I started smoking when I was about 13 or 14 years old (~ 1987 or 1988). I smoked for about 20 years before I finally gave it up for good back in 2006 or 2007 (I can never remember the exact year). This story took place back in 1996. You would have thought that I had learned my lesson then, but it took about 10 more years before I finally quit for good.
Usually, my drive home from work is very boring. I travel the same boring route, I listen to the same boring station play the same boring music, and I see the same boring things. But on this day, things would be anything but boring.
As I opened the door to leave work, I did what I always did; reached into my pocket and pulled out my cigarettes. I opened the box, pulled out a savory white pacifier and placed it between my lips. I quickly dug into my pocket for my lighter, impatient to taste that first draw of smoke. As I lit my cigarette, I thought to my self, ah sweet smoke, daddy missed you.
As I arrived at my car, I put my laptop in the passenger’s seat, fired up that white piece of shit Ford Ranger and started my journey home. Before I left my parking spot, I had forgotten to do one MAJOR thing, crack the window. I never understood it, but even as a smoker, I couldn’t stand to be in a closed in area with smoke.
So there I am, on my way home, smoking, listening to the radio and yelling at every idiot on the road for going to fast, to slow, or just generally being a shitty driver. I had just finished dropping F-bombs and giving this old woman the finger when I noticed that I had finished with my cigarette. “Damn, already” I thought. I reached up to my lips, grabbed the butt and proceeded to throw the used cigarette out the window. At the moment I threw it, a BIG puff of ashes shot back into the car…right into my face.
“Damn,” I thought, “I hope the cigarette didn’t come back in too”. I wiped my face off and looked around my seat to see if it had re-entered, but I didn’t see anything. I checked the floor in front of me, nothing. Checked the space between the door and the seat, still nothing.
Cool, I’m good to go.
Driving along, I began to smell smoke. Damn, is my engine messed up, I first thought? I quickly realized that my cigarette must have blown back into the car. I surmised it must have flown back in and went behind the seat since I didn’t see it on my first scan of the floorboard.
About that time, my shoulder started to burn. OHHH bitch, did it burn. It felt like somebody was putting a cigarette out on my shoulder. And that’s when it hit me; SON OF A BITCH, that thing flew back in and landed on my shoulder.
The first thing I did was swat at my shoulder. SLAP! SLAP! SLAP!
OOOOHHH SHIT IT’S SO HOT! I looked in my rear-view mirror and saw that my shirt was on fire.
OH god I thought, I’m going to freaking burn alive on Interstate 45 in a Ford Ranger.
I quickly pulled over and swatted out my smoldering shoulder. I looked into my rear-view mirror, and sure as shit, on the shoulder part of my shirt was a big ‘ol burn hole. And not only did that little bastard burn through my dress shirt, but it also burned through my T-shirt underneath.
Damn, that hurt.
Wow, that was some crazy shit, I thought as I put my blinker on to get back on the freeway. I merged
into traffic and thought, next time I’m going to roll the window down all the way and make DAMN SURE I throw the thing out.
Boy, was I glad that was over. The problem was, it wasn’t over. About a mile or so after I got going, I realize I still smelled smoke. Huh, that’s weird I thought, I know I put the fire out on my shoulder. I wonder if my engine really is…
OHHHH MY LAP, MY LAP IS BURNING!
IT’S SOOO HOT!!
God damn, this cigarette won’t die.
I darted back on to the shoulder and slammed on the brakes. Once stopped, I raised my ass of the seat, only to find that the cigarette had landed in my lap and was burning my inner thigh (and my seat). After I slapped out my smoldering pants and seat, I threw out that bastard for good (I double checked this time). As I sat there, I wondered, how the hell it ended up in my lap. I quickly realized that when I discovered my shoulder was on fire and started slapping at it, I must have slapped it into my lap.
After triple checking the cab of my truck, I started home again. I arrived at my apartment, got out and walked up the stairs. I opened the door and tried to walk straight to the bedroom and change before my then wife (now Ex) would see it. But of course I didn’t make it.
“Hey, how was your day”, she greeted me as I rounded the corner. “What do you want for…what the hell happened to you?”
And there I stood, a hole in my shirt on my shoulder, and a hole in my pants on my thigh. All I could think was, “if she says one thing about this, I’m going to set all her clothes on fire while she sleeps.”
Evidently she saw the look on my face; that or I had a cartoon bubble above my head and she could see what I was thinking, because she never said another word. She kissed me on the cheek and went to the kitchen to make dinner.