Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Butt-heads

In my last post I was accused of villanizing the car.  I thought I would keep up the villanizing, but this time shifting to smokers. I will stay off the topic of smoking in general, as I do have my own habits that others might not approve of.

One of the things that really annoys me is to see people throw their cigarette butts on the ground. I view this as the equivalent of me taking my coffee cup, and throwing it on the ground when finished (although I try to always use a reusable cup).   I believe that most of the smokers would be appalled at me, but they have no problem littering where ever they are. How is this different?

For the past few years I have been riding the bus to work, when not biking. Most of the bus drivers smoke and most of them through their butts in the street before starting their route. I have complained to the city and asked for ash trays at the bus stops to no avail. The people who don't use the street end up using the potted plants, which makes a very nice message as well.

A couple of days ago, I am walking up to get on the bus and another passenger throws his cigarette on the sidewalk and steps on it. I say, "are you going to pick that up?"  He did pick it up, but then responded, "quit looking at me and get on the f$%king bus."  All phrased of course as if I was the unreasonable one. He probably threw it back down after I turned away.

Last week in Yellowstone, three tourists stop at an overlook in the Hayden Valley.  Beautiful country spread out in front of us.  They smoked their cigarettes and then threw the butts on the ground. I asked them to pick them up as well, which they did. The response again was an incredulous look at me as if I was being completely unreasonable.

I have committed to myself to continue to point this out to individuals.  I hope I can stay safe doing it.  The response from the other bus passenger was much more hostile than I had expected.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is a personal pet peeve of mine as well - the good news is that it's a $100 fine in Ada County as it's considered littering. Also, if you happen to be riding and someone throws out a butt while stopped at a stoplight, just pick it up and throw it back into their car, although, before doing that make sure you have a good escape route. I've done that twice after I myself was hit by a smoldering butt while riding - not a fun experience.