I woke up this morning at the ungodly hour of 6:00 AM (after going to bed early about 2:00 AM. I couldn't sleep, I guess). I decided, since I was up, I'd just get an early start on the day, so I showered, dressed, and hopped on out the door to work.

On the way here, I came upon a Chick-Fil-A and thought, "Boy, I could sure go for a tasty Chicken & Egg Bagel right about now!!!" (Yes, my thoughts DO contain exclamation points). So, I pulled in and took my place in line behind about 12 other cars containing people who had the same idea as me.

As I sat there, parked on the corner in mid-turn heading around the building toward the little speakerboxxy thing, I noticed a slight bit of movement with the window on the driver's side of the Ford Aerostar in front of me. It slid down just a bit, then produced the extended digits of a human hand containing between them the smoldering butt of an expired cigarette. Casually, they seperated, allowing the butt to tumble to the Earth below.

Now, I need to make it clear that I don't have a problem with the act of smoking. If someone wants to light something on fire and then inhale the waste material produced by the consumption of matter by flame, fine by me. Couldn't care less, more power to them, so on and so forth. I do, however, have a problem with ASSHOLES (some of whom are smokers, others of whom are NOT smokers - if you're an asshole, what you do in your free time does not change the fact that you are an asshole) who treat the world like it's their ashtray.

Normally, I'd just honk, flip the dickhead off, and go about the business of anticipating the tasty breakfast which awaited me at the drive-thru window. But for some reason -- Lack of sleep, maybe... Or the fact that I was up before the sun and thus wasn't truly in my normal theater of operation -- Whatever it was, it made me just a little less passive-agressive this morning.

I placed my car in park, opened the door, and approached the driver's side of the van. I reached down and scooped up the still-smoking filtered end of the cigarette and then knocked on the window of the van. The scraggly-haired older man looked at me with the shock and horror of a man who just witnessed a lunatic pick up a used cigarette butt and knock on his car window. Cautiously, he rolled down the window just a bit and inquired, "Yes?"

"You dropped this," I said plainly.

"Uh... Yeah?" He half stated, half asked.

"I thought you might like it back."

His eyes grew wide and his mouth hung open. "Uh... Well, I... Well..."

He was just about to say "No" when I extended the butt foward and said "Well, here you go."

Dazed and confused, he looked at my expressionless face for a moment, opened his window a little more, reached out, and accepted the used ciggy. He then turned and smashed it into his overflowing ashtray, then looked back at me with a still-amazed look on his face.

I nodded and waved, then returned to my car, where I pulled forward to fill the gap created by all the cars that had moved on during that time, a few steps closer to chickeny goodness.