By Drew Olson Special to Published Jun 28, 2010 at 10:44 AM

The countdown continues ...

A week from today, for the first time in more than a quarter-century of drinking (legally) at taverns in the State of Wisconsin, every establishment I visit will be smoke-free.

That's right -- the ban goes into effect next Monday. Some people are thrilled. Some are livid. Some are wondering what's going to happen. The transition is going to be fascinating.

Milwaukee Ald. Bob Donovan released a statement this morning ridiculing a rumor that the Mayor's office is asking police to enforce the ban inside taverns and nightclubs.

"As if Milwaukee police officers aren't already up to their badges in calls for service for cruising, shots fired, armed robberies, and other possible serious crimes, starting July 5 they'll also be asked to make sure no one lights up a smoke inside taverns and nightclubs," Donovan said.

I don't think "smoke patrols" are a particularly good idea, either, but I'm reasonably sure that the folks in charge will do the right thing in that regard.

I don't smoke, but people who do have never kept me from visiting a tavern when I'm thirsty. The ban doesn't effect me directly, other than the fact that the clothes in my hamper will smell a bit fresher after a night out.

But, I can hardly wait to see the sideshow that is coming our way. If you think the fireworks will end on July 4, wait until we see what happens the first few weeks after the ban begins.

Drew Olson Special to

Host of “The Drew Olson Show,” which airs 1-3 p.m. weekdays on The Big 902. Sidekick on “The Mike Heller Show,” airing weekdays on The Big 920 and a statewide network including stations in Madison, Appleton and Wausau. Co-author of Bill Schroeder’s “If These Walls Could Talk: Milwaukee Brewers” on Triumph Books. Co-host of “Big 12 Sports Saturday,” which airs Saturdays during football season on WISN-12. Former senior editor at Former reporter at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.