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Polis Report

Altoids, Anyone?

By Ami Chen Mills

Since the British Callard and Bowser company began mass-hyping its powerful Altoids breath mints and nifty tins three years ago, the company has enjoyed double-digit growth.

And apparently the surge in popularity may be attributed in part to potheads, who have discovered not only a powerful breath concealer, but a handy stash box as well. According to some sources, you can't ask someone for an Altoid in public anymore--it would be impolite to bust their cache.

"When somebody actually wants a mint, that's awkward," claims one local DJ, who observes that the alternate-use trend is "almost universal," cutting across race, gender and socio-economic levels.

The containers have other uses, of course. The Altoids home page reports many exciting Altoids-tin uses. ("Put water in it and watch it rust.") And there is a sage suggestion to stuff the tin with oregano "to use as a hilarious gag if you get pulled over."

"That's just what I wanted to hear," blurts an embarrassed-sounding Michael Staskin, product developer for Altoids. "I certainly don't condone any uses [of said tin]," he added, mulling the matter for a moment, "other than what they are used for."

Despite corporate objections, reports indicate that an increasing number of stoners are using the boxes. Where did police find Gilroy AIDS patient Jesse Garcia's wacky weed? According to news reports, in a "small metal tin," also described as a "mint tin."

Altoids, anyone?

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From the June 27-July 3, 1996 issue of Metro

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