May I have a cigarette?

Why is it considered acceptable for a random stranger to approach another random stranger and ask for a cigarette? 🚬 Maybe in the day and age when cigarettes were dirt cheap, this was acceptable. But nowadays? The cost of a pack of smokes is over $10.00! That’s a lot of money! And yes, I should quit smoking because it’s bad for my health… but or is that butt? This is a blog on why do people think this is still acceptable?

Just ten minutes ago, I was reading. I wasn’t even smoking. But the guy who parked next to me saw my pack of smokes. (I had left them on top of my dogs’ crate which sits where the front seat used to be in my truck.) He seemed to think that this announced to him that he, a stranger to me, could approach me, interrupt me while I was reading, and ask if I could give him a cigarette.

Seriously?! I was absorbed in my book. Readers alike know what it means to be absorbed in a story. We don’t want to be interrupted. Especially not to be interrupted for something so aghast. Really?! You’re going to interrupt me while I’m busy reading to ask if you can bum an expensive cigarette off of me? 😡

I searched the web in regards to why this is acceptable – and read that it’s because smokers are a group that know what it’s like to be without a cigarette. Well if that’s true, then smokers as a whole, also know how much a pack of smokes are and to go around mooching them from a complete stranger doesn’t seem right to me. Without including time and the cost of fuel to get said pack of cigarettes, each cig is $0.50. Now, adding time to get the cigarettes and the cost of fuel… that cigarette has just jumped up in price.

Then there’s this whole coronavirus pandemic going on – hello, social distancing? We’re to keep six feet away at all times, wearing masks. I’m not wearing a mask in the privacy of my vehicle, but here comes a random stranger approaching my vehicle, not wearing a mask, not social distancing, all because he wants a cigarette? Not only is he not offering to purchase the cigarette that I put time and money into buying, but he’s going to encroach into my personal bubble space to bum one from me? How is this OK?!

As a smoker, I’ve asked for a cigarette from a stranger once in the last year. I went to start up my truck at the end of the street, and it wouldn’t start. Oh my gosh! I then went to get a cigarette to find out I didn’t have any because I was going to go to the store that morning, and now I couldn’t go because my truck wouldn’t start and I would now have to wait for AAA. I saw a man walking by at just that moment, smoking a cigarette. I asked him if I could buy a cigarette off of him and explained my situation and also apologized because I knew what it felt like when people bummed them from me. He said he knew what it felt like to be out of smokes in a situation like mine and gave me one. I thanked him profusely.

If someone was in my situation and asked me the way I asked this man, then I definitely wouldn’t refuse them a cigarette. But for someone to just come up and bum one from me – grr 😠 then yes, I will deny this ignorant, self absorbed person a cigarette every time.

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