Typically after a long day of driving on my summer road trips, I unwind by parking at the front of the lot of the Wal-Mart in town and keeping tabs on female smokers that come and go. This routine has yielded a good number of great sightings over the years, several of which are in my all-time favorite random sightings list. Well add another one to that roster in 2016 in Alexandria, Minnesota, which came in a roundabout way, beginning with a beat-up red car driven by a pretty college girl who I saw ashing a cigarette out her window after 11 p.m. on a Saturday night. She turned and parked in a different row in the lot so I decided my best bet was to step out of my car and sit on a bench in front of the store to watch her approach. And that paid off as two decently attractive college girls were approaching the store with cigarettes in hand, finishing them before they went inside. I had been waiting a couple of hours for something decent and having seen these two and knowing the car they drove, I decided to move my car near theirs hoping they’d light up when they got back out. This was the best decision I made all night, but not for the reasons I anticipated as these two girls were a red herring for a much more consequential find about to come….
Only a couple of minutes after I moved my car, a middle-aged man and what I presumed was his mid-teen daughter were leaving Wal-Mart and climbed into their car that I had a direct vantage point of. The girl wouldn’t have necessarily stood out in a crowd but was nonetheless attractive, about 16 with shoulder-length dark brown hair. Since she climbed into the passenger side of her dad’s car, I didn’t really get to see what she was wearing as it was obviously completely dark by now. I was preoccupied with the exit and potential smoke show to come from the earlier college girls, but I nonetheless found myself keeping visual tabs on this teen brunette cutie…just in case. And I happened to be looking her way at the exact moment she reached casually onto the dash and removed something that looked conspicuously like a pack of cigarettes. What an amazement it was moments later to see the flick of a lighter and a cigarette brought to life by this 16ish girl….in the company of her father who was preoccupied with some silly phone activity of his own. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing as this tender young face was dragging openly from this freshly lit cigarette, the cherry glowing bright red every time her young lips sucked on the filter, and weirder yet seemed to be doing a pose every time she took a drag. Then it hit me after a couple of moments that she was taking pics of herself…..while smoking in sexy poses….right in front of her father!
There must be some off the wall family values in this household as dad obliviously texted away as his underage daughter was posing with a cigarette and photographing herself suggestively dragging and exhaling. The exhales were great too, with a creamy ball of smoke hovering in front of her face before being inhaled and then exhaled in surprisingly thin streams. Best yet….not a single window was open in this car. Who was this father-daughter duo!???! When the daughter was about two-thirds done with her cigarette, the father reached for the green pack on the dashboard as well, which I presumed was Marlboro Menthols from what I could see from afar in the dark, and lit himself up. Again, no windows went down and I never saw either of them ash, indicating there was an ashtray in the console they were sharing. The daughter’s cigarette eventually just disappeared and she continued to take random selfies in the dark, the flash of her camera going off every time she took one and revealing without a doubt the innocence of a mid-teen girl’s face. Was she just being random when she snapped the smoking selfies or did she understand completely the sexual connotations of smoking? It was one of the best random sightings I’ve gotten in years.
I was wondering why they were hovering in this car so long and after about 20 minutes a late teen boy and a working-class middle-aged woman came out of Wal-Mart, very clearly the brother and mother of the girl, and they sat in the backseat before the car took off with no additional tobacco usage to be seen before the car sped out of sight. Was it an entirely family of smokers? Probably given the dynamics I witnessed in that car, but what if it was just the father and daughter who smoked! And that’s why they shared the front seat with the ashtray and came out together while the other two shopped! Either one was an incredible dynamic and made for my best random sighting of the year, all thanks to those college girls I followed to a different row in the parking lot. And by the way, those college girls drove off without lighting up again when they returned to their cars.