Friday, May 15, 2015

"People who smoke are bad people" - Calden, age 5

Monday afternoon, Kelly took her five year-old son Calden into Toronto for an appointment at Sick Kids. When they arrived back at Oshawa GO Station later in the afternoon, Calden had been staring out the GO train window when something caught his eye.

"What's all that stick things there?" Calden asked, wrote his mom in an email to

Kelly looked down.

"Those are cigarettes," she told her son. Then she had to explain what a cigarette was and what happens after people smoke it. Lots of "whys" about why people smoke, etc., and why would people not throw their cigarette butts in the garbage like how Calden throws his lollipop and popsicle sticks in the garbage when he's finished sucking on them.

Great question, Calden! Let's ask the smokers!

Kelly writes that Calden was very confused about why anyone would make such a mess. On purpose.

So she took him to the bus loop (where there are signs that clearly state that "No Smoking" is allowed) and she let him ask a smoker who just happened to toss his used butt over the fence, why he didn't throw it in the garbage.

She regrets not recording any of this. So do I.

The smoker said to Kelly, "You don't teach your kid not to talk to strangers??? You're a bad mom." And he walked off, shaking his head.

"Mommy," said Calden. "People who smoke are bad people."

Can you blame the kid for thinking that way? Kelly assured him that smokers are actually nice people who just need to be reminded that they need to respect the Earth. "And nature," added Calden, in a matter of fact voice.

It was also at that exact moment that the train operator climbed out of the locomotive and lit up a cigarette track-side.

"Ess-scuse me," said Calden to the man, "Will you 'peas' not 'trow' your cigarette on the ground?"

He turned around, mid-suck, and looked surprised when Calden addressed him. The Bombardier employee nodded and looked away, and began to inspect the train as he continued to smoke. Awwkward, he looked like he wanted to swallow it, wrote Kelly.

My son has no filter. He sees it, he says it, she writes.

I love Calden. Give him a vest. A bullhorn. A clipboard and a flame thrower. He's hired!


Anonymous said...

I will never understand why smokers think the world is their ashtray.

Mind you, they clearly don't give a shit about themselves, so why would they give a shit about anyone or anything else?

Anonymous said...

I thought about starting a blog called 'Beam Me Up Scotty' where I list all the reasons I want to leave planet earth. This is definitely one of them :)

Squiggles said...

I can't figure it out either.

Numbnuts the neighbour (and this is the nice version of the many names) is a smoker. Will not smoke in his house and up until this past winter, always disposed of the butts in a can beside his stoop. Something changed and he is now flicking them everywhere! It is a pain in the backside to remove them from my lawn, front walk, driveway, etc.

If he does that to his own property (and yes, many of them land there as well), why would he care about flicking them on sidewalks, parking lots, etc.

It's the sense of entitlement that the smokers have that makes it hard to change their behaviour. They see nothing wrong, in fact, they view themselves as the victim because smoking is passe.

Anonymous said...

I have a neighbour that smokes and throws all the butts on my lawn. one day i picked up all the butts, dumped it in a clear grocery bag (you know the ones they give you for your fruits and veggies), stuck a note on the front of the bag that said "Keep your garbage off my lawn" and tie it to his front door. haven't seen butts since..

Jules said...

I will never understand why smokers think it is ok to just discard their cigarette butts everywhere and anywhere. I got out of my car at a Dr's office this winter and saw that someone had dumped their entire ashtray out on the ground. General disregard for the environment and a disgrace to mankind.

Squiggles said...


That is an awesome idea.

Unfortunately, my neighbour is unhinged. Based on his actions (other than the butts) I am actually concerned about what he could do to me or my property if I did that.

Nora1968 said...

I'm wondering why the GO train operator - employed by GO Transit whose "no smoking" signs are all over the platform - is smoking a cigarette at track level???

Unknown said...

Nora, the operators of GO trains are not employed by GO Transit; they are employees of Bombardier. Not trying to make excuses, just clarifying.

Nora1968 said...

Fair enough & thanks for the clarification. The optics are still terrible.

deepfish said...

Maybe a solution?
A deposit of $1 per cigarette filter, payable upon return to the point of sale. Put a recognizable thread or stamp on the side of each filter.
Storage and return and payment of costs all to be borne by the ciggie companies, agents and retailers.

Kelly said...

My coworker called me to tell me you published my story. I'm so flattered! Thank you!!! I love your site. It makes my week.