Sunday, August 6

Marlboro Men

In my more than 20 years of jogging and walking the city streets for exercise, I've noticed some of the more evident 'pattern' behavior of the common man. For one, if he owns a nice house, he takes care of his lawn and garden, he doesn't park dead cars in front of his house, and his man-eating dog is in the backyard. If the man makes little money, has to rent and or can't afford a gardener, the opposite is true. His house is in various stages of entropy and yardwork is abandoned. I know there are exceptions to this rule, of course.

Another common man behavior is his willingness to trash the public thoroughfares. To him (or her), streets are nice, wide garbage cans. Maybe he doesn't mind when his taxes are raised to cover the cost of streetsweepers. So, litter is commonplace in one of the most common of places, the roads of our towns.

And to more sharply focus on this phenomenon, I've discovered that of all the cigarette packs tossed from car windows, the crush-proof Marlboro brand outnumbers the others by about 9 to 1. Now, why do you suppose this is the case? Do most people smoke this brand in its crush-proof box? Hardly. Is it a brand problem? Do most of those buying this particular brand try to maintain an image that militates against cleanliness, orderliness and common sense? Maybe it's the box itself. Maybe that's the problem. Maybe they just don't want to CRUSH it. Let a car run over it or someone walk on it, but never let them see you crush it. Or maybe it IS to crush it. Let your friends see how macho you are. You crush beer cans. Why not display even greater strength by showing that hardpack who's boss and then give it that ultimate sense of humiliation --- throw it out the window. What power!

I don't know that I have an answer. Do you?

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