May 1, 2010 “Ashtrays”
May 1, 2010 “Ashtrays”
A receptacle for tobacco ashes and cigarette and cigar butts.
Not a hard word; seven letters, two syllables, and easy to say; let’s give it a try…”Ash”, one more time…”Ash”. Good! Now…”tray”…and again…”tray”. All together now, Ash-tray…Ashtray! I feel like I’m a cast member on “The Electric Company”. Anyway, back to my point.
Ashtrays and their kith are plentiful. Everywhere there is a smoking area, there is almost always some sort of receptacle for the ashes and butts. This is a good thing. Smoking folk need a place to discard the remains of their tiny sticks of pleasure and comfort. It’s bad enough that they are sequestered away from other society into the smoking areas; they certainly should be afforded a place to lay-to-rest their fiery friends. The strange thing is; it seems that something in cigarettes causes the smoking folk to be utterly unable to see ashtrays and the like. Look around sometime when you’re near a smoking area and you’ll see the evidence of this “ashtray blindness” malady. The ashtray/ashcan/bucket of sand will be standing there like a lighthouse in a sea of cigarette butts! I know this is not because the smoking folk are litter bugs…I know this teeming host of tiny tobacco stained orts lying on the ground all around the welcoming, and easily accessible ashtray/ashcan/coffee can of dirt was not created by a bunch of nasty, uncouth, nicotine addicts. Oh no, it’s the “ashtray blindness” or “AB” brought on by cigarette smoke getting in the eyes of regular people trying to get a little pleasurable stress relief during the perpetual smoke-break that is their life, and making it impossible for them to get their butts in the can! It’s such a sad state to be in.
The cousin of this “AB” infirmity… which I call “NIFF”:Nicotine Induced Flicker Fingers, is an uncontrollable spasm of the thumb and either of the first two fingers of the same hand, that occurs immediately after the last puff of the little glowing pleasure pencil, and which results in the butt being automatically ejected from the stricken fingers at that same moment…no matter where the puffer is; walking down the sidewalk?…flick the butt onto the ground or into the street: driving an automobile?…flick the butt out the window and onto the road and let it bounce and fly to whatever end the fire gods choose, even if it finds its way into oncoming traffic it doesn’t matter, or more likely, and of no more concern whatsoever, straight into the path of the vehicle following behind the poor helpless puffer: standing outdoors?…just casually flick it away, or just as nonchalantly, drop it to the ground and step on it and do the dainty “butt-squash twist” with the foot while reaching into the pocket for another one to light up. After all, the smoke-break won’t last forever. The struggle with these ailments will go on for as long as there are cigarettes and cigars, and smoking folk to smoke them. And, the whole world will continue to be their ashtray as long as these afflictions are upon the poor unfortunate souls. I don’t know the answer; I don’t even know if an answer exists at all. So, I guess the rest of us will just have to get used to the fact that, when all is said and done…Our butts live in an ashtray.