We’re easing into summer in West Michigan.  One day warm the next cold the next after that really hot and muggy.  Can’t make up its mind around here.  I’m ok with that.  The day I’m remembering was a really hot day.  I’m driving in the family van on my way to a meeting at our parent church about parent church things.  The meeting has very little to do with Embody, but I go because I want to stay connected to the folks over there.

In front of my van is an SUV with the window down.  And I see a frequent flick of cigarette ashes out the window.  Too frequent, I think.  So I start to count how many seconds between each time this person sticks their butt out the window.  Flick.  6 seconds.  Flick.  9 seconds.  Flick.  4 seconds.  Flick. 14 seconds.  Flick.  10 seconds.  Flick.  6 seconds.  I’m not making this up, I remember the numbers.  Now I’m starting to do the math in my head…that averages to about 8 seconds a flick. 

Through my mind I start to wonder about this person.  Mind you I’m still completely focused on their flicking.  I’m wondering if they are finding time to suck on that cigarette between each flick.  I’m also wondering how long that thing will last, and how long it would take them to light up another one.  Would they wait for a red light?  Would the use the dying cig to start the next one?  How would they do that with the responsibility of driving?  And that brings me to it…

The thing that is really bothering me is not that this person is smoking a cigarette.  I’ve had a few in my time (sorry to break it to you, mom).  So I’m not judging them on that.  As I’m thinking through all these questions the one that really starts to get my knickers in a twist is that it seems entirely too dangerous to be smoking in such a flick-often fashion while driving.  It must distract them from paying attention, right?

They get to South Washington and turn right.  I continue on 32nd to my meeting, and it strikes me: I haven’t been paying attention to my driving.  I’ve been watching so intently the frequency of this person’s ash flicking that I’ve been on autopilot.  Guess it’s safer to drive with your butt in your mouth than with this plank in my eye.

Categories: Friday Mornings, Ranting Tags:
  1. Janet Koolhaas
    June 24, 2011 at 11:22 am

    Love that last line. I laught out loud! =)

  2. Janet Koolhaas
    June 24, 2011 at 11:23 am

    Correction: “laughed”. I’m laughing so hard I can’t spell.

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