Friday, April 06, 2007
But I don’t really give a rat’s ass, not since my team went the way of the Washington Senators and the Brooklyn Dodgers. Nowadays, baseball on TV just reminds me of terrorism somehow. I’m a bit cynical and jaundiced about most professional sports (and amateur too, I guess in the wake of what’s come out lately about the Thorpedo – look for the pun; it’s there) and the Tour de France).
Baseball gets more fans on its playing fields than any other sport in North America. Not in the stands, on its playing fields.
I was one. It was a very special moment, my three-year-old son and I playing catch down the left field line at Olympic Stadium on fan appreciation day, lo those many years ago. But that was allowed. That was, like I said, a special day.
Not like the other father and son who got all liquored up and attacked that first base coach in Kansas City. But it was special nonetheless since hoodlums almost never get TV time during a baseball game – or any other sporting event for that matter. The announcers will tell you that something’s happened, but they keep the perpetrators mostly anonymous. The TV policy is that they don’t want to show that stuff since it may serve to encourage others to repeat that kind of undesirable behaviour. Show some drunk ruffian streaking naked onto the playing field and before you know it, you’ll have naked ruffians everywhere trying to get their “Look Ma!” moment on the boob tube.
So the TV stations don’t show it. Don’t encourage them.
But crash a plane into a building….
Man, we’ll show that forever.
Thursday, April 05, 2007
Last year, I had a bad summer. My grandmother died (I found her dead in her apartment) and it took me to a very low place. My mom pointed this out to my wife who in turn pointed it out to me - including the fact (yes, fact) that I hadn't really been happy even before my grandmother died (before I found her dead). So I went to see the doctor.
One of the things I learned in college is what it means to be happy. College wasn’t a happy time for me, but in my second year philosophy class, I learned what “happy” meant in the strictest sense of the word. You could argue (because arguing is what philosophy is about) that the opposite of happiness is … passion.
Last summer I was feeling neither passionate nor happy and I went to see the doctor who gave me a split diagnosis: it was either depression or dysthymia. The reason my mom wanted me to see the doctor was that there is a history of depression in our family that results from bad brain chemistry – low serotonin levels. This can be treated with medicine. The prescription for dysthymia is sessions with a psychologist. The doc and I took the lazy route and I’ve been on pills ever since.
And feeling better.
An interesting thing about these pills:
There are several side effects. Most of them occur as you start taking the pills and then diminish as you get accustomed to them. Weird dreams was one. A heightened sense of anxiety was another. Raging appetite. Diarrhea. For the first month and a half, the cure was worst than the sickness. But then things settled down.
There are also sexual side effects. The one that would be most alarming for the red-blooded male would be impotence. Fortunately, that was one I missed. But there are other types of dysfunction, and the one I experience is described alternately as “anorgasmia” or “ejaculation disorder” or “you can’t cum, no matter how much romance/and or porn is involved”. Achieving my little death takes a lot of work.
I can go all night, baby.
Now, I’m a 43-year-old man at the time of this writing and elsewhere on this blog I’ve written about what kinds of panic set in at this age for men. (So is it any wonder that I’m on pills? Hmmm….) The flame of youthful romance is gone between you and your partner and all you have is reminders of how sweet that flame was. These reminders often take the form of beautiful young women who wouldn’t give you the time of day, you sick old fuck, you. Looking at women like that, twenty years younger than you, why you could be their father.
Yeah, but ....
But now I’m on the pills and if anyone was interested why, I could go all night.
It’s like a secret identity, but a with a wasted super power. Like if Peter Parker never for the rest of his life turned into Spiderman.
Like Superman always taking the bus.
Hey, it's a good thing (Martha) that I’m on the pills or it would be fucking depressing.
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
I'm back from my holiday in the sunny south. There something about a sun holiday that makes you think of sex.
(But what doesn't make me think of sex? )
So I'll share with you my condom ad.
You never know what the muse is going to fire up for you and one day, long ago I had a very clear picture of a billboard ad. The billboard is white with a single box of condoms on the left side. On the right is the "copy", two words in a plain, bold-face Arial font that say:
Wednesday, February 14, 2007
There's not a whole lot that I like about coming to work. Given the choice and the financial freedom to make it, I'd probably be doing something else. Carving out my niche as a film maker or following some amateur golf tour or maybe just following the sun through tropical climes.
One good thing about work though is my window.
There was a time when this spot in the cubicle farm was highly coveted by rival workers. Back then I was more than content just to stay in my spot in the middle of the floor - it had my own personal internet connection. This was when our workstations played the intranet but not the world wide web, you see. Anyway, it was I who presided over and conducted the fateful coin flip to see which of the two finalists would win this window space. After a couple of years the winner moved on and the space again came free. Again I decline to contest it.
But I was not to deny it a third time, when once more the incumbent moved to a different branch on the career path. First refusal was offered to me and I didn't.
It was still no great shakes until I moved. For the first time became truly appreciative of the view it offers. I am now deeply possessive of my space.
MY space. My view.
From six floors up (the top of our modest building) I look down the throat of the harbour, past the ship yards and the power plant to one of the bridges that span the twin community. The blue of sky is reflected in the water. Sea birds whirl and float under puffy clouds drifting overhead. Occasionally helicopters drone by (one passes even as I write this) and distant planes reflect the sun as they make their final approach to the city's airport. Ships, boats, submarines and watercraft of all sizes run up and down the harbour in their traffic lanes.
Container ships arrive and depart daily.
These are big ships.
They easily catch my eye. I pause from what I'm doing to swivel in my chair and take a moment to watch them pass. They seem so close I could touch them. I know from experience that as large as the seem from my 6th floor window, they look behemoth from the waterline. On these ships are thousands of containers. They will be taken to the docks and the containers will be loaded onto trains and 18-wheel freight trucks to take the next step in their journey. We're mostly an interim port of call for the goods that come in.
I think about all those containers and the ship that carries them. Millions of dollars to build a cargo ship. How much to crew it, I wonder. How much to sail it up the seaboard or even from across the ocean. How much for the tugboats that pilot it through the Narrows and the stevedores to unload it at the dock where a line of a great many trains and trucks wait to piggyback her cargo the rest of the way down the rail and road.
What's in them all, I wonder. It would be fun to open them up and see.
There are so many of us to consume all this stuff.
Monday, February 12, 2007
On the commentary for the movie "As Good As It Gets", Jack Nicholson and Helen Hunt talk about the restaurant scene they share late in the movie. For a reaction shot, Helen says, "I asked Jack to say something funny to make me laugh". What did Jack say that broke up Helen?
Jack: I said, "Tits".
I love that word, tits. It's a wonderful, evocative and provocative word. The hard consonant sound that explodes like a shock and then the sibilant that lingers like an ellipsis. I use the word when I can, which is not often enough because, sadly, it's not a word for polite company.
Not only a delightful word, but a joy to behold. Again however, polite company frowns upon that kind of enjoyment. Also called "staring".
Also called, "leering".
It's like an eclipse of the sun, advises a certain Mr. Seinfeld, offering an unofficial compromising compromise.
You get a sense of it and then look away.
George and Jerry are like the id and the ego. I'm tugged in different directions (read into that what you will). The id wants the eyes to linger, the soul to sing, to bathe in the calmness and comfort of offered décolletage. Plunging necklines and open collars offer - perhaps encourage - an appreciative glance or glimpse. One's attention is drawn to an aesthetic geometry, a single tangent to two adjoining curves where the eye is drawn to follow the line down to tantalizing shadows.
Ego (or is it the superego?) and polite society advise otherwise.
I was talking across the table to a woman the other day and as I talked, she closed her hand around the top of her neckline. At this point I realize two or three or four things: that she has a somewhat revealing open neck sweater and that she's concerned about me looking down it. I think to myself, Did she think I was looking down her sweater? Was I looking down her sweater? Why did she wear that sweater if she was concerned with people looking down her sweater? Would I have noticed the tops of her tits (which were very pretty, by the way) if she hadn't moved to close the top of her sweater?
What's a poor boy to do? They are both our nature and our nurture, tits.
Now that I'm on the meds I feel less inhibited - which is more dangerous. At the risk of forever following the path down the slippery slope that is "dirty old man" ...
("What am I, waiting to win an Oscar here? This is all I have in my life.")
... I've decided to adopt a friendly arrangement: You show, I'll look.
Some of it has to do with getting old (although not all, as I recall witnessing a small group of teen-aged boys who were taking a break from their ball game to chat with - and grope - the high school sex kitten who had wandered by; gropers were rewarded with an elbow in the guts which elicited only more grins). You reach a point when you approach and then pass forty years old and you become acutely aware that (a) you're definitely going to die and it might not be very fun; and (b) you are still attracted to pretty girls aged 20 and 30 (just like always) but they are never going to find you attractive again. "If they ever did," chimes in a voice from the peanut gallery.
You are likely never again to know the passion of that first kiss. The heady feel of a young body next to yours.
In most circles, the resulting cycle of desperation and denial is known as the "Mid-Life Crisis" and it explains a lot about why men my age do some pretty stupid things.
Wednesday, February 07, 2007
I had an English and philosophy teacher in my first and second year of university who viewed time as a sphere, each point touching all others. All moments occurred simultaneously and our perception of them sorted them out. Something like that. He was an astonishing man, Dr. Morgan was. My mind was never as sharp as when I was studying under him. He seems now to have passed out of existence; I left that university in 1983. An internet search includes yields only two solid results, one dated 1986. But if time is a sphere, then I am writing this at the same time I am seated in his classroom, marveling at his wit and intellect.
It is tempting for me to write that time is not real, instead only a concept existing in people's heads and on their wrists. There are no clocks in a lion's den. But nature observes cycles and the seasons, so an argument can be made that time is not the sole property of humankind.
Not so, justice.
I have been a poker player for only about a year, but have driven cars for much longer, have been victimized by a break-in and have observed from the sidelines the public chatter about the downfalls and shortcomings of our legal system.
The guy who passes you on the right while you're observing the speed limit makes the light that you stop for. The player who calls you before the flop with only 2 8 suited hits his flush to crack your pocket Kings. Lou Pai makes millions as a CEO in Enron while little old ladies die in the heat of energy-deprived California. The good and the innocent who die young.
I wrote earlier in these pages of how I have an overtly acute sense of justice - how minor and petty injustices provoke disproportionate response feelings of anger and outrage.
My intellectual self splits from my emotional self to advise that justice (perhaps like time) is an artificial concept, created by humans, imposed on the universe and existing absolutely nowhere else in nature.
Thursday, January 25, 2007
I'm a funny guy.
Really, I am. Lots of people have told me how funny I am. For instance, take my wife.
Listening to the early morning radio, the DJs called for someone to phone in. It was your chance to tell a joke or do a stand-up bit or some such thing. A guy called about a girl who kept sneezing and moaning. She's on this medication that makes her orgasm every time she sneezes. Her friend asks are you taking anything for it?
(That looming bright light is the punch line being telegraphed directly to your brain.)
"Pepper," she says.
That's a lousy joke, I thought. And poorly told. I called up off the air and told them a good joke. It had to do with an old couple in a nursing home. It was pretty funny.
So here's my stab at stand up comedy writing:
I'm a pretty private guy. I like to keep all my personal habits to mostly to myself. So I'm not particularly partial to public washrooms. Even at work. I noticed the other day our washroom at work was re-done so that there's an automatic door because wheelchair people need to piss too, after all.
I don't know what they think of urinals....
So I go to open the new door and - it's really heavy. All that automatic hinge contraption that they added to it, I just about broke my back.
I suppose if I had broken my back, at least I could be happy that now there's an automatic door to the bathroom....
I don't know if it's the same for women, but there are rules in the Guy's washroom. Unspoken and unwritten but, rules. No overt peeking is one. That's just uncomfortable. Some guys don't know the rules. My rules anyway. Because I'm more private about my, you know, habits and stuff. I should post the rule in the washroom because some guys get too friendly.
Not like that, friendly, they just want to talk.
I want to tell them about the no talking rule. When a guy's having a whiz, no talking. You can talk before and you can talk after, but you can't talk during. In fact, the line of demarcation, let's call it, is when the dick comes out. Once the dick comes out, no talking. You must wait until the dick's put back. There is one and only one exception to this rule where you can talk to a guy when his dick is out and that's if the guy's forgets to zip and is on his way out with his dick still out.
At this point you're allowed to say, "Hey man, your dick's still out."
"Oh, " (tucking in and zipping up). "Thanks."
Speaking of religion.
I sent my son to Sunday school the other day. I got him to tell his teacher the two things that Jesus was really into.
"What?" he asks me and I tell him.
Big wave surfing and NASCAR.
Monday, January 22, 2007
To continue the themes of age and the apocolypse:
There's an unofficial radio war going on in my city. For the sake of argument and to protect the innocent, let's call these two radio stations Q and Hal. Q is the established player, the rock and roll station. Seasoned DJs, lots of contests, stars come and play in the studio every now and then. Hal is the upstart, a classic rock station with a young morning duo and another young lady that hosts the afternoon drive, but (perhaps notably, perhaps not) there are no other personalities for the rest of the day. One has a history and depth of experience, the other has programming largely digital but an on-air element (when it's there) of youth that adds a certain intangible, indefinable crackle to the broadcasts.
I've been flipping between the two ever since I saw the billboard advertising the beginning of Hal. I'm a fan of the classic rock format and recalled my last several trips to the States where the rental car radio was pre-set to the local classic rock station and would stay there for the whole trip. I remember a particular drive in a rented Toyota to a golf course outlying the Houston area. On the radio, Frampton played from the Comes Alive Album, "Do You Feel Like We Do" and I was completely transported by the music
for that particular play of the record. It was my affinity for the genre that initially got me curious about the new local station, Hal, and give 'er a test drive. I liked it at first and continue to warm to it. In addition to the good music, the three people you hear on the radio are getting more comfortable in their spots and it's coming across in their patter.
I like both stations and often select based on what's playing. You'll have me until there's a song I'm not fond of.
But here's the thing. And, actually, it's a big thing, no less than a harbinger of the end of our civilization.
You think I'm exaggerating.
Q now differentiates its brand by calling it "Q Rock" which is "classic rock plus the best of today's new rock". They have elaborate promos for this brand and it's a slogan I find very ill-advised. The promos begin with snippets of the best classic rock songs you've ever heard and whet your aural appetite for them. Then they announce "also today's new rock" and follow these great snippets with a snippet from something new and current and they play the track from something new and current, a COMPLETE LET-DOWN, because you were hoping from when you heard it for the classic stuff. The promo might have seemed a good idea to someone, but it turns out to be an idea that's as stupid as a Will Ferrell movie. Dreadful new song after dreadful new song, when I'm listening to Q and that promo comes on, my reflex response is to punch up the button to Hal.
And so, because people are strange, especially me, I reflect on this. The implications are heavy, dude.
(And by the way, for every bit of evidence I'm about present, you, whoever you are, you the viewing audience will be able to come up with counter-arguments - what about Sam Roberts? What about Borat? What about Spielberg? What about The Sopranos? What about The Simpsons? The proving of the general rule, I say.)
It's one of two things. It might be I'm just getting to be old and out of touch. After Elvis Presley came along and gave birth to popular rock and roll, the senior generation just didn't get it. Ditto the Beatles. Led Zeppelin were Satanists (just listen to Stairway to Heaven backwards). As it was with the generation before mine, maybe now I'm the fuddy-duddy. Maybe I just don't get today's new music.
But maybe not. "I may not know about art", says the Pope to Michelangelo in the Monty Python skit, "but I know what I like." I hear rock groups now that - frankly - sound like they've gone to the Britney Spears school of song writing. Pick a minor key, add a simplistic melody on a couple of notes, produce with technology. Remove musicianship. Denny Doherty died last Friday. All the radio stations were playing Mamas and the Papas. I said to my wife, "That's how you write a song in a minor key." A principal focus on the vocal talent and craft, beautiful melodies and even more beautiful harmonies, soaring movement into the major chord and wistful retreat back to the minor key.
The song was California Dreaming.
(Could Mama Cass ever be a star today? Her voice is the best of Sheryl Crowe and Janis Joplin ... but she was fat and not very pretty. So I think, sadly, where people make music to be sold by video that the answer is no.)
I wonder if it's more than just the music. I wonder if all of western art is on the decline. Art, culture ... civilization.
Athletes on steroids.
I think of the giants of modern comedy. Will Ferrell is the king, making funny movies by playing stupid and loud and boorish. I think of classic comedy. Peter Sellers played stupid too; Inspector Clouseau was a stupid as they come. But there's that intangible earnestness, honour and nobility about Clouseau (not Sellers ... which reminds me that to watch Will Ferrell is to see Will Ferrell playing a character (loudly) and to watch Peter Sellers was to watch Inspector Clouseau).
I think about modern horror, movies of blood and dismemberment. But I remember, once upon a time, feeling frightened watching movies like "The Exorcist", "The Omen", "The Shining" and "Poltergeist", movies of atmosphere where the object of the exercise was to build to a feeling of terror. Today it's mostly about the gross-out (refer to Stephen King's Danse Macabre for his description of the three levels of fright).
Have you read any good books lately? I remain puzzled how heavy-handed and unskilled authors such as Dan Brown hit the bestseller list when skilled writers (my favourite is Evan Hunter) toil in relative anonymity. (I asked Evan Hunter why he still wrote, producing two novels a year well into his seventies. He answered because he was a writer. His novels often included a darkly witty reference to some lawyer-turned-author. His point was that any joe could be an author, but to be a writer was to learn and to practice your craft.)
I saw the news yesterday, (oh boy). About an artist guy who recorded faces of Canadian writers on DVD video and displayed them as moving portraits in boxy wooden frames. My wife turned to me and asked, "Do you think that's art?" and I thought of this recurring theme.
Mostly I can't watch the shows on TV, including especially the news, and especially not the network channels. Is the general quality of programming on the wane? Are there too many channels? There are a few shows of quality on The Movie Network and one on Space that I still find entertaining and hold my interest. But certainly there's no modern equivalent of I Love Lucy or Gunsmoke or even Seinfeld on TV today. It's mostly a parade of generally unfunny comedy shows for the lowest common denominator and copycat series having to do with investigations that stem from dead people.
It's all been dumbed down. Art has become base, lacking the hallmarks of craftmanship. I don't know why this is. You would think that people are generally driven to do work that they are proud of, right? But something's changed. It might be because of money. It might be proliferation. It might just be because I'm getting old.
So I listen to the classic rock station more than the "Q rock" station because the best new rock tends to be more of a minus than a plus.
And, extrapolating, I wonder if we are witnessing the beginning of the end of our own civilization.
"I wonder if the Emperor Honorius watching the Visigoths coming
over the Seventh Hill truly realized that the Roman Empire was about to fall."
- Captain Jean-Luc Picard, from "The Best of Both Worlds".
Thursday, January 18, 2007
Only within the past few months has a Pepsi machine shown up, a boon to we Pespi drinkers, we connoisseurs of Dr. Pepper, we guzzlers of Gatorade. It caused consternation almost immediately ... because it would empty so quickly and be restocked so slowly.
Today, to my shock and amazement, I spied rows and rows of Pepsi stored inside the Coke machine.
And for a wonder, the universe did not implode.
My next mental mutter will concern the local radio wars.
Wednesday, January 17, 2007
A year later and I continue to run.
Thirteen months ago I began an exercise regime spawned by the unpleasant roundness of my face and form. A week after I started I engaged a trainer who got me off the elliptical machine and on to the treadmill. Fifteen minutes was an effort, often coming after a half an hour doing weights. In time, fifteen minutes became twenty. I ran outside for the first time in years, down to the church and home, a round trip jog of about six kilometres. For the first three tries at it, I had to stop, rest and walk. Indoors, the runs grew to 25 minutes, then half an hour. Outside, I ran the distance to the church non-stop and started to add distance. Go to the bank. Go to the gas station. Go to the conservatory. I decided I would run in the Bluenose Marathon. Not the Marathon, just the 10K. I'd last run a 10K twelve years ago. I was much lighter. By now, the distance I was running outside was close to 10K but not quite. I was fairly sure I could run it, but it was an unproven expectation. My running inside on the treadmill indicated it would probably take me about an hour to finish the race.
Then I hurt my leg.
For a week I took it easy. On Friday I ran on the treadmill again for the first time just to see how things felt. They felt okay.
On Saturday when I signed up officially, a day before the gun was to go off, I wrote conservatively on the registration form that my expected time was one hour, ten minutes. My goal was just to run it. Lollygag. Enjoy myself. Finish.
Standing in the crowd at the the start line, something changed about 10 minutes before we got the gun. Some competitive fire ignited and I decided I was going to by-god RUN it. I had a good run (for a re-beginner) and I used some of the tips from my trainer, adding little sprints on the downhill parts of the course, letting my long legs stride out. At the end of the run, I made it a long sprint, picking out people in front of me, passing them, picking out someone else.
A funny thing started to happen about four or five blocks from the finish line. My nose began to run. It was a new and strange reaction of my body to the stress I was putting on it, manifest as a runny nose. I could feel it and I wiped it away. But it kept running. Like
syrup from an open spigot. The strangest thing!
I finished in about 54 minutes which while no great shakes to the seasoned runner, was pretty good for me. Much faster than I had expected, maybe faster even than that younger man who 12 years ago used to be me.
Like Bill Cosby says in one of his bits, I told you that story to tell you this one.
I still run.
My distances grow longer. I'm up to 16 km and I want to do the half-marathon this year.
My nose still gets very snuffly as I exert myself on the road and I do a yucky thing to clear it. I put a finger aside of my nose ... and blow. Repeat for other nostril. It's pretty gross. I try to execute this evolution when there is a lull in traffic because I'm very self aware, I know this is a pretty gross practice. It is easily offset by the wonderful feeling of able to breathe.
Breathing beats good manners every single time.
I also run alone.
No iPod, no partner, just the voices in my head, a running (ha-ha) commentary about the journey, reflections, rehearsals, self-encouragement and witness.
I'm over forty now. It's the year men realize they are going to die. I can write a whole other piece about this, and maybe I will. But for now, my mind zooms up a hundred feet above me as I run, and I see me on a route that I've marked as I blow my nose; in some way that paradoxically is simultaneously both absolutely insignificant and completely significant, parts of me, my DNA, a portion of my essence falls to combine forever with the earth as I pass on and keep running.
Like a Johnny Appleseed of snot.
Monday, January 08, 2007
This isn't exclusively going to be a place to rant, I promise.
I caught myself sending notes to radio personalities (well, only
one), sort of comments to her blog postings. I realized I should make my own blog.
It's partly because of the meds.
This impulse control issue that I blame on the meds. Even if it's not the meds. And even if the impulses are really all under control. Mostly. (I get this weird urge to hug and kiss people.)
What the hell was I talking about?
So I thought that rather than keep pestering the DJ, I'd start up my own blog.
It all started around Christmas....
(psychedelic sound effect and wavy dissolve)
... when I was on my way into the Sunnyside Mall to do ... something. Maybe to get stuff from Pete's. As usual, there is a line of cars parked illegally in the fire lane. These are people too good for the rest of us, above having to drive around a bit to find a space for themselves and walk (!GASP!) to the door.
I mentioned in my note to the DJ that I have a very easily offended sense of fairness. Petty injustices irk me.
(You figured that out, har Edith?)
What's missing in society today, I tell people, is a fear of reprisal. So people just do whatever the hell you want and then wave their middle finger at you if you honk or yell. We need a Batman. We need some good ol' fashion vigilante justice. People don't NOT do something because it's wrong, they don't do it because they're afraid to get caught.
Well, when no one's afraid, people do whatever the hell they want. It's anarchy I tell you! Anarchy!
So back to the people in the fire lane.
There are three cars: the first one has only a driver, the second only a passenger and the third one is empty but the four ways are flashing which of course makes all sin forgivable. In the one at the front of the line is a very pretty lady. She's got it all (except a proper parking space); looks, a body, money. You can get away with anything if you're pretty (see: "Beautiful Godzilla") or have your four-way flashers on. Well, I resolved, not this time. This time she was going to pay for being illegally parked. I'll be bound if she was going to get away with it, not if there was something I could do to get back at her.
So I stared at her tits.
Friday, January 05, 2007
Welcome to the weird part of my brain. I will strive to keep it unrestrained and uninhibited. It's all id, baby. You've been warned. Unless you've read some other post first, something I've written in the future (oooh! suddenly, it's a star trek episode!) Something I hope was deliciously shocking and offensve in which case, well, then you weren't. Sorry.
I have a theory.
I was going to say, “I have an unproven hypothesis” because it sounds way cooler, but anyone who understands the scientific method would pick up immediately on the redundancy. An hypothesis is by definition an unproven idea. As in, I have an idea that by now maybe you’re wondering what’s the point.
I'm already off to a bad start.
So I hypothesize (ahem) that the group responsible for most of all that litter you see by the side of the road is - smokers.
There’s proof if you look. First you’ll see all the cast away cardboard cups from Tim Hortons and McDonalds, keep looking. It will only be a moment more before you see that the other jettisoned items in abundance are cigarette packs. Aha!
Come to find there's even a government site with statisitics that suport my mean hypothesis.
See, what does a smoker do when he’s finished his smoke? Yeah. He pitches the butt. The automobile industry must have spent billions on car ashtrays. None of them gets used. (Actually, that’s not true – because you’ve probably seen a pile of butts in some parking lot where somebody’s dumped their ashtray). Also, how many times have you seen a smoker open a new pack then crumple and toss the cellophane wrapper? This casual disposal is part of the smoker’s culture. And what’s the thing that goes great with a smoke? Coffee!
Coffee and cigarettes. They even made a movie.
It’s the smokers littering the highways. In theory.
(I was going to post a picture of a cancer in a smoker's lung. See, I'm already chickening out. And I promised I wouldn't. The id overruled by art. You've met Art, right? He a large motherfucker.)
I was driving out from work today and on the car ahead of me was a bumper sticker that said “Freakin’ Idiot”. I took it personally for only a moment. Ah yes. Dr. Evil, I thought. Mike Myers. Riiiiiiight. Then I saw the driver’s hand on the wheel, and between his fingers, sticking up like a perky but pitifully small and slender (but smoking!) erection, was his freshly lit cigarette.
So I figured the bumper sticker wasn’t about me after all.