Monday, October 5, 2015

Bull, of the Woods


[Side-stapled, 5 7/16″ × 2 15/16″. Found in an “antiques” “mall.” Key word: chew , not eat .]

Thinking about bull and euphemisms reminded me that I am in possession of this pocket notebook. Its inside-front cover dates the Bull of the Woods chewing tobacco brand to 1883. I would date the notebook to the 1950s or ’60s or ’70s. The pages (still blank) are ruled for writing, with slogans at the top: “Your Best Tobacco Buy,” “Tobacco at Its Best.” At the center, a four-page spread with adages, thoughts about tobacco, and stale jokes featuring a lady driver, a mule-driver, a beautiful blonde, an Englishman, and assorted others.

There is no bringing those jokes up to date: like chewing tobacco itself, they belong to another time. It might be possible to soften the cover, though perhaps not all that convincingly.

Is Bull of the Woods still around? YouTube has a 2012 review from a young chewer. (Quit, kid, while you’re ahead of the game.) There’s also commercial in black and white. Chewing tobacco on TV! They must have been buying in a regional market.

comments: 2

Diane Schirf said...

Chewing tobacco made a comeback, even among young people. Look for oral and other cancers to follow.

Michael Leddy said...

I think that was more smokeless tobacco (“dip”), but I may be wrong.

I now see wrappers for cheap cigars everywhere, grape, pineapple, all sorts of flavors.