Dear Cole, I need some guidance on how to deal with an inconsiderate smoker.
I've got a neighbor that thinks my yard is his personal ashtray and continues to flick his cigarette butts onto my sidewalk. For the past year or so, I've been playing the enabling patsy and have been picking up his discarded butts and disposing of them properly. But, now his laughing behind my back at my foolishness is starting to grind on my nerves, and I feel the need to address the problem.
Dear Patsy, I'm glad you've decided to grow a pair. Here's one way to address your litterbug -
Sweep up all of those cigarette butts and save them. One day, when your neighbor isn't home, bring those butts over to his house and and dispose of them on his front doorstep. That should get the message across about his behavior.
However, if your neighbor still fails to comprehend the message after seeing what a pile of disgusting cigarette butts looks like on his own property, and continues to flick his butts into your yard, then you're going to have to make his inconsiderate behavior more clear to him.
So, the next time you see your neighbor smoking, grab a candy bar, some chewing gum, or some other type of wrapped food. Mosey on out and engage him in some polite neighborly conversation.
As you notice him finishing his cigarette, and the second he flicks his butt into your yard, unwrap that candy bar, gum, or food, and throw the empty wrapper trash into his yard. Begin to eat your food and continue your conversation as if what you've just done is normal neighborly behavior.
I'm sure that upon instituting your own inconsiderate action in front of his face, your now astounded neighbor will ask you why you just threw your trash into his yard.
Without getting angry or becoming confrontational, keep a smile on your face, look him directly into his eyes and reply questioningly "I noticed that you flick your butts into my yard, so I thought that throwing my trash into your yard was just part of being a good neighbor. Is that wrong?"
Hopefully, your neighbor will then realize his assholeledness and quit being a littering butt-flicker.
But, if you think my solution may be a little too risky and are afraid your neighbor may become upset, and complain that you're being a "Nazi" and violating his "personal freedoms", then try this advice -
Source: Slate: Dear Prudence