Does your ashtray work?

Searching for Biker Images seems to return a disproportionate amount of hot chicks on bikes.....No, I'm not talking about this pic.

With groceries securely packed in the back of my car, ice cream slowly melting, I headed home.  As I got off the highway I noticed the pack of bikers driving behind me, which wasn’t hard with how loud their bikes were.  There were 5 of them in all.  I found it ironic that they were driving so close behind me, so close that if I opened my hatchback I could probably reach out and touch them.  I’ve always heard people say that you shouldn’t follow too closely when there are motorcycles in front of you.  Apparently the same rule doesn’t apply to them.

I lit up a cigarette.  Bad, I know.  But that’s just the way it is.  A minute later I was pulling up to a stop light, about 6 cars back, waiting to make my right hand turn and get home.  The rumbling caught my attention again and I looked in the mirror to see the bikers coming to a stop behind me.  Well, most of them.  For some strange reason one of them was actually pulling up beside me.  The first thought through my head was, “Is he really going to be so impatient that he’s going to squeeze between me and the car next to me just so he doesn’t have to wait at the light?”.  That thought quickly left my brain when he got next to my driver’s side door and stopped.  Then he turned and looked at me.  Awkward!

“Does the ashtray work in that thing?”, he asked.

Not the question I was expecting.  To be honest, I’m not sure what I was expecting because the whole thing was a little strange.  What does that question even mean?  What’s the difference between a working ashtray and one that doesn’t work?  How exactly does an ashtray stop working?

“Ummmm, actually my car doesn’t have an ashtray”.

Definitely not the response he was expecting.  He looked like he wasn’t any more sure where this was going than I was at this point.  He looked down at his bike for a brief moment, and then lifted his head and looked back at me.

“Well, you’ve been flicking your cigarette on me!  I don’t like you using my face as your ashtray!”, he said in an eerily level tone.

Awkward again!

It was polite……sort of.  I mean, the way he said it was polite, I guess.  But there was just something about it that was odd, and not very polite.  I felt bad for a moment and since I had no idea what to say at this moment I said what any Canadian would say, “Sorry”.  Then I looked down at my cigarette, which I had just lit a minute before, and realized that I’d only flicked the ashes once.  Did he just…….really?

As I sat there thinking about it I decided to not say anything impolite, since I’m a fairly polite person and he was fairly polite about it.  Well, that and they were a bunch of bikers.  He started to roll his motorcycle back towards his buddies and once he was near them he began telling them the tale of how he told me to stop using his face as an ashtray.  Regaling them with the surprising news that my car was actually made without an ashtray.  Shocking, I know.

As he started telling them the tale I was still thinking.  Thinking about how he was a biker.  A tough, leather wearing, hog riding biker.  “Don’t real bikers drive down the open road with hand rolled cigarettes hanging out of their mouths, while they’re doing 100km/hour down the freeway?”, I said to myself.  “Aren’t real bikers tough guys?”, “Did you really just complain to a guy and his girlfriend in a fuel-efficient hatchback about having ashes flicked on you once?”.  You, with your ripped jeans and leathers, your scruffy beard, and open-faced helmet.  I was at a loss.  “Maybe you shouldn’t be riding so close behind me”, I thought.  “Should I ask the bugs to get off the road while you’re using it so they don’t get in your face either?”  It’s not like I flicked my cigarette butt at him, right?

I don’t know, maybe I’m in the wrong for flicking my ashes out my window.  I realize it’s not the best thing to do.  Then again maybe car manufacturers are in the wrong for not putting ashtrays in cars anymore.  It wasn’t even an option in my car.  Much like the cigarette lighter in my car.  You know, the spot I have for a lighter that doesn’t actually contain a lighter.   Now it’s just an outlet to plug stuff into.  That way you can plug your laptop into your car if the battery is dying while you’re driving.

I’m not sure when it started but, smokers are most definitely second class citizens.  Which is odd because the last time I checked the government didn’t make smoking illegal.  Is it bad to smoke?  Of course it is, I’m not a complete idiot.  There are lots of things that are bad for you though.  I will smoke in my car with the windows down for as long as I smoke, or until they pass the law which says I can’t, whichever happens first.  Luckily I’m still allowed to smoke outdoors……as long as I’m not near an entrance to a building, or in a public park, or near kids, or on a patio, or a million other places…..


12 thoughts on “Does your ashtray work?

    1. Awwww, never be afraid to comment here Carmen! Whatever that comment may be! Believe me, when I hit the publish button on a post about smoking I know what to expect.

      I don’t “hate” anyone Carmen, and certainly not you!

      Much love!

  1. It occurs to me that this guy had a stereotypical biker gang mentality. Oh I know tomorrow is the 13th and we’re going to see a lot of normal bikers on the roads to celebrate (and some of the biker gangs as well), and maybe him and his folk were part of that, but still… I’ve met a biker gang member, and the level tone that they use, even when pissed, seems to be a trademark deal.

    If that was the case, then this guy could have been chomping on a mouthful of mosquitoes and he still would have come at you for those imaginary ashes (likely, as you guessed, just one). You see it wasn’t really about the ashes anyway. It was what they represented. Which was: he was feeling that you were dissing him. Hence the personal insult he chose to take and articulate so well “I don’t like you using my face for an ashtray”. Had you been impolite…..well, that would not have been a good thing, I’m thinking.

    I’m guessing you dodged a bullet. Some of those guys are just plain sociopaths. (At least, the one I know certainly is).

    1. That’s an interesting view there. I have to admit that something about it just seemed odd to me, even now. I can’t put my finger on it exactly but, there no question in my mind that something else was going on…

      Thanks for the perspective!

  2. Having been a smoker for 25 years, I never used my ashtray, even when they came with the car! Truthfully, I always wondered how it would be for a motorcylclist behind me. But then I realized how small an ash is and there really is no way it could have bothered him. I think he was just crazy, like the other’s have said.

    On that note, when you’re ready to quit, I’ll be right here in your corner! I quit 3 1/2 years ago and really don’t miss it a bit. But I never pressure anyone. Just let you know that I’m here as a cheerleader when you decide to give it up.

    P.S. It’s no lie, the money you save!!

    1. Thanks Dawn!

      Good for you on quitting smoking, I’m glad you were able to do it! And that’s very sweet of you, when I’m ready I’ll let you know. I’ll be looking forward to the ridiculous amount of money I’ll be saving, that’s for sure, haha.

  3. In this case, the biker should be thankful that you smoke cigarettes instead of chew tobacco! 🙂

    I smoked for many years. Took me a heart attack at 38 and a stint in the hospital to get it outta me.

    I don’t feel sorry for the biker. If you ride a motorcycle, you are going to eat whatever comes down the road. It’s very funny that a tough biker was complaining about your smoking. I used to get so irritated about the anti-smoking mentality that surrounds us–some places are worse than others. If you want to smoke, that’s your perogative…as long as you don’t flick your ashes in my biker face 🙂

    1. Now that would have been funny! I’m picturing it now, haha.

      On a more serious note, I’m glad you made it through that Abe. 38 is too young. My brother-in-law had a heart attack at the same age. Scary!

  4. Carmen, you are always so nice. 🙂

    I enjoyed this post quite a bit. It’s well written about a very interesting incident. It’s not every day a biker pulls up next to you and initiates conversation.

    I’m glad you survived!

    I talked to one biker and he told me he had metal tied to the end of some leather that he used as a window smasher when people pissed him off. Wow. Good thing it wasn’t him.

  5. Its funny how the best comebacks occur to us a minute after an incident. And then we end up pondering on other witty things we should have said. Happens with me all the time… 😀

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