Balm for Loose Lips

Tuesday, August 24th, 2004

All too often in modern times progress turns out to be a matter of two steps forward accompanied by at least one step back. So we have, for example, that public-health scourge that I can remember hearing about from the 1950s: no, not polio, but chapped lips. At the time, this malady was a source of concern to many leading American news publications, which nonetheless optimistically continued to maintain that “We can lick this problem!” (At least I remember that this was covered back then in Mad Magazine; I guess that shows you the limits to the research I have time to undertake.) As we know, modern technology eventually stepped in via the marketplace, in the form of commercially-sold tubes of lip balm, to bear out those magazines’ optimism. But now the curse of lip balm addiction has reared its ugly head, at least according to yesterday’s report (“Enjoy, But Smear It On with Moderation”) from the Dutch newspaper Nederlands Dagblad. (more…)

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