Tuesday, November 18, 2008

An Ode to Carmex

In the early 90's, being outside quite a bit, I acquired a taste for Chapstick. It was serviceable for a time, but once I had a taste of Carmex, there was no going back.

Every couple weeks, I pick a few jars up at the store. Thankfully, they're not as costly as cigarettes or subject to a sin tax (though they probably should be). If I were deserted on a desert island, there's three things I'd want with me: Carmex, Conversations With God Book I, and my life-partner.

This article talks about the addictiveness of Carmex. Here's some choice bits from it:

"Although Carmex has been available since 1987 in small plastic tubes, the true junkie consumes it only in its original and pure state, from milky-white glass mini-jars. An inch deep and the diameter of a half-dollar, a Carmex pot is not convenient, modern or unobtrusive. In the back pocket of a pair of jeans, it makes you look deformed.

By the time you develop into a full-blown Carmex junkie - after the first swipe is offered by "a friend" - it wouldn't matter if the container were the size of a baby goat. You would carry it everywhere. And stash one in your car and an extra in your desk and another on your nightstand.

The little pot is part of what the grandson of Carmex's creator calls, "the whole gestalt of Carmex." Take the jar away and Carmex loses some of its mystery.

"The jars are kind of our trademark," said Paul Woelbing by phone from Carma Lab, Inc., in Franklin, Wis. "You know, I can recognize the sound of one of those caps coming off even in a big lecture hall."

Can't we all? The easiest way to discover a Carmex addict is to produce a little pot and unscrew the yellow-and-black lid. An addict will pounce, index finger or pinkie extended, and moan, "Ooooh. Can I have some?"

Never in Carmex's history have the Woelbings advertised or marketed their product"

I think the primary reason I like it so much is because once applied, I rarely have to lick my lips. I tried Cherry Carmex a few years ago, but didn't find it medicinal enough for my tastes (pun intended).

To get an idea of how frequently I use it, check this out:

When going to a movie, I put some on before it starts.
When getting a massage, I put a significant amount on since it will be 90 minutes before I can put some on again.
Before starting my shift at work, there is an application.
Before going to bed...
Before making a shit...


Coconut said...

I've had a few friends who were addicted to Carmex. I have chronically chapped lips and Carmex never did anything for me.

Carmex itself is a cultural phenomenon.

Rocketstar said...

I am the same way but with Cherry Chapstick (it makes me feel like a little girl ;o) ) Carmex makes my lips burn which is why i think it is addictive, the only way to get rid of the burn is to put more on whereas Chapstick is just wax, no burning involved.

Sarah said...

dude, carmex tastes like shit.

if it's important, you can still get the whole jar experience from blistex.

me, i'm a lip product whore with no loyalty. i'm addicted to whatever i can get my [non-greasy] hands on, presuming i don't have to apply it with my digits. greasy-gross.

Timothy Smith said...

Wow, I bought a jar about 10 years ago and its still half full. If I have mild dry lips I put a light coat on and go to bed waking up cured.

Whats the addiction part? Do you actually eat the stuff?

Thomas said...

Coco, I agree. Never having to spend a dime on advertising is incredible. Think how much cheaper Nike shoes would be if they didn't advertise.

Rocket, Cherry Chapstick, huh? I remember using that in my college days before going more hard-core.

Sarah, I've tried Blistex, but it's just too light in comparison. I don't like getting Carmex by the bottle, either (its consistency doesn't seem the same and it bypasses my fingers having to touch it, a key component of my ritual).

Tim, no, I don't eat it (that's what she said). It's addicting in the sense that while composing this, I feel the need to put some on.

I just did so. You may think me full of shit, but a fresh coat of the stuff actually makes me feel more confident as opposed to having that not-so-fresh feeling.

Timothy Smith said...

Well no one wants to be around a guy with that "not so fresh feeling" now do they?

houstonmacbro said...

Better to be addicted than to walk around with crusty-looking lips.

disestablishingpuritanism said...

When there are drastic temperature changes where I live, I become a Blistex fiend. Sorry, Carmex. I never heard of it before. Although I would apply it to my lips a few times a day, I wouldn't go as far as saying I do it before taking a shit. The good folks at Carmex have to love ya' though.

Brian said...

Thomas, thanks for sharing your favorite shirt. :)