You Got Expelled From High School for Smoking

When I was a high school student, if the principal or a teacher caught a student smoking at school, that student could get expelled for two or three days. And from time to time that happened. Guys used to hang-out in the men’s room between classes and smoke. A sentry was always stationed at the door and if you went into the toilet to have a quick smoke you kept your ear out for, “Hello Mister Hudjens!!!!” And a dozen cigarettes were thrown in the toilets.

There was so many smokers in the men’s bathroom that actually going to the bathroom was difficult. It seems stupid to have had a rule like that when most students figured out how to get around it but that is the way things were. Lots of things are stupid now. And lots of things were stupid then. I’m not sure if the number of stupid things now and then is the same.

Curiously, in the 1970s occurred the slow switch from a “service station” when an attendant filled your car with gasoline, to “self-serve,” where you had to get out and pump gas yourself. There were signs posted on the gasoline pumps which said in big red letters, “No Smoking.” Makes sense. But we paid no attention whatsoever! I swear. People used to get out of their cars with cigarettes in their mouths and pump gas. Including me. No one thought about it. Put my cigarette out? For what? Well, to keep the place from going up in flames.

Marlboro was originally marketed as a cigarette for women. Then that changed with the coming of the Marlboro man. The genuine cowboy who actually played the Marlboro man in the TV commercials died of lung cancer brought on my smoking.
Smoke Benson and Hedges. Get rich. Be able to afford top flight lung cancer health care.

[Images courtesy of Go Retro and Found in Mom’s Basement.]

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Charles McCain

Charles McCain is a Washington DC based freelance journalist and novelist. He is the author of "An Honorable German," a World War Two naval epic. You can read more of his work on his website:

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