dear smoker in the sandbox

by ck on October 17, 2012

I never thought I’d say this, but I  think I actually miss our forever afternoons at the park…

Dear Smoker in the Sandbox:

Please don’t mistake this for concern in regards to your health. Right now I’m not concerned with the state of your lungs and other nearby organs. That is between you and your Marlboro Reds. What I’m concerned with is the sand cake my daughter and her friend made for me yesterday.

You know how kids are. They get fixated on a certain park activity and it becomes essential for them to complete it in order for the park trip to be considered a success. For some kids it’s going on the swings first. For others it’s climbing up the slide. For my kid it’s making a sand birthday cake for me. The size and texture of her creations vary and according to the twig candles she usually decorates with I’m somewhere between 4 and 20 years old. Yesterday, according to the cigarette butts you left in the sandbox, I turned 9.

The first time I turned 9, I was excited. I mean, my age could almost be represented by a flash of all ten fingers. This time the only flash of all ten fingers came as I yanked the “candles” out of the “icing” to the horrified screams of my daughter and her friend. Happy Birthday to me.

And speaking of flashing, just in case you also happen to be the individual who got lucky in the climbing area last night, kudos on using protection. That’s fantastic. Perhaps next time, if there is a next time, you might consider either doing it in an area not frequented by children, or tossing out your condom wrapper. I mean, my two-year-old is happy to pick up the shiny packaging and hand it to me to throw in the trash, but hopefully you can understand why I don’t want either of us touching something you discarded in a heated frenzy. At the park. On the made-from-recycled-items play area.

I guess I could thank you for throwing out the actual condom, which I know wasn’t there because I searched for about twenty minutes, lest my kids find it first. But I’m not feeling particularly grateful right now. I’m too busy trying to calculate how many sanitizing wipes I’d need to de-germ the platforms and slides and other places you might have possibly celebrated your conquest.

And on my 9th birthday, no less.






~Laura September 28, 2009 at 7:32 am

Love your last line. That is great! And a big, disgusted EWWWW!!! to that sicko. That lucky lady got herself a real classy guy. One that splurges on taking her to the jungle gym none the less…

parenting BY dummies September 28, 2009 at 8:45 am

Wow! That’s pretty gangster. What hood do you live in?! Kidding! I know where you live, I’m your #1 stalker, remember?! I actually had the pleasure of encountering an individual smoking at the park recently. She was on the jungle gym bridge thingy. With her kid. #2 inquired in his loud-I’m-embarrassing-mommy voice that I was uncharacteristically grateful for this day about why her stick was on fire and why she had it in her mouth. I used it as a teachable moment and informed him it was because she is dumb. I’m a great mom:)!

Futureblackmail September 28, 2009 at 8:59 am

What is wrong with people?!

I love your last line – sums it up very nicely.

Keyona September 28, 2009 at 9:04 am

Sounds like a bunch of nasty teenagers if you ask me. Yuck!

GoonieMomma September 28, 2009 at 9:24 am

CK, I think I have some nitrile gloves here at work that I can send you. Unfortunately, they don’t come in “ONE” and “TWO” sizes.

I am THOROUGHLY disgusted by the fact that I even let my little guy play in parks now. Thanks for ruining a good thing. I never “believed” in hand sanitizer, but I guess he doesn’t touch enough stuff yet. I’m dreaming up a way to make a cute cloth pouch for it that attaches to the wagon… to be cute? No. To hide that I’m going psycho and need hand sanitizer at the park…

The Curious Cat September 28, 2009 at 9:51 am

Some people are so bloody thoughtless! What is wrong with them?! Ah…it is little things like this that make one despair a little! xxx

TheKitchenWitch September 28, 2009 at 10:04 am

If I could, I’d send my kid to the park in a BioHazard suit. Just grossness.

MsBurns September 28, 2009 at 10:08 am

It was probably the sir on the slide.

KathyB! September 28, 2009 at 10:19 am

EWWWW! Parks are really nasty. I try to squint my eyes and loof directly into the sunlight as often as I can. Sure, it sears my retinas a little but all the sun spots that enter my vision as a result keep me from seeing what’s really sharing space at the playground with me.

Rachel September 28, 2009 at 10:21 am

Yuck! I secretly like it when I’m out with the kids and they (loudly) gasp in horror: “Mommy, that lady is SMOKING!”

Casey September 28, 2009 at 11:25 am

First of all, happy 9th. I hate that people are so disgusting in public parks and in public in general. I brought my kids to a park once and there were beer bottles everywhere and PISS DOWN THE SLIDES. Also, some unidentified splooge-like substance on one of the platforms. I’m with you and if you ever find those mofos, I will help you burn their genitals with Marlboro Reds.

Mira September 28, 2009 at 11:33 am

I’m sure they just feel so abandoned by society you know, what with not being able to smoke in bars anymore and being outcasts of society so much so that they have to have sex on whatever horizontal surface might accommodate them. But you know, so be it. I thank goodness that I have to only go to gated parks that close at dark because my triplets would otherwise escape into the streets because apparently it saves me some of that nasty you get to experience. Hmmm, an upside. what do you know.

Lyndsay September 28, 2009 at 12:11 pm

C found a condom on the beach. Picked it up with child-like glee thinking he found a balloon. To say I FLIPPED out would be a severe understatement.

Grace Matthews September 28, 2009 at 12:14 pm

Happy Birthday! You know I am the first one to say “Let’s spice things up a bit.” However…not where children play. What kind of sick pervert can get off at a playground? The issue with the cigarette butt is precisely why they are being banned form everywhere…some cigarette smokers ruin it for everybody else.

Ink September 28, 2009 at 12:38 pm

Ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww. That is all.

Yvonne Moss September 28, 2009 at 1:00 pm

Really, how gross! Reminds me of a time when as a little girl I was playing Barbie outside with a friend on a lovely summer day. I thought the maxi pad I found made a LOVELY mink stole… but my mom didn’t see it that way!

Tiffany September 28, 2009 at 1:35 pm

But you don’t look a day over 6!! I wholeheartedly agree with everyone—G – ROSS!!

Gibby September 28, 2009 at 2:18 pm

Oh, gross. That’s the last thing a germophobe like me needs to hear. Back before i had kids, I used to help out with a Brownie troop in the city. (I don’t know why, so don’t ask.) Anyhow, one of our activities was to go outside to a park and find any signs that an animal had been there. One girl held up a cigarette and asked if that was a sign. I told her yes. In a way, right?

Unknown Mami September 28, 2009 at 3:30 pm

That damn smoker and that stupid yet well protected sexer get around because they have left traces at the park I go to as well. Smokers and sexers stay out of the children’s area in the park!

The Mother September 28, 2009 at 3:31 pm


They just don’t think, do they?

onthenightyouwereborn September 28, 2009 at 4:07 pm

I can’t stop laughing …

janice September 28, 2009 at 7:25 pm

Well…I hope the condom they used didn’t break, there maybe a new suprise in the park next spring.

Jessica September 28, 2009 at 9:41 pm

That is so nasty. I am thankful that no one does that in our sandbox or playset. I’d kill one of the neighbor kids:) Addie is also obsessed with picking up cigarette butts – ICK.
I also love your Dear Letters….I like to speak in Dear Letters to my friends/husband – they are always better and more colorful if I’ve been imbibing…

insider53 September 28, 2009 at 10:21 pm

Gross and disgusting….. You might need to find a new park or write your congressman and insist they crack down on this type of crime and make no mistake it is a crime.

Dawn September 28, 2009 at 11:28 pm

I’m sorry you were so upset by the fact that your daughter was being SOOO resourceful in using “candles” that would actually burn. Totally kidding!
I HATE it when people throw their cigarette butts down. I have actually caught a smoker getting on to her daughter for throwing her juice box on the ground and then dropped her cigarette butt seconds later. What a hypocrite!
And the whole sex on the playround…blech!!! But you calculating the number of sanitizing wipes… hiiiilarious!!!!
BTW – Happy 9th birthday…again!

JennyPenny September 28, 2009 at 11:34 pm

Happy 9th! I once found a crack pipe at one of our neighborhood parks, when my oldest was about three and interested in shiny things on the ground. It made me so angry! And I’ve found my share of condom wrappers, too. Why can’t the young folk just bangagong in their hatchbacks outside the city limits anymore?

P.S. Your comment on my blog tonight made me feel really good. And I needed that, because I’ve been feeling out of gas. Thanks. :)

faemom September 29, 2009 at 12:58 am

I always pick up a dozen butts or so every time I go to the park. It pisses me off so much. My new plan is to go with gloves and a plastic baggie. I’m teaching the boys to pick up litter when they see it. But after your condome wrapper, maybe I should discourage that.

ModernMom September 29, 2009 at 9:17 pm

Fabulous letter! Oh and Ewwwwwwwwwwww

Zeemaid September 29, 2009 at 10:30 pm

oh that is so disgusting. We actually don’t find that many butts at our parks here… probably because we’ve gotten so strict with the whole public smoking thing. but still. I can’t imagine picking up “shiny wrappers”. my kid is always picking up shiny things.. ugh

naptimewriting September 29, 2009 at 11:19 pm

This is why I want to live on a planet with only people of my choosing.
I loathe humans.

Jacqueline September 30, 2009 at 1:19 am

That’s disgusting! At least I can say for the few that I know who do smoke, they have the common courtesy to throw it in the trash! Eek! Most people lack courtesy, that’s what’s wrong… :o(

LZ September 30, 2009 at 4:12 pm

barf. There is very little that would make me want to leave a playground more quickly than some litterbug’s condom or wrapper on the ground. If you can’t find a private place to get it on, maybe it’s just not a good night for it.
The cigarettes would have driven me nuts! Not that I support smoker’s right or not, but smoking near a playground, especially littering your butts, calls for some sort of public humiliation or maybe stoning.

mccarthyculkin September 30, 2009 at 8:57 pm

Sorry, CK, sometimes me & Bob drive to your neighborhood to “do it”. And we always need a smoke afterwards. Kidding.

GoonieMomma October 1, 2009 at 11:30 am
This made me think of you; and REthink the huge bottle of sanitizer on A’s dresser… maybe now I’ll keep it in a Martini glass?

wideopenworld October 1, 2009 at 11:51 am

This happens all the time in the parks near here. Okay, public parks, maybe, but it happens in our private apartment parks too! Gross! What is with smokers thinking we want to share their butts with our kids. And the condom…..(shudder). I would say ignorant teenagers.

Mother Shaffer October 1, 2009 at 2:45 pm

Guess that’s why every other house these days has a mammoth swing set in the backyard–parks are for punks.

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