Melissa, starry-eyed soy-lovin' Expatriated Zulu (oddharmonic) wrote,
Melissa, starry-eyed soy-lovin' Expatriated Zulu

Four vignettes about local smokers behaving badly.

One of my LJ friends mentioned in a post about smokers and things like getting smoke blown in their face, so I volunteered to share a few of the grossest stories I've collected while we're here in the middle of Big Tobacco Country.

(I know some of you are considerate smokers, but it seems you're a rare breed. I commend you.)

Smoke gets in your eyes

We pulled into a parking space at the local Wal-Mart while the people in the space to our right were loading their trunk. I opened my door (front passenger) while the driver of the other car had their rear left passenger door open and was hit by a cloud of smoke. I bolted and Himself gave me a weird look until he stood up and got a faceful of the stuff too. The sad part? The driver of that car was strapping a toddler into a car seat while smoking in the child's face.

The family that smokes together...

In the express line at Wal-Mart, we wound up behind a couple that I swear was emitting smoke. The person being checked out required a price check and the two kids (about ~9-12 years old) with the smoke-emitters got antsy, so the male smoke-emitter took them into the entry area between the doors. (Ashtrays are outside the outer set of doors.) Laurel got antsy too, so Himself took her out into the entry to look at the machines. A few minutes later, he started walking her in circles through the doors.

The guy that'd been in front of us had been smoking inside the store and was while looking at the bulletin board ads. When Himself and Laurel were out there the boy with him walked to his side and motioned that he wanted a drag off the cigarette. The man slapped the boy and said "You can't smoke inside, jack*ss."

For the sake of the kids inside

Another parking lot surprise: after leaving the grocery store, we approached our car to find a running car next to it. It was cold that night, so we figured someone was in there keeping the car warm, but it smelled funny and I'm pretty sure there aren't any diesel minivans in the area. The driver had their window down and their arm out the window, holding a lit cigarette at my hip level as I went toward my door (if there had been less room between the cars, I would have gotten a good burn on my coat). We couldn't figure out why someone would waste a cigarette by holding it outside their car until we pulled out and our lights illuminated the inside of her car -- there were two kids in the back.

Would you like ash with that?

Every McDonald's I've been in before here has been entirely non-smoking, so I was a little thrown when Laurel and I went into the one on Wayne Memorial Drive while Himself and Jake popped into the local flea market. (If you're sensitive to mold or smoke, hit eBay instead.) The door lacked a non-smoking sign, but there was one on the glassed-off children's play area when we got inside. I hate the sound reverberation in those, but I didn't want to sit in the car for half an hour with Laurel, so we ordered her meal and sat in the play area. Every five to ten minutes, a woman at the table across from us got up with her infant (it wasn't holding its head up, so I'd guess it was under 7 months old) and left the play area. It was a bit disconcerting until I looked toward the main (smoking) dining area one of the times she was out of the play area and she was sitting just on the other side of the glass wall from us, smoking a quick cig with the infant in her arms.
Tags: 975.6_north_carolina

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