Now Popeye’s gone P.C. on us, too.

Remember those Popeye Cigarettes you used to eat as a kid?    They came in a red package with Popeye on the cover.   Inside were a bunch of white cylindrical-shaped sticks made out of corn starch.

You had to admit, even the most Special-Ed kid would realize that these were pretty lame renditions of cigarettes.   Especially with that blob of red dye that was on the end of each piece of candy.     Gee….do you really think it’s lit?

Cigarettes or not, I didn’t care.  I just liked the taste of the candy.  I still do.    

And you can still buy Popeye Cigarettes….SORT OF.

Because look at what Popeye is up to now…


It’s now been changed to ” Tasty CANDY STICKS”….!   




(To those of you unfamiliar with the phonetic alphabet, that’s WTF.)

Sigh.  So now Popeye has also gone soft and P.C. on us, joining the ranks of Cracker Jack and Cap’n Crunch.

Because GOD FORBID should ANY REFERENCE be made to cigarettes.   Lest our precious darling kids get influenced by the glamour of smoking, take up this filthy habit,  get lung cancer and DIE!

Oh, no.  The Children!   Save the Children!   Our precious cargo of humanity MUST be protected against such EVILS of SOCIETY. 

And just to make sure everything is perfectly risk-free, sanitized, sterilized, and devoid of any possible trace of imagination, they’ve also removed the little spot of red-dye on the end.      

So now we’re just eating white pencils.

And I dont’ wanna hear any granola-Moms writing in and saying  “Oh…I think this is a good thing.  We don’t need to expose kids to cigarettes at such a young age,  I’m glad they changed the candy“.

‘Cause that is a load of crap.   Hey, we all grew up with Popeye cigarettes.  Not only that, but there were also other chocolate and bubble gum cigarettes, that went out of their way to resemble ACTUAL cigarette packages.   Our parents let us buy those all the time, and they didn’t see a problem with it.  

Because they knew we were just playing and using our imaginations.  We also liked it because it was a different way to eat candy.

And despite all this horrible influence, I managed to grow up without ever wanting to take up smoking (Never have, never will).  That pretty much goes for all my friends, too.

So Popeye, mabye you should just LIGHTEN UP.

In the mean time, we’re still stuck with his lame-ass CANDY STICKS.


Kinda sucks all the fun out of it, dosen’t it?

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14 Comments on “Now Popeye’s gone P.C. on us, too.”

  1. I heard Popeye’s eating tofu and hanging out with the Dali Lama.

  2. Friar Says:

    Yeah, Popeye has taken up spinach full-time and he’s a Vegan (Olive Oyl must be too…look at her!)

  3. Kelly Says:


    Not even a little mention of the fact that fewer symbols of smoking however silly are probably helping to take the glamour out of it? Just a little mention?

    I could hardly wait to start smoking. Started when I was 16. Didn’t like it much, but I felt so cool. Like some lovely movie star. I don’t have the addictive kind of personality, so I remained an occasional and “social” smoker (what’s the point of being chic if no one’s looking?) for about four years. Then I decided it was a colossal waste of money and I did really hate it after all, so I quit.

    Most folks aren’t so lucky, and they can’t stop after much less time than that.

    ON THE OTHER HAND, I was laughing my head off at this re-do. Pathetic! Either kill the things or leave them as is. Eating a white pencil is inane. And I liked the things, but I don’t think candy cigs were nearly as responsible for my wanting to smoke as old movies were. I ate a lot of bubble-gum cigars but I’ve never smoked a real one!

    My kid, who’s had almost no exposure to cigarette smokers, occasionally sticks a pen in her mouth and goes around being a smoking glamour-puss.

    1. Too many old movies for her, too;
    2. Kids pretend stupid stuff. I don’t freak out when she’s being a pirate, I try not to freak out when she’s being a smoker. It pushes my buttons, though.

    The Deep Friar. Never P.C.



  4. Friar Says:


    I’m just so sick of the attitude that we’re such mindless automatons that we’re incapable of thinking and deciding for ourselves what we want to do. That we need to be sheltered from anything bad that might influence us. .

    Next, you’ll have peole complaining that Popeye shouldn’t even sell CANDY. It will be Popeye Brand Carrot Sticks.

    Even when I was nine, I knew back then smoking was bad..that was back in the 70’s.

    How come me (and every other neighborhood kid) managed to someone figure that out…yet we think today’s kids are somehow incapable of independent thought?

    I think it’s probably BETTER to expose kids to hazards like Nasty Popeye Cigarettes. Educate them on how to manage and avoid risk. Rather than raise them in a plastic bubble and pretend nothing bad exists.

    You’re right. Kids pretend to do stupid stuff. If they pretend to be pirates or play with toy guns, dosen’t mean they’ll be axe-murderers when they grow up.

    If I had a kid, I’d encourage them to play Viking! 🙂

  5. Steph Says:

    I agree with Kelly: either leave them as they were, or can them altogether. Mind you, we pretended with pens and pencils and they’re further from the image than just plain Popeye sticks…so I guess they still might work. I wonder if kids these days, who had no idea what they were years ago, think of them.

    I think the candy was probably less harmful than all the adults smoking around kids, the ones the kids are trying to imitate in the first place with their candy sticks. I have to wonder, though, who thought up those Popeye sticks? At what time was that actually a great idea?? Hey, I know! Let’s make candy cigarettes, so the kids can pretend they’re smoking!

    Ohhh, maybe it was a cigarette company in disguise. Start brainwashing them early. Thank you for smoking.

    Hey, are those licorice pipes still around? I wonder how many kids ate those and took up pipe smoking in their later years? Or are they just black sticks now? 🙂

  6. Friar Says:


    Yeah….those black licorice pipes are still around.

    Quick…let’s BAN them….they’re very very DANGEROUS. 🙂

  7. Steph Says:

    Ahaha! Yes, I might take up pipe smoking, you know!

  8. Friar Says:


    Maybe we should also ban “Jaw Breakers” because that could encourage kids to hurt themselves.

    Instead we should call them “Tasty Hard Candy Spheres”.

    “Bottle Caps” are also bad. Maybe some stupid kid would get influenced by the packaging, and try to eat a REAL bottle cap. It’s the candy maker’s responsibility to protect the children from this.

    A more appropriate name would be “Tangy Ascorbic Acid Multi-colored Wafer-Discs”.

    I think I’ll contact the Candy Police and suggest this. 😉

  9. Brett Legree Says:

    Good thing Bob Marley never had a line of candy 😉

  10. Friar Says:


    He did…Ganja Goobers. (But they banned it years ago). 😉

  11. Kelly Says:

    All right, you silly folks. I wrote a comment earlier that was eaten by the ether, so now you get the quick late-night version. Steph, you are correct about the connection. There are other sites, too, but this one will give you the gist and gross you out plenty:

    I’m still fine about the candy, but let’s remember. Kids aren’t “mindless automatons,” they’re “unformed, innocent, impressionable sponges.” IMHO, it’s not the same as whether adults can think and decide for ourselves.

  12. Friar Says:


    Good article you brought up.

    But as I said…howcum I (and all my childhood friends) managed to grow up NOT smoking, despite all that bad influence surrounding us? Smokers were actually the exception, not the rule.

    Same argument they’v been wringing their hands about since the 1950’s. All that violence and guns on TV is going to warp our minds.

    Well, it didnt’. We all grew up as (reasonably) normal healthy adults.

    I think kids who start smoking are the ones who would have smoked anyway. Same as the violent criminals…they probably would have committed the crimes anyway.

    We can blame society and the big bad advertisers and media..but when it comes down to it…most of our values come from our parents. Good or bad….however a kid turns out…it’s mostly due to the parenting they received.

    (Okay…I’ll get off my soap box now…). This talk has got me wound up….time to go find some Candy Sticks…! 🙂

  13. Kelly Says:


    In the comment that got eaten by the ether I did say that I think your neighborhood must have been under the influence of an exceptional Friar, because in the 70s and 80s around 75% of teens tried smoking, and about 40% were at least occasional smokers, including me. In spite of being smart enough to know better. If your neighborhood/ circle of friends had no smokers I point to the Magic Man again. Lucky kids.



  14. Friar Says:


    Well, we were all middle-class white-bread suburban kids. So a pretty select demographic, I must admit.

    (Plus I was a good little Catholic Boy…..we didn’t do sinful things like smoke!) 🙂

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