Zoning Out

November 1946

Three doctors–two young, one old–all engaged in a demo of “a new method of using penicillin” because learning never ends. And that class of ’06 meant 1906, of course.

And what we hadn’t learned by the fall of 1946 was that Camel’s catchy T-zone slogan was not exactly accurate. But even if we had known the dangers of tobacco, how successful would it have been to ask veterans fresh off WWII to quit their habit?

Not very.

My whole life, cigarettes have been bad for you, and the T-Zone meant the zone of oily skin on your face, the one in the shape of a T.

A skincare T zone is really only a couple inches higher than Camel’s. And both of them are uppercase T’s. Otherwise, they would have looked more like the crucifix zone.


In 2019, we’re more concerned with different zones, like being friendzoned or saving the ozone layer. Where I live, the weatherman is always warning us of Ozone Action Days.


Those are the days we shouldn’t go outside for more than a few minutes, and not without a hat and long sleeves and SPF 100. And try to limit it to early morning! That’s why neighbors mow at 8am now. That’s why the neighborhood pools sit vacant every summer, and you never see kids playing outside at all. They’ll melt in seconds. In fact, summer is the worst time of year in Austin, and yet Californians move here daily. That’s why every highway is in a construction zone. That’s the T-zone for Texas, where all the pollutants and congestion sits. It never ends.


But the more, the merrier, right? With over 100 folks moving here a day, year after year, decade after decade, there are new people to meet and greet. Now all that’s left is to decide on a buffer zone.


For now, let’s keep everyone in the audience.



Not The Marlboro Man I Remember

LIFE 10/28/57

Who’s THIS guy with the glasses, shelves of books, and a tat on his hand? That’s not The Marlboro Man. The Marlboro Man wears a cowboy hat and has a cigarette dangling out of his mouth. He’s wincing into the sun with crow’s feet and leathered skin but yet ruggedly handsome, despite the huge probability of melanoma. I’m going to have to take a pass on 1957 Marlboro Man.

Ads That Almost Changed My Mind, Part II


If it’s toasted, it can’t be that bad.

And what about these couples from a 1929 Camel ad? Don’t they look cozy and warm in the amber glow of a Prohibition-era eatery? If I couldn’t drink, I’d be smoking, too. Enjoy your finery and walking sticks while you got ’em, folks. Nine months ’til Black Tuesday…


The Case For Coffin Nails And Lung Darts

Smoking looks pretty fantastic in ads of yore. I may need to rethink my vices. Toweling off never looked so exhilarating.

1955 Phillip Morris
1955 Phillip Morris

Have you ever seen a more fetching football ensemble? It even has a place to hold her smokes. She’s ready to toss an entire carton your way.
KUFall41-011These guys are the picture of good health. If they can smoke Camels and protect our liberty, shouldn’t you?

part 1 camels

The problem at Christmastime is discerning which Santa to heed. KU47011

JayhawkerCom43-013Too tough to decide? In any event, Chesterfield makes a pretty good case for evening winding-down. I could curl up inside that window into 1936. Let’s just hope she doesn’t fall asleep with the butt still burning.