of cigarettes and smart phones

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As I was driving to work, I saw a man waiting at the bus stop.  He was dressed in business attire, with a laptop case.  He was the only one there, staring away in some personal reflection.  And, he was smoking a cigarette.

If blogging does anything, it reminds me that if I’m awake, I’m always thinking something.  At this point, I was thinking, “Why?”

Easy answer: nicotine addiction.  That may be it.  And how did he come to have that?  Peer pressure in high school?  A rebellious nature?  A need for self-expression?  A reward to oneself?  A sensory pleasure?  A need to relax?  A mating call? Or is it something to do while waiting… to pass the time doing… something?

That “something” invites speculation – particularly while driving (I have to do something to pass the time) – as to some of the things that people do to pass the time.

TV.  That’s classic.  Books.  That’s retro-classic.  A game of cards?  Ancient history it seems.  Sewing?  Gen-X doesn’t know what that is, but it still counts, although some might argue that creating something for future benefit is not just “passing the time,” which implies a pointless pursuit.  Like gardening.  And writing a letter? Puhleez!

How about online gaming?  Check.  Surfing the internet searching for cool new bands (oops, autobiographical comment there).

Anyway, you get the point.  Later that same day, a recurring observation tied neatly with the “cigarette smoking man,” that being the break during the lunchtime break when the cell phones come out, these conjoined observations thus meriting mental retention as “bloggable subject.”

Aside from all the negative societal pressures against smokers, and the fiscal penalties for smoking, and the declining venues in which one can legally smoke, there is now a competitor which sweeps the world.  Yep, my giveaway blog title spoiled the surprise.  Smart phones.

Write a letter? Text.  Watch TV?  Check.  Watch a movie?  Check.  Search for cool new bands?  Check.  Weather update?  Check.  Find out what your friends are doing?  Facebook.  Play cards?  Check.  Play Scrabble with friends while by yourself?  Check.  Surf the internet?  Check.  Learn a hobby find a recipe brush up on Bolsheviks is Beiber a dad pay a bill buy tickets to a movie what was that movie that Tea Leoni was in John 11:35 I bet I can get it for less on ebay what were the scores last night… 

All in the palm of one’s hand, and it does so much more than a cigarette.

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