Cigarette Smokers, Revisited…

Happy (late) Earth Day, everyone!

Back in September 2012, when I wrote about how I fucking hate cigarette smokers, I wrote mostly in frustration. I actually did wait to hit the Publish button, to be sure I wasn’t publishing in anger, but I really did believe what I was trying to say. The problem is that I didn’t really say it very well…

I got a fair bit of flack from that post, mostly from friends that were comfortable enough to bring it up, so I would like to clarify: I don’t actually fucking hate cigarette smokers. What I do fucking hate is cigarette smoke in my lungs, and litter. More than just about anything else in the world, I fucking hate litter. And so when I walk down a street, or get off of a bus, and see something like this, it gets me a little hot and bothered…

The "beautiful" lawn next to my bus stop.
The “beautiful” lawn next to my bus stop.

Especially when that piece of grass is this far from the nearest trash can:

Trash can... so... far...
Trash can… so… far…

So when I see a cigarette smoker finish choking down a cigarette, then just flippantly flick their used cigarette onto the ground, as I so often do, I guess I do actually fucking hate that cigarette smoker’s actions. With a seething passion.

One of my favorite memories on this topic is one sunny day in San Francisco, I was riding my bicycle up Van Ness, nearing City Hall. I was riding between two lanes of cars approaching a red light. About two car-lengths in front of me, as the driver slowed to a stop, he decided now was a good time to discard his personal possession out the window. It landed straight in front of me. And my mood was just right…

I stopped, stooped, and scooped-up the butt, then continued riding and, as I passed that car, I flicked the butt right into the driver’s face and said “You dropped this!” I then passive-aggressively pedaled on, between the cars, and cut across the park behind City Hall, knowing the driver could never possibly follow or catch me.

That action felt so incredibly fantastic, but of course it was totally cowardly. An adult might have stopped and patiently asked the driver why he thought he had the right to litter like that, and if he knew that was called littering, and that littering was a finable offense? It could have been an actual learning experience. It also could have been an ass-beating experience, which is why I did it the way I did it…

But I have since taken the effort to speak calmly with cigarette litterers a few times (when I felt relatively sure that my personal well-being was not at risk), and have been completely astonished by the completely blank stares I get back from people; they typically have absolutely no idea what I am even talking about. It’s as if the concept that “a cigarette butt thrown on the ground is littering” is completely foreign concept to them. Deer, meet headlight.

I would love to see this offense be enforced more (more than never), but I am sure it never will be. Instead, our streets and lawns and sewers will simply continue to collect these lazy, inconsiderate people’s waste, and our tax dollars will continue to clean-up after them, as if they are one-year old children, unable to clean-up their own waste.

And so, to those that care, I again wish you a Happy Earth Day. And to those that continue such disgusting habits, I do truly fucking hate your actions.

Happy living,

3 Responses to Cigarette Smokers, Revisited…

  1. Joe says:

    There is so much more to this than “just” littering:

    • aarontgrogg says:

      Thanks, Joe, very true, beyond my personal issues with this behavior, there are far larger global ramifications… :-/

  2. Rob says:

    Totally agree with you. I know many smokers started cause they wanted to be in with the in-crowd or be just like their friends or they grew up in a smoker’s home but I have always questioned the intelligence of one who decides to start and continue smoking. In this day and age, that someone would still do that, just continues to astound me.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.