah bar a place to relax, meet people

I have never once understood the allure of cigarettes. I’ve had them on several occasions, but not once have I ever considered making it a regular habit. All the cancer and birth defects talk aside, I just never liked the taste, and why would I spend seven dollars for a pack? You can spout all those health class facts, but the main dealbreaker preventing me from doing things like cigarettes or crystal meth is just the fact that it is too expensive to maintain the habit.

I thought I would never get involved with tobacco for those reasons, but this year, I have really gotten involved with hookah. I’ve tried hookah several times this year, and I love it.

I love it because, unlike cigarettes, the taste is not only tolerable, but enjoyable. Also, I never have to worry about how expensive it is, because any time I want it, I can just bum it off my roommate who felt a $250 hookah was not exorbitant and was a good investment.

I really hope he pays the rent on time this month.

Best of all, though, I can easily blow smoke rings with a hookah, and blowing smoke rings is so much fun. I’m always finding out new ways to make the rings bigger or to make them stronger. When I blow a perfect smoke ring, I feel like Gandalf blowing a smoke ship, and anything that makes you feel like a powerful wizard or Ian McKellan is definitely cool.

While I have been enjoying hookah this entire year, it was only recently that I got to visit the hookah bar. The main reason I wanted to go was because I’m a senior and I’ve never been there. A college student who has never been to a hookah bar? It’s like a brony who has never been to a furry convention.

When I ordered a hookah for my friends, I realized a $250 hookah did sound like a good investment. The hookah cost like $14, and for me, that is nearly my weekly food budget. It was a total weekly food budget when I found out I could buy soda and bubbles.

The bubbles were absolutely fantastic. That was the first time I expressed that much interest in bubbles since the time I was a kid and a magician created a giant bubble around me, and I thought I was in some kind of prison and broke down crying. I give credit to whatever ADHD-diagnosed college student came up with the idea to use bubbles to create giant smoke bubbles.

Cost aside, everything else about the hookah bar was great. I really enjoyed the atmosphere, which seemed to have two radically different sides. One side was dark and relatively quiet, which is what I like, and the other side looked like a European rave. It was filled with people, was very loud, and the place was blinding due to all the lights.

The most surprising thing about the hookah bar I found was how social the whole place was. Random groups of people would just start talking with other strangers, and even I found myself talking with people I’d never seen before.

The hookah bar does good business since they remain open after the bars close. For people who want to continue having the social experience of college, the hookah place is a good place to go late at night.

Normally, I would suggest Big Mama’s, but I’m beginning to doubt anyone is actually conscious when they wait in line to order their food.

Final verdict: I love hookah and a good place to exercise that hobby is at the hookah bar. I’m still a little bitter that it is so expensive for one visit. But to a financially responsible person capable of holding down a job, the price is no concern for the benefits you get from it.

Dennis Fulton is a senior studying journalism at Ohio University and a columnist for The Post. Can you blow a smoke dragon like Gandalf? Email Dennis at df342709@ohiou.edu.

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