So, 5 minutes later, I emerge with said umbrella and am in the process of putting it in the back of the van when the car next to us backs out, the driver rolls down her window and says, “I wish I was rich like you!”
Not being a mind reader, I ask her to repeat herself. “I wish I was rich like you so I could leave my vehicle running. And it’s not good for the environment. You need to be more responsible.” And off she drives.
Oooookay. Perhaps she didn’t see my wife and four little kiddos in the van NOT being oven-roasted thanks to my “irresponsibility.” The ironic part of all this was that during her tirade, she puffed away at a cigarette. Yeah, that’s very responsible. I wish I could be like her. Good for the environment too, obviously. I could be wrong, but considering that her voice sounded like that of a chain smoker, I’d be willing to bet that she spent more money on her cigarettes that day than I did on the additional fuel used in keeping my family cool. Consider the following from this article written in June 2007:
The cost of a pack of cigarettes averages $4.49, including taxes. Using this number, a pack-a-day smoker burns through about $31.43 per week, or $1,635 per year. That's a fat house payment or a nice vacation with the family [or a weekly gas fillup!!]. A 40-year-old who quits smoking and puts the savings into a 401(k) earning 9% a year would have nearly $250,000 by age 70.
And this doesn’t take into account the extra costs that smokers have to pay for insurance, the loss of value on a house or car, etc.
So let’s see: going by last year’s average, this woman was sending up in smoke per week about the same amount that it would take to fill up our van per week.
Now who’s being irresponsible, not to mention being a busy body.