When Professor Harold Hill hit River City, one of the plagues he predicted as a result of the presence of a pool table was tobacco, and the concealment thereof:
While they’re loafin’ around that hall
They’ll be tryin’ out Bevo, tryin’ out Cubebs
Tryin’ out Tailor Mades like cigarette fiends
And braggin’ all about how they’re gonna
Cover up a tell-tale breath with Sen-Sen
At the time, I understood about a third of this: I knew from Bevo — before it was a University of Texas symbol, it was a near-beer — and cubebs were a sort of spice that occasionally found their way into smokes, sort of like cloves only more so. “Tailor-Mades,” it turned out, described a bevy of bottom-of-the-line off-brands, purchased by those who could not afford the Good Stuff. But I never had a clue about Sen-Sen back then, and had pretty much forgotten about it until now:
As a kid, I judged that Sen-Sen was the worst candy ever made. A number of years later, I learned that Sen-Sen was primarily used to mask the smell of alcohol on a drinker’s breath.
The last packets of Sen-Sen, amazingly, were produced in the summer of 2013.
Suddenly I have an urge for a cup of cider.