Virgil Winston: Marketing Guru

The “Great American Smokeout Day” is coming up on November 19th and my wife is bugging me to take the opportunity to put down my pipe once and for all. I’m not going to try to justify my habit. I know that smoking, in any form, is not healthy but it’s my one vice and I am loathe to give it up. Truth be told, I don’t even smoke it every day; I just like the way I look holding it. I often use it as a prop—gesturing with it to make a point or puffing on in with a scowl as my daughter’s date stands in front of me nervously shifting his feet…it makes me feel more scholarly and more intimidating. It also reminds me of my grandfather. I used to sit at his knee as he waxed poetic about promotional products and puffed on his pipe. I thought he looked smart and distinguished and I looked forward to the day when I would be old enough to puff on my own pipe. Somehow smoking my pipe on a cold winter’s eve makes me feel close to the old man—may he rest in peace. I guess that is why Mrs. Winston is after me to quit—she doesn’t want me to end up too close to him, if you get my drift.

I suppose I can at least try to quit—after all, Mrs. Winston is usually right about these things, though I wouldn’t want her to know that I think so. So, on the third Thursday of November, I will join thousands of Americans as they try to kick the habit and put down their pipes, cigars and cigarettes once and for all. I know it won’t be easy, but if it will make my wife happy, I’m willing to give it a go. In the mean time, I’m looking for a new prop. I am torn between a yo-yo and a pocket watch. I am not sure it will look as intimidating as my pipe when my daughter’s date shows up to take her to the dance, but it will have to do. I know my stress ball will get quite a work out as I look for an alternative way to relieve my daily tensions. If you have customers on your list that could use a little stress relief, a stress ball in the shape of their favorite hobby makes a great gift. They will think of your company as they squeeze their way to relaxation. And what could be better than associating yourself with stress relief?

Well, I’ve got to go pack for my trip to Las Vegas where I am master of ceremonies at the Promotional Products Ball. It promises to be an evening to remember. Until next time I leave you with an Irish proverb, “Smoke your pipe and be silent; there’s only wind and smoke in the world.”