Tag Archive: cigarette butts

If ever a post was going to get me into trouble, this is probably it.

i’m not talking directly about things that i hate or completely judge [although, perhaps some of them] but by and large and firstly things i simply do not understand. Things my brain can’t get around. Things that don’t make sense to me. And maybe they make sense to you and that’s okay – maybe some of them shouldn’t and possibly some of them should make more sense to me – that’s what the comments section is for – healthy friendly engagement and why i am completely ridiculously wrong and how could i say that? But before we rush to that, let’s take a look at 10 Things I Don’t Understand, realising there may be more.


So amongst the many things i do not understand, exist these 10:

# i don’t understand pineapple on pizza. i thought i’d ease you into this list and this is not a moral dilemma in any way, shape or form but simply a preference. Raw, juicy pineapple? Amazing. Cooked pineapple? Not too far behind raiSINs on the ‘Food i really hate’ list [although to be fair i could probably stomach a cooked piece of pineapple if i was trying to be polite, whereas with raiSINs… bleargh!]. i think this may have come from or been enhanced by my gran forcing us to eat stewed fruit as a punishment dessert when we were growing up. It wasn’t. That was truly awful [stewed peaches and plums and whatever else] and we often hid it in the skins of the gem squash [excellent combo meal!] Moving on…

# i don’t understand litter. All litter, really, but especially smoker’s throwing cigarette butts out of the car wiindow. i don’t know what goes through the mind of a smoker when they do this, but over the years i have developed a hypothesis that i fully believe in my mind to be true, and it’s that they don’t categorise cigarette butts as litter. i honestly believe there are smokers out there who feel pretty strongly about litter and would never drop a paper anywhere and would shout at someone else who dropped something in public. But then, into the car, smoke a cigarette and suddenly i’m done and cigarette out of the window. Totally different thing. That’s what i think is in the minds of some smokers anyways.

And it’s not all smokers [although, to be honest, i don’t understand smokers either – have you not seen those videos?] but it is something i see a lot while i am driving and after being-on-cellphone-while-driving is the thing most likely to inspire me towards road rage. Yes that is me behind you holding down my hooter [horn for the Americanese] and flashing my lights. i was SO PROUD of my friend Megan the time i heard she got out of her car and picked up the cigarette butt and handed it back to the person although i do understand they are not the best of Facebook friends or anything…

So cigarette butts is the chief offender, but really all litter. i really don’t understand it. Especially when i see you drop a paper within a meter of a rubbish bin. [Veins in my head want to pop!] i so much appreciate the people who [often at ridiculously early or late times] work at cleaning our roads and making our cities and suburbs look beautiful. It changes the psyche of the people living there, when the place is relatively clean and tidy. i experienced this in our time in Philly. People who got up every day in a neighbourhood a lot of people didn’t care for, and spent time in the street with their broom and dustpan, cleaning the sidewalk, building dignity and pride in the place they were in.

STOP THROWING YOUR LITTER ON THE FLOOR. Seriously, put it in your pocket if you must until the next time you are near a bin which will be soon. This is one of the ones i am probably a little more judgy about.

# i don’t understand people who don’t know how to use four way stops [and tbV would add Traffic Circles with a cry of “Come on, people!” or something]. Maybe more weirdly, i don’t understand why i do know how to use a four way stop/traffic circle cos some of that ‘secret driving knowledge’ stuff that doesn’t go into the tests [i feel like four way stops are in the tests though, right? And circles?] gets passed on by the parents/teachers who do know it and doesn’t get passed on by those who don’t. Although i think today everyone has to get a certain amount of official driving lessons which we didn’t have to, so maybe over time that will help solve it. But i doubt it because people do not seem to know how to do four way stops and traffic circles. And it makes us have to shout at you in our car where you can’t hear us at all, so please stoppit!


#  i don’t understand how Adam Sandler continues to make movies that people watch. This probably falls into the personal preference section as well so half of you may agree and half may not and i can’t imagine anyone getting angry at this one, except maybe Adam Sandler. But i used to really love his stuff like ‘The Wedding Singer’ and ‘Happy Gilmour’ but then somewhere along the line he just got bad, and seemed to get badder and his last few movies [Jack and Jill, That’s My Boy, Blended] i could barely watch the trailers they were so painful. i feel like the same happened with Will Ferrell where i got to the point where i have to actively remind myself when a new movie comes out with him, ‘Don’t watch it!’ because with him at least the trailers tend to be good but the movies are awful. i think it has happened with a lot of Hollywood Funny Guys [which is why maybe it’s been such a great time for the women to have better opportunities like Melissa McCarthy and Kristen Wiig who i think is incredible and others – can’t wait for Female Ghostbusters]. Maybe the writing has just gotten a lot worse or maybe there is a serious case of having lost the funny. Anyone you used to think was funny but has not made a good movie for a while?

# i don’t understand the culture of the joke insult. i really don’t dig it [judgy one, beware] at weddings when people make ‘jokes’ slash digs at marriage as an attempt to be funny. And because it happens so often at weddings it has seemingly become a cultural thing and so everyone does it because everyone else has done it and we laugh because everyone else laughs. On a day when we are celebrating two people we love and the public commitment they are making to each other, into a union like marriage which has so much attacking it [in the media and beyond] that it really needs all the help it can get. But beyond that, i was at a function the other night where at least three people doing speeches took a dig at the person they were celebrating or thanking. And yes, i get it, you think it’s a joke and it’s funny and it’s the culturally done thing so again everyone is laughing [not me, i’m not laughing, you just made me sad, stoppit!]. But if we are truly celebrating this person or thankful for them, how about we keep to positive words and vibes. That whole idea that every joke contains a truth is very real and often there is a bit of a barb or a dig hidden [sometimes quite deeply and sometimes you have to be in on the bigger picture] in the joke and for me it just takes something away from the moment.

# Which segways quite nicely into this one: i do not understand the make-your-best-friend-look-and-feel-like-a-tit bachelor party vibe. i know this will feel to some like a style or preference one and to some extent you may be right, but this is one i feel quite strongly about, especially in some areas and as i have only experienced this as a guy, i’m not sure whether it applies to women in their versions of this party [so maybe someone could comment and let me know]. i have heard absolute horror stories [usually involving paintball] of bachelor parties the night before the wedding where the groom was so bruised and in pain that it can only have detracted from the wedding and honeymoon. i heard a story of a guy who was drunk and put on a train and missed his wedding and while that sounds like an urban myth or an upcoming Adam Sandler/Will Ferrell collaboration [note to self: Don’t watch that movie!] i have heard other true stories that are as vile. A guy who was convinced his arm was broken and had it in a cast for the wedding and his whole honeymoon before realising it was ‘just a joke’. Although not to future grooms – maybe not getting drunk and hanging around with people you can’t trust is a helpful tip.

But even scaling it way back [to maybe where it gets down to preference?] to dressing up the guy embarrassingly [usually in women’s clothing, if much clothing at all] and making him embarrass himself in front of complete strangers [this is where it crosses the line for me when it moves to asking for girls’s phone numbers or kissing strangers or more] and fortunately because of my crowd of friends i have never been at a party where they thought a stripper was great preparation for marriage.

For my bachelor’s a bunch of my mates and i went away for the weekend and played board games and drove quad bikes and watched some big rugby match and shared stories and spoke life into me. It was phenomenal. For a recent wedding i was a groomsman for [in the traditional kilt-wearing way], we played mashie golf and lawn bowls and had a meal together and sang bad kareoke and took some moments to share positive stories and speak life into him and it was phenomenal.

The idea of your best mates spending time with you in a way that lifts you up and makes you feel good and celebrates you and your future wife? That i get. Anything less than that feels, well, less than that. But i imagine you have some thoughts..?


# i don’t understand the difference between ‘Adopted Children’ and ‘Real Children’. Wow, this one has to get me intro trouble. But this is not one i feel judgy about [scroll down to sports stars salaries for that], i just generally don’t get it. With such a need [in South Africa at least, but i think many other places] for children without parents to be adopted, it would seem to me that everyone wanting a child could choose for five to ten years to stop having babies and move towards giving one a home. While i’m not overtly saying that having your own biological child is selfish, i do strongly think that the word ‘selfless’ jumps to mind when it comes to adopting. i love how adopting children seems to be a lot more prevalent these days or maybe it’s just that i know a lot more people who are doing it.

There just seems to be such a strong difference between ‘I want to parent a child’ and ‘I want to parent my child’ although any of my adoptive parent friends i imagine will tell you that they are parenting their child [even the ones that don’t resemble their parents even in skin colour]. i loved how Jesus at one point redefines family. He is told His family are waiting for Him outside and He looks around and motions to His friends and He says, “These are my family – the people around me who do the will of God.” And i believe that every time someone adopts a child they are redefining family, because there new family is nothing less than any other family. And it’s a powerful exciting thing.

Maybe i can’t fully understand because i don’t particularly want children [that should be the next point] but i think i understand enough. it seems to be a traumatic thing when a couple who are wanting a baby are not physically able to have one, but at the same time, how exciting it must be for a child without a family to discover that their is a family wanting them to be a part of it?

# i don’t understand why it is so important to you that i must want to have children. This is a really interesting one, because i really just don’t get it. tbV and i are both not particularly interested in having children. And when we tell people this, the general response is to try and convince us why we should be wanting to have children. Or arrogantly [yes, you!] suggesting to us, with a wink or knowing look in the eye, that it will change. Some people [many it seems] want to have children and some people don’t. There are probably a hundred reasons i could state, some of which would help you understand, some which might just make you angry and some which are probably pure selfishness or survival. Us not wanting to have children is a perfectly normal thing. You being a dick about it, is not. So stop it. Do i try to convince you to melt Top Deck in the microwave or on your car dashboard and eat it with a teaspoon? You really should, by the way. It’s amazing.

# i don’t understand how South Africa has a homeless problem at the same time as it has 1047 Golf courses [according to Golflink.com] – is it just possible that this rich white people sport [i am assuming the stats will back me up on this one] which i myself have enjoyed playing [in Mashie form] is a luxury that needs to go [in the face of water shortages and no room for people to live]

George Carlin does a pretty great [although expletive-filled] piece on the solution to homelessness which you can watch over here.


# Here we go: i do not understand the exhorbitant fees some sports players get paid. Again, read the heading people, these are not the Top Ten Things I Judge In Life. But any time i mention this one people seem to go a little crazy face. Especially my Christian friends, for some reason [almost as if they didn’t read Jesus’ words on the matter… you know, ‘Sell everything and give it to the poor’ and before you point out to me [like an arrogant me would have done a year or two ago] that this is Jesus talking to one person [the rich young ruler] and not providing general teaching for everyone, i was suitably bummed when someone pointed out to me that actually He says it another time, in Luke 12:

32 “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. 33 Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. 34 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Whoops, it’s plural there and He is talking to the disciples. Hm. What would Ronaldo Do? Actually that doesn’t matter. It’s What Will Brett Do that i need to be concerned about]

Others like to point out it is actors and politicians and business execs and why do i always pick on the sport people as if finding someone else doing it wrong means that the first person is not doing it wrong. i probably also believe that all those people [and more] and being paid way more than is morally defendable in a world where the majority of people are trying to survive on under two dollars a day i think it is.

i don’t think i need to defend my thinking on this – as others have often given me the impression i have to do – what i am declaring here is i don’t understand this, i don’t get it, i don’t think i ever will. Here, you have a million dollars for kicking a ball and buy yourself a luxury mansion and a sports car while a million people die in Africa that the wells that money could have provided water for remain unbuilt. i. do. not. understand. how. that. feels. okay. to. you. Oh well, capitalism.

That’s probably enough for now. What about you? If you had to compile a list like this, what would be the top, or maybe the top three things you would have there? Any of these resonate with you? Any totally make you angry or judgy [of me] or sad? Have your say in the comments…

[For 10 Other Things i just Don’t Understand, click here]


Let me begin with a disclaimer: What follow is not true of all smokers. In fact, most of the smokers I know are very much not like this. But I strongly suspect we will all know exactly who these particular offenders are. The signs will be your head nodding along as you read this, or your fingers starting to, on their own accord, clench into the angriest of fists if you’re actually shouting out loud, “Yes! Morons!” before you get to the end of this piece, then this disclaimer is not for you.

I should also probably add that I grew up in a very different time. When smoking was seen as cool and it was the norm. Cigarette companies made the very best of ads showing us all that being a smoker equated to being a rally driver or an excellent skier and that it definitely was the reason all those smoking hot women (and smoking, hot women) were lining up in the club to be with you.

It’s not like that any more. Times have changed and now the smokers are the pariah and have been pushed to the fringes of society. We get to do the looking down our noses at them, and they for the most part keep to the side and stay out of trouble.

Except they don’t, do they?

Exhibit A: the freely distributed second-hand gift of death

A little too dramatic, you think?

Well yes, and no. This has certainly been attended to largely by the fact that smokers are not able to smoke in nearly as many places as they used to be. And it was definitely more in the days of the free-for-all where a smoker could sit next to you at a bar and pretty freely blow smoke in your direction. Which I have never understood. Especially when studies started to emerge that pointed to second-hand smoke being even more deadly than taking it in directly. “Excuse me while I blow some potential cancer in your face!” Except they would rarely ask, and it was often just a given.

I imagine the same person may have had some sort of a problem with me if I had sat next to them on a bar stool one day and then suddenly turned to them and spat directly in their face. Oh, and did I mention that I had a spit-borne disease? Whole different story and social norm, right? And yet, in many ways, pretty much the same thing.

The ‘polite’ request of, “Sorry, but do you mind if I smoke here?” hardly that far removed from the idea of me turning to someone at a social gathering and saying, “Would you mind if I proceeded to empty this bucket of rooting fish in your lap?”

Exhibit B: if it has my lip prints on it, it’s not littering

This is a phenomena I truly don’t understand. To be honest, I just struggle to get my head around the okayness of any form of littering. But this feels like all of that, plus.

And it seems to be largely car-enduced. Sure, there have been times when you see a smoker walking in front of you and they casually toss their butt into the street. That happens. But more often than not, it seems to be while you are driving behind a car, sometimes at pace but more normally at a traffic light, that the hand appears out the window and flicks the cigarette butt into the road.




In what universe…

In which culture…

In whose norm…

…is that kind of behavior possibly okay?

I’ll give you a clue. The answer is NO-ONES! As in never ever ever is it okay. It’s just not.

Stop. It.

And the best part is that i don’t think they see it as littering. (Forget fire hazard, let’s not even go there, although that does add a more sinisterly illegal kind of flavor to this whole thing). I don’t know how I know this, but I do. It’s just one of those coming of age gut feeling knowledges that life bestows upon you…

It’s like their lives are divided into two categories:

[A] things that might be considered litter and put into rubbish bins, and,

[B] cigarette butts!

There is something inside of them giving them the signal that this kind of behavior is alright. Even normal.

Anyone’s fingers clenching?

News Flash miscreant. It is NOT okay!


Your smoking near me and sending your smoke in my direction, politely requested or not, is an unwanted, literally in my face affront.

And your tossing finished cigarettes out of your car window is littering. It is illegal. It is wrong. It is every kind of pathetic and infuriating and it needs to stop.

It needs to stop now.

And no butts.

i have a saying that ‘people tend towards stupid’ and generally life (and smokers flinging cigarette butts out of car windows) continues to prove me correct on this one…

another prime example of this seems to be the mono-dimensional thort patterns of pedestrians in stellenbosch who will be walking along the pavement, possibly talking to a friend or messaging on their phone or vibing by themself and then they come to a road intersection and without fail just walk…

none of that left, right, left stuff we were taught as kids… and especially people with kids… it is bizarrely confounding – do you live in stellenbosch and have you observed this? do you live somewhere else and think your pedestrains are as monumentally stupid and death wishical (they’re not!) as ours?

arrive at intersection, walk… cars must wait, no thort of impending death or the possibility of a vehicle much bigger and heavier (most times) than you…

and i don’t think i can make my last point, cos it is a point of race (in terms of my observation experience) but i am wondering if it is possibly a point more of wealth/education/upbringing and context that makes the people who do this the people who do this…

[and normally i am very observant when it comes to driving but the other night on the highway when three different okes ran across in three different places, i honestly don’t think i would have spotted the one running closest in front of me who kinda got deer-scared in my headlights if it had not been for tbV pointing him out and that could have had a very bad ending]

your thorts on shtupidt pedestrian type people? i really do think it’s specifically a stellenbosch thing [and interestingly enuff it is not drunk students for the most part – most of the cars are gone by the time they head home]

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