My wife and I have quite a few words that finish off the title of this blog post. Jerks. Inconsiderate. Litterers.
It hugely bugs us when we see someone toss a cigarette butt out of a car window. But usually the offender is driving along in front of us, so it's difficult to see what sort of person is the inconsiderate littering jerk.
Today I had a chance to get a close-up view of that odious species, Cigarettebutt discardiatis.
I was pushing my shopping cart in the south Salem Fred Meyer parking lot. Nearing my vehicle, I saw a car drive past me. A hand flicked a still-burning cigarette butt out of the driver's window. Then the black Volkswagen MK2, with large chrome aftermarket exhaust pipes, pulled into an empty space next to mine.
I took my time with my grocery bags, wanting to see who got out of the car. I expected a redneck. Or a tough-looking guy.
Instead, a casually dressed young couple emerged, along with their seven'ish daughter. The woman held the kid's hand as they walked into the store. A cute little Chihahua face appeared in their car's front seat, anxiously watching its "pack" disappear.
Neither the man nor the woman looked like jerks. However, I'll stick with inconsiderate litterers. (Am assuming the dog and the child aren't smokers.) Plus, adults shouldn't smoke around children. My mother did, a lot, before the danger of second-hand smoke was recognized. If I ever get lung cancer, I'll know who to blame.
Cigarette butts don't biodegrade. They're tiny trash that piles up. I have no idea why people think they can pull into a public parking lot and throw a burning butt onto the pavement, right where other shoppers have to walk.
I also have no idea why cigarette smokers keep on with their unhealthy habit. If they're into rebellious vices, there's plenty of other ways to get a drug fix that won't be nearly as bad for the body. And they won't be irritating other people by throwing their drug paraphenalia onto public spaces.
Stop smoking cigarettes. That's the best way to go. But if you smoke, keep your butts to yourself.