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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 10, Issue 12 (March 2, 1936)

The Way Of A Whisker

The Way Of A Whisker.

Perhaps it is not unnatural that the pendulum has swung from the one extreme of iron discipline to the other of untempered freedom, in a comparatively short span of years.

It is a significant fact that child psychology came in when father's whiskers came off.

There is no doubt that whiskers were a great aid to parental discipline; a set of black Dundrearies, a Ned Kelly, or any other species of face cover, represented, to erring childhood, the terror of the unknown. The infant Samuel, brought to book for saying “skittles!” to his aunt, knew not what his father's face was doing behind the whiskers. It was quite impossible to gauge the degree of ferocity registered in the privacy of his father's chinchillas. In
“Only the whites of his eyes showing.

“Only the whites of his eyes showing.

fact, he never really knew his father. He had no chance of knowing if his father sported one of those jutting jaws common to “the men who made the Empire,” or whether he conformed to the specifications of the Chinless Wonder. Consequently the child was obliged, as a precautionary measure, to give his father the benefit of the doubt. It must have been great to be a father in those days Fancy being able to order your children about—and get away with it! I assure you, dear reader, that it was done—strange as it may seem. It was done, simply because no child was able to sum up his father with only the whites of his eyes showing. Combined with this paternal advantage, was the fact that fathers seldom wasted time in the cultivation of imagination. They never said to themselves, “Boys will be boys,” and “Dash it! I used to do the same myself.”

When tobacco first made its appearance in China the pig-tailed populace became so fond of it that the reigning Emperor sternly forbade its use under penalty of death! He was doubtless a “never-touch-it” and didn't approve of his subjects enjoying something he couldn't relish himself. Anti-tobaccoites are like that. But smoking is now so universal that were tobacco forbidden to-day the ban would certainly be ignored. A world without tobacco in the twentieth century is unthinkable! Everywhere the consumption of the weed is advancing by leaps and bounds. Here in New Zealand the principal demand is for the genuine “toasted” which combines the most exquisite flavour with the choicest bouquet, and what is practically immunity for the smoker—indulge he ever so freely. The toasting does it! The five brands of the real thing—Navy Cut No. 3 (Bulldog), Cut Plug No. 10 (Bullshead), Cavendish, Riverhead Gold and Desert Gold are in constant request. But there are two sorts of “toasted”—the genuine and the imitation. “A word to the wise will always suffice.”*