Warning: Dating at oxygen bars could lead to heavy breathing

image It all started with bottled water.

That’s when we, the consumers, put our collective feet down and cried out in a united voice that there was a little thing called The Law of Supply and Demand! And that we’d be willing to break that law for the chance to purchase an already free and abundant earthly element if it came in a squeeze bottle.

The latest trend is oxygen, which can now be purchased at a growing number of hip “Oxygen Bars” around the country. To prepare for your first venture, you must visualize the atmosphere of an oxygen bar.

[Pause here to catch clever irony of last sentence.]

[Thank you for waiting.]

Picture a singles bar with attractive people all sitting around conversing. Now, take the wine glasses and beer bottles away from these people and replace them with plastic oxygen tubes draped over their ears. Add to this sexually charged atmosphere the constant hum of an oxygen pump… and there you have it!

The terminal-care ward on “Grey’s Anatomy.”

OK, that’s the visual. Now let’s work on etiquette.

To begin with, flatulating into the end of someone’s oxygen tube is not considered an acceptable “ice-breaker.” Though there are many scent options to choose from, that is not one of them. Also, nothing exposes a first-timer faster than asking for the “smoking section” at an oxygen bar …

Come to think of it, that’s not entirely true.

The fastest way is actually not asking — and just lighting up.

For you single men out there, it’s important remember that the whole purpose of breathing 97 percent pure oxygen is to clarify and revitalize thinking. So pick-up lines that may have sounded clever after four beers at a singles bar now sound something like: “I wish I were a Jedi Knight. Can I live under your couch?”

So instead, try one of these savvy lines to entice a prospective date at an oxygen bar:

1) “Excuse me, is this nose-piece taken?”
2) “Can I buy you another minute of air?”
3) “This reminds me; whatever happened to the group ‘Air Supply’?”

As with any new and exciting trend, knowing the correct terminology and etiquette are crucial. Just as you wouldn’t enter a biker bar and ask for a “Zima,” you wouldn’t want to ruin your first oxygen-bar experience by asking for a nose cannelloni instead of a cannula; while one will blow oxygen through your nostrils, the other will blow ricotta cheese.

So, let’s get started by covering some basic terminology:
Cannula — A stylish, plastic tube that delivers oxygen to your nose.
Host — Someone carrying an illness that can be spread by sneezing on someone else’s cannula (or cannelloni, for that matter.)
Ebola — A deadly, incurable virus made famous by the movie “Outbreak,” in which Dustin Hoffman contracts the virus after trying to pick up on an infected monkey at a Peruvian oxygen bar.
Life insurance — A policy that will pay your loved ones should you contract the Ebola virus from a cannula (or even a cannelloni.)
Swizzle shtick — The act of writing a humor column about oxygen bars.

If you’re nervous about taking the first step into this new trend, remember that it’s actually been around for a long time. Japan, for example, has had oxygen bars for almost 40 years. Mexico, California’s down-wind neighbor, opened its first oxygen bar 20 years ago — which, coincidentally, is right about the time Ross Perot started complaining about that “Giant sucking sound.”

Lastly, if all else fails, just hold on to your cannula.

And don’t forget to breathe…



(Ned Hickson is a syndicated columnist with News Media Corporation and a member of the writing team at Long Awkward Pause. His first book, Humor at the Speed of Life, is available from Port Hole Publications, Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble. Disclaimer: Even if you choose Ned’s book for summer reading, you should still use sunscreen.)


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Ned's Blog

I was a journalist, humor columnist, writer and editor at Siuslaw News for 23 years. The next chapter in my own writer’s journey is helping other writers prepare their manuscript for the road ahead. I'm married to the perfect woman, have four great kids, and a tenuous grip on my sanity...

69 thoughts on “Warning: Dating at oxygen bars could lead to heavy breathing”

  1. LOL! Oh dear, what is the world coming to? People who are older and wiser know that when contemplating embarking on love, you really need to head for the anesthesia, not the oxygen.

  2. I did an oxygen bar once when I was out in California on a trip. I was already having a severe allergy attack from something in the air so I thought maybe some Eucalyptus or something would help?? Uhm….. NOPE! I got even sicker! I came home with close to pneumonia and was in bed for a week! No more oxygen bars for me thank ya very much! 😦

      1. LMAO… uhm no, I can’t say that!!!! I didn’t even realize that was what had made me worse until I got home and told my husband! He was like..’hon, do ya think maybe it wasn’t a good idea to put something in an already irritated and inflamed nose?” He’s a doctor and so yeah, I felt stupid even though he was not condescending in any way. Just encouragement to use common sense. Sometimes I really don’t think 😦

  3. What? Really someone will pay for oxygen. Why didn’t I think of that. I wonder if Florence is ready for the first coastal oxygen bar?

  4. Oh my. Don’t people realize the air we breathe is something like 79% Nitrogen? They can actually make themselves sick with imbalance…Learn people. Oh and at one point in time, one of those fancy bottled waters was sourced from the Detroit River…yummeh.

    That said, this post made me spit out my tea because I laughed so hard. Thank you!

    1. My Mother-in-law had joke she dearly loved (being a woman of the farm persuasion) about how her horse was eating too much. The cost was high so she decided the horse was addicted to food. She gradually fed it less and less until one day, she found it dead in it’s stall. She then lamented that the horse passed away after all that training – and that now she would have to start all over again.

        1. Yep. She would tell that joke and laugh and laugh and clap her hands on her knees while the rest of us sort of sidled away. Definitely needed more oxygen, perhaps at a critical point in her birthing process.

    2. Ride an elevator with me the next morning after all-you-can-eat taco night at The Enfermo Burrito; you’ll quit breathing within a minute or two…

      1. I don’t want to just quit oxygen cold turkey (or whatever it is they put in these tacos). I think it’s safer to take it slow, maybe do some oxygen patches or something.

  5. I was going to say something really clever about oxygen bars, but I’m completely distracted by Paul’s story about his mother in law murdering a horse.

    Wow. Okay. Where was I? Oxygen! Right. What’s the going rate for oxygen these days? Is it different in different states? Is this something all the kids are doing? Am I going to die alone?

      1. Yes they will.
        Wait, isn’t nitrogen and oxygen together what makes up whippets?
        Remember whippets? Surely I can’t be the only around here that did drugs…

  6. At first I thought you were joking and had made up the idea of oxygen bars but no, they are real and one is living in my city. Or at least it used to live in my city in 2005. I hope beyond hope it has gone bust and shut down. This sort of 1st world behaviour reminds me of an old Yorkshire saying, “There’s nowt as daft as folk.” Shakes head, then thanks the universe for helping me find your blog. Thank you for helping me stay sane. Big smiley face.

  7. We do not understand that we need air. I had asthma a while back and there were times I was in trouble and could not breath. I always worry about the lungs and the stuff we are pumping into them. Pollution, pot smoke and the puffs of the oxygen may do some harm that needs to be investigated.

  8. Seems to me you’re likely to catch more germs at an oxygen bar than a salad bar. I saw a thing on TV last night where people were drinking charcoal as a cleansing thing. Turns out charcoal is is indeed a life saver – when it’s medicinal grade and taken to avoid death by poisoning; because all the bad stuff clings to the charcoal. Doesn’t do a damn thing for hangovers – contrary to what the juice bars would have you believe.

  9. “…we’d be willing to break that law for the chance to purchase an already free and abundant earthly element….”

    Or, at the very least, grind the sole of our designer English riding boot into the faces of the Have Nots while we water our southern California golf course for the third time in a week: http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/rich-californians-youll-have-to-pry-the-hoses-from-our-cold-dead-hands/2015/06/13/fac6f998-0e39-11e5-9726-49d6fa26a8c6_story.html?hpid=z5

    [End of rant]

    I’d be curious to see what scent options Americans come up with for their regional oxygen bars….

    Jersey Sunrise: Dirty money laced with day old Italian food and just a hint of fake leather.

    Miami Skies: Cheap cigar high notes overlaid by Tropicana suntan lotion mixed with flop sweat and cheap rum.

    Reno Lightning: Slimy slot machine seat sprinkled with Ben Gay and vodka tonic farts.

    South Carolina Lighting: Wet dog, wet wife beater T, and wet carpet with just a hint of honeysuckle.

    Washington D.C. Dazzle: Dry cleaning solution, sticky Chinese take out food container, with heavy Viagra and Xanax undertones.

    Oregon Sunset: Burnt coffee bean low notes blended with stale beer, blackberries, and weed.

    1. *Eye roll*
      Slogan: “Looking ridiculously pretentious has never been so easy.”

      Aside from appearing as though I’m sucking something out of an ostrich egg, there’s way too much clean-up involved. If I can’t rinse it and throw it in the dishwasher, it willnever make it into our home.

    1. With a moniker like Pop Culture Rainman, I feel confident taking you at your word on that, although that fact that Japan has been doing it for 40 years and Mexico 20, I have to assume we’re just late bloomers here in the Northwest. Ironic considering we’re known for… uh… growing things.

      And thanks, I’ll take THAT.

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