Recently, I dated myself without even realizing it. My son told me he wanted to make magic wands, and among other supplies, I suggested that we buy some "pipe cleaners." He tipped his head to the side and looked at me like I was speaking blobby alien blab, so I showed him one that he used to make the antennae on an egg carton caterpillar project.
"Oh," he said. "Chenille sticks."
Chenille sticks! Of course. Smoking utensil references donâ€™t exist in kidsâ€™ worlds anymore. Mr. Potato Head got off the pipe in the â€˜80s and one was airbrushed right out of Margaret Wise Brown's classic children's book, "Goodnight, Moon." Even Popeye's without his pipe these days.
However, I believe Frosty still sports his corn cob smoking vessel. So how far should we take this? Do classic song lyrics need to be changed? Maybe we could sing "with a corn cob bike and a button nose" even though that makes entirely no sense at all.
For the record, Santa seems to be on and off the wagon with his pipe smoking. Occasionally, I see images of the jolly ol' fella puffing away, but most of the time, he appears to have kicked the habit. Or heâ€™s resorted to chewing Nicorette. Hard to tell.