Smoking will kill you.  

Photo Lee Constable / Daily Mercury
Smoking will kill you. Photo Lee Constable / Daily Mercury Lee Constable

No butts, naming hard

DURING the war nobody had heard of the damage smoking can do. If they had, they didn't care - a war can get you killed by means other than nicotine.

At that time as a kid I played in a band that was often on a Brisbane radio station in a program called Smokes for Sick Soldiers. The idea was for listeners to send in money which would be spent on you know what.

We felt good helping the sick soldiers but in the light of later findings we could have been contributing to their getting sicker.

Smokes were like gold in the civilian world. They were the reason for another sort of war for those not in uniform - a battle to get a supply. Only a few brands were being made and they were for the troops.

When the shooting ended, the tobacco companies started producing more brands than you could poke a coffin nail at. And all the brands had to have a name.

A newspaper cartoon of the day showed a doctor pointing to a patient. "War neurosis?" he's asking another medico who is replying, "No. He works for a cigarette company thinking up brand names."

 

After the wartime liquor shortage, I bought a bottle of wine labelled Happy Moments.

One of the hardest jobs is naming a racehorse. Some owners name their neddy after a female companion. Which can be a problem if they change girlfriends.

Easy, though, if the colt's pedigree says its daddy is Out of Town by Sunset. A natural choice would be Cop's Warning.

Owners have to take into account the sensitivity of other racegoers. A bloke who knows about such things tells me a Pom galloper that came to our country ages ago was called The Bastard back home. All right for the Poms, but we all know how easy bad language can upset our country's punters, don't we? They insisted on a name change.

It became The Buzzard.

If today's losing bettors have a name for the dromedary they did their dough on, it'll be something like what The Buzzard was once called.



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