Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Tuesday Tirade: No Butts About It

Woohoo! After a long hiatus to twiddle my thumbs & paint my nails, Tuesday Tirades are baaaack!

Today we're talking butts. No, not the one you sit, the ones you most likely walk on: cigarette butts.

I've been a smoker. Some of my good friends smoke. My parents have all, at one time or another, been smokers.

I don't want to talk about the health implications of tobacco use (it's bad for you, duh!) or the environmental impact of the tobacco industry (*shudder*) or even secondhand smoke. I just want to talk trash.

Smoking is not exactly the most publicly acceptable vice, and many places these days, especially in Austin, don't accommodate smokers. I happen to work someplace that does.

There are pretty color printed signs protected by plastic all down one side of the building that say "Designated Smoking Area." Said area is conveniently in a dead end that no one who does not want to suck nicotine has to walk through to enter or exit the building. Even with all the construction going on around my office they've made an effort to accommodate people's nic fits. There are several picnic tables, all of which are under cover--a rarity in Austin smoking areas.

And there are lots of trash cans. Three very large square bins, two of them the quaint kind with the sand pit in a tray on top--so people have a place to put out their smoke. So... Why the heck do I have to walk through a snowstorm of cigarette butts to exit and enter? How hard is it, really, to rub that puppy out and PUT IT IN THE TRASH!

I walked past a grounds guy one day between Thanksgiving and Christmas on my way into the office. He was on his hands and knees next to one of the previously mentioned trash cans, hand removing each and every butt people hadn't bothered to throw away. They litter the ground all around the smoking area, yet the giant ash trays are almost always empty.

What is wrong with you smokers? Have you just gotten so used to tossing your trash (which incidentally stays in landfills a really long time and requires the deaths of a heckuva lot of trees each year to make the paper that's wrapped around the tobacco) where ever you happen to be when you finish your cigarette that even when you have a place to toss it, you can't be bothered?


Anonymous said...

[Note: I actually think this is a problem with society, not smokers specifically - nobody (which, of course, excludes the small minority who do) can be bothered to do anything the least bit inconvenient to themselves for the benefit of anybody else. However - with that disclaimer, and with apologies to the smokers in the crowd who I think are just super - for the purpose of ranting, I offer the following.]

Is it any surprise they throw their butts on the ground? Look at all the other things you mentioned:

*Killing themselves.
*Killing the environment.
*Killing everyone else within breathing distance at every opportunity.

Is it really surprising that people who are trying to destroy the whole planet with one puff, not to mention kill off the entire human race, can't be bothered to walk three feet to a trash can?

If you ask me, it's a wonder they don't leave them lit to see how many passerby they can set on fire!

Dy said...

Funny you should mention that... Someone actually put their butt in an overflowing ancient metal ashtray attached to the building today. Regrettably they neglected to put it out first, and it set the whole ashtray on fire.

I hoped, for a brief moment, that might mean I would get off early when the smoke detectors went off, but no such luck.

Mama C said...

OOOOOH! I hate smokers. Not you because I know you and well, you know where I live.

I hate the smokers who toss their used up butt out the car window. I seriously get annoyed and wish upon them immediate death or harm.