Today’s riddle: What came first, smoking or callousness?

On the drive in this morning, I witnessed yet another act of object rudeness and insensitivity by a smoker. Standing on the street corner, he was opening a fresh pack of smokes and, as if without a second thought, he tossed the wrapper into the air and let the breeze carry it away. I watched to see if there was any hint of concern on his face, and of course there was none.

We’ve all witnessed these folks throwing their butts all over the ground. It’s so commonplace that we feel appreciative when they at least stomp out the fire. How many times have you pulled up to a stop sign only to find someone had emptied their ashtray in the median? I mean seriously, what the hell are these people thinking? Or maybe the question ought to be – do they think at all?

One time when I was a kid, my friends and I were playing in the front yard. It was a warm summer day, and we were all barefoot on the freshly-cut grass. The grown-ups were on the porch smoking. I can’t remember if we were playing tag, or frisbee, or some other game, but I remember feeling the sudden, burning pain underfoot. I had stepped on a still-lit cigarette butt that one of the grown-ups had carelessly flicked out onto the grass.

It boggles the mind.