Civil dressing for a deadly habit


Smoking kills, but the Island of Elba doesn’t find that reason enough not to accommodate the smoker and everyone else at the same time. Terra cotta ashtrays, as pretty as planters, are everywhere. And if it weren’t for the crop of cigarette butts thriving in many of them (in other words, cigarette butts that aren’t littering the ground), that’s exactly what you’d think they were.



The first one I spotted was affixed to a lovely art gallery, so I assumed it had been put there by the property owners. Then I realized that they were everywhere—next to the doors of barbershops and butchers, by drainpipes and the carved stone marking the water-level of the great flood of 1899. And finally, on close inspection, I realized that they were public installations, for each ashtray is marked with an oddly shaped blue-blob: a minute Island of Elba.



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5 Responses to Civil dressing for a deadly habit

  1. bagnidilucca says:

    It is better, I suppose, than having the filthy things on the ground. I really gives me the you know whats when smokers dump their butts on the ground. Who do they think wants to pick those up? I was behind a woman entering a shop and she threw her lit cigarette at the door. I very swiftly picked it up and put it in her handbag – and then ran away because I am gutless. I hope she found a nice surprise when she got home. I think I am turning into a batty old lady.

  2. Oh, I think turning into a batty old lady sounds like the only way to go! That is too funny…I wonder what happened inside her purse…? Was that in Italy or in Australia that you did that? Priceless.

  3. bagnidilucca says:

    It is better, I suppose, than having the filthy things on the ground. I really gives me the you know whats when smokers dump their butts on the ground. Who do they think wants to pick those up? I was behind a woman entering a shop and she threw her lit cigarette at the door. I very swiftly picked it up and put it in her handbag – and then ran away because I am gutless. I hope she found a nice surprise when she got home. I think I am turning into a batty old lady. I did it in Italy, in Lucca and I would do it again.

  4. bagnidilucca says:

    I don’t know why it repeated the whole thing again. Our front door has a traffic light in front of it and cars often throw their butts out of the window at my door and I have taken to telling them off. Perhaps I will be carted off in a van one day.

  5. ron says:

    there was a flood on an island? i’ve heard that the world’s water level could rise 50′ every year. that should put out cigarette butts in a lot of places.

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