Tag Archives: Tobacco

A Common Hillbilly Boo-Boo

SnuffI am a Snuff (Smokeless Tobacco) dipper. I have been one since my pre-teen years and chewed tobacco before that.

When I was just a little hillbilly I made the same mistake that most little hillbilly’s do when they’re just toddling around. See, back in the day, folks that chewed would use open top cans, like empty vegetable can and such, to spit in.

They would have these cans sittin’ beside ’em on a table or in the floor beside the chair. Now, on the rare occasion, when family was around and everybody was in a big way of talkin’ and goin’ on, they didn’t pay too much attention to us little ones, or their spit cans neither.

Well, when I was around the innocent age of 5 or 6, I got it in my head to pick up a can that was  sittin’ on a table and take a drink. I was thirsty and didn’t know no better, until it hit my tongue. I was so sick for the longest time, felt like forever to me. You woulda’ thought that woulda’ broke me right then and there on the use of tobacco. It didn’t.

So anyway, about the Boo-Boo this post is supposed to be about, which kinda goes along with the story I just told ya.

On my desk, near my right hand, is two things, My bottle of water and my spit can. Now I don’t use an open top can like back in the day, mine has a lid on it and everything. It’s actually a Nestle Coffee-Mate bottle/jar/can, whatever you wanna call it.

Anyhow, a few minutes ago I was sittin’ here, waitin’ on lilman to get home from his other Nana’s, just browsing around on here and Facebook, and went to spit. It just so happened that I actually caught myself before I did spit, ’cause I had my bottle of water in my hand, lid off, lips puckered to let it go.

Shew! That was a close one, because what would have happened is I would have spit in it and then, not thinkin’ a thing about it, I would have picked the water bottle up and drank it, or maybe not actually swallowed it, but it woulda’ been close.

I’ve done it before, many times actually. You’d think a man of my raisin’ and smarts would have better sense than that. Well, it’s a hillbilly thing. I’d be willin’ to bet that there ain’t one, ok maybe one or two, but that’s it, person around these parts that chew or dip what ain’t done the very same thing I was about to do.

Now I know this post might gross out some of you ladies or fellers with a weak stomach and all, but I just had to post about this.

Is there anything you did in your younger years that you might not ought to have done? Let me know.

My First Chew

180px-Ct_mammoth_cave_large_twist_12ctAs a hillbilly, especially one of the male persuasion, it is almost mandatory that you use some sort of tobacco product, in some cases (like mine) you use more than one.

Like most “users” I started out very young in my chewin’ life. I was around nine years old when I got my first taste of tobacco.

I remember it like it was yesterday. My mom and I were stringin’ beans and there was a baseball game on the TV. I was sittin’ in the floor and the urge hit me that I really wanted a chew. My friends and I had been talkn’ about it for some time but none of us had yet mustered up the courage to take the plunge.

A member of my family chewed Mammoth Cave Twist, I had access to it, I knew I could talk my mom into lettin’ me try it, and I really wanted it, or at least I thought I did. Almost all the adults around me used some sort of tobacco, either chewin’ it or smokin’ it, and to me it seemed like a big deal, somethin’ I was supposed to be doin’, it just seemed a natural thing to do.

So, I brought the subject up to mom, gently at first of course. After several minutes of deliberation, beggin’ and pleadin’, and downright stubbornness, I won the battle. Needless to say, I was very happy with myself that I had talked her into lettin’ me take this first giant step into adulthood, to my way of thinkin’ at least.

Now, if you’ve never chewed, or even really given it much thought, different brands of tobacco have different “strengths” and flavors. Some are mild and smooth, some are downright evil. Mammoth Cave falls somewhere between the two extremes.

Well, I grabbed up the twist that was layin’ on the table and, like I had seen my family member do, I broke off a pretty big hunk and popped it in my mouth, placin’ it just so in my jaw like I had seen done by the pros. I knew not to swallow it, I knew I had to spit the juice out and not get it anywhere near my eyes (that stuff burns like the dickens). What I didn’t know was when to actually chew it or to let it rest.

I was feelin’ purty good about myself, I mean, after all, here I was with a big ole chew in ,my mouth, I was really doin’ it and it wasn’t so bad, aside from the slight burnin’ sensation in my jaw and the unfamiliar feelin’ of havin’ somethin’ sittin’ in my jaw and not chewin’ it up and swallowin’ it like food.

Every so often my mom would ask how I was feelin’, and of course the answer every time was, “I’m feelin’ just fine mom”. I had my spit can sittin’ near by like all the other fellow tobacco chewers and I was just chewin’ away, stringin’ beans and watchin’ the ball game. I was a happy camper ’cause I was now in the ranks of the adults.

Then it hit me. It came out of nowhere like a thief in the night. I started gettin’ a little dizzy, a small sweat broke out on my forehead and I started wonderin’. It was about this time that a smile appeared on my moms face, yes, a smile. How dare her just sit there and smile at my discomfort.

I bravely announced that I had got all I could get out of this chew and spit it out, thinkin; that would be the end of the dizzy spell and all would return to normal. I was wrong, to say the least. The longer I sat there the worse it got, even several minutes after gettin’ rid of it. To my mom’s amusement, and against my will, I told her I wasn’t feelin’ too good. She innocently asked me in that sweet motherly voice they have if I was ok and if not to go lay down (it was near bedtime anyway), so I took her up on her offer and went to bed.

What nobody had bothered to tell me and somethin’ I had never paid any attention to, was the fact that you need to rinse your mouth out after spittin’ a chew out. Needless to say, I didn’t rinse my mouth out, which in turn caused me to swallow the remainin’ juice that was left in my mouth, which in turn caused me to just get sicker and sicker the longer I laid in the bed. At one point I opened my eyes and the dresser that was in my immediate field of view was spinnin’ around at an alramin’ rate. At this point in my misery, I hollered at mom, wonderin’ if this would ever stop. She assured me that it would and told me to go rinse my mouth out and drink some water and asked me if I thought I would ever try chewin’ again, to which I answered a mighty NO!

Of course that wasn’t the case, I ended up tryin’ a different brand of tobacco that was smoother and tasted better and I was hooked, but that wasn’t a big surprise to my mom or to me.

In hindsight I can say that I wish I had never taken that second chew. I wouldn’t have wasted so much money, my teeth would be in much better shape and I wouldn’t be dependent on it. But, such as everything in life, it is a lesson learned and one which I am still apparently learnin, cause I’m still chewin’ and still bein’ a hillbilly.

Thanks for readin’.

Tim