Loitering smokers

Location: Arlington, VA; line of shops
Time: Evening Rush Hour (3:30pm-7:30pm)

This isn’t sexual harrasment. However, a group of four girls with piercings and punk clothing were smoking. There was a really obvious sign (NO SMOKING) and my friend and I decided to do something. We walked past them into the pet store while coughing really loudly and obviously. Beforehand, we had been discussing how bad smoking was for you and how secondhand smoke could kill others. My mother (who was with us, eating dinner) went and casually stood by them as if she didn’t know us and was a bystander. She heard them say, “when those girls come back, let’s blow smoke rings in their faces.” then she stood up tall and put her game face on. We came back and nothing (sic). Also, maybe now is the time to mention that they were all sharing one cigarette. Ew! Isn’t that disgusting?

Submitted on 7/14/12 by “Anonymous”

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4 Responses

  1. John B
    | Reply

    Your obvious contempt for these girls prompted them to make known theirs for you.

    You could have asked them politely why they were smoking where doing so is prohibited.

    Just because they were doing something wrong does not give you the right to be rude.

  2. Annie
    | Reply

    I agree with John B. You instigated this situation. I don’t think this is an example of street harassment so much as mutual rudeness.

  3. Alison
    | Reply

    How is coughing rude? I’d say that smoking in a store entryway that is posted “No Smoking” is very rude to whoever owns that store, and to whoever passes through that entryway who doesn’t happen to enjoy the rich smooth Virginia flavor of ASHTRAY on their clothing and hair.

  4. Alex
    | Reply

    I agree with John B and Annie. It appears that these girls were minding their own business before you and your friend “decided to do something”, as you put it. And yes, loudly coughing to get their attention was quite possibly the most obnoxious and antagonistic thing you could do in this situation. Sure, these girls could have been a little more mindful of their surroundings. If politely reminding them of the “no smoking” sign didn’t work, I’m sure lodging a complaint with the owner of the establishment would have. But it is clear that your goal was not to effectively deal with this problem. You seem more concerned with flaunting your self-righteous, holier-than-thou attitude enough to provoke a reaction.

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