We were driving back from a delicious dinner from Emma’s (like I really need to state that the dinner was indeed delicious; does Emma’s serve anything other?). We were in Jim and Jolene’s suburban on Mission Gorge when our homeward progress was thwarted by a red traffic light. Arg.
As we patiently waited (some of us more patient than others), a beat-up, mid 90’s white four-door Nissan Sentra pulled up next to us.
Now… maybe I am slightly more attune to atrocities such as is to be described below now that I am personally responsible for a little life of my own (who I might add is the cutest/smartest/most talented child ever).
In the front seats of the Nissan is an older couple, both puffing away on some cancer sticks. The driver’s window is cracked an inch, the other is rolled up tight.
In the back seat, two little girls, maybe 8 and 10 years old; eating ice cream.
What is one’s moral obligation at this point? I mean, come on, we all know that second hand smoke kills. If you do not know that, then you probably live deep in the Amazon jungle and death by second hand smoke is an easy second to death by puma, so your lack of knowledge is pardoned.
I will admit, I hesitated. My gut told me to roll down my window and shout at the current caretakers of the children. I balked and the light turned green. Fate shown upon me (and hopefully those poor children) and the white Nissan was slowed by some traffic, but then decided to pass us. I cranked the window down and went with my gut… I shouted at the driver.
“Hey idiot, second hand smoke kills!”
He heard me. He did look slightly confused. I am not sure whether the confusion came from the possibility that he was raised in the Amazon or from the fact that someone in an adjacent car was actually yelling at him in regards to him slowly killing the children in the back seats.
Did I mention that on January 1, 2008, California enacted a bill that made it a fineable infraction to smoke in a vehicle if someone under the age of 18 is present?
To say nonetheless, my moral compass slept well that night.