Now for a little story time about the first time that I ever hogged. This is a story that is without a doubt, near and dear to my heart. It outranks the first time I kissed a girl obviously, and is probably pretty comparable to some as the first time they shaved or their pops allowed them to take the car out. You get the picture.
That said, I’m not going to try and list a disclaimer. Everyone knows that dipping is a bad habit, and everyone should know of it’s harmful effects. Lots of women think it is gross, and to be honest, the only other people who really like it or stories about it are other dippers (at least that is what I read in a pamphlet a friend gave me from our university health center). If you smoke, I have my reasons for believing it is a safe alternative to smoking. I also have reason to believe that one dip a day never killed any man, even though I always have more than one. It is a completely safe hobby if you control it.
With that out of the way, let me mention that I don’t control it. It’s a hobby. I started doing it because I played baseball. It led slowly into when I was going head to head in video games (baseball of course) with editor George, then long car rides, after meals, and at the ball park. Now it’s just about like taking a leak. Morning coffee, time for a hogleg. Dessert? Cakes for fags, how about a hogger?
The first time I ever tried snuff was in the summer going into my 9th grade year. I had been playing baseball all my life and watching it equally as long. Sadly, I have to say the curiosity began when I would be watching the big leaguers on television as a young kid. Seeing the likes of Darryl Strawberry, Eric Davis and Lenny Dystra among many others made me begin to wonder about those bumps in their mouth. I had big league chew, but my spit wasn’t brown! I wanted brown spit mom!
It’s funny because the irony in all this is that kids really do see that stuff on the television and it creates curiosity. It’s like the Wheaties effect. If Micheal Jordan eats Wheaties for breakfast, I know what I want for my morning meal. If Curt Schilling is chewing on a lipper while he throws a shutout, I know what I want when I’m on the mound; get the picture?
In reference to the whole irony thing, I always think back to this poster I saw in college when I was in the university training room getting my arm treated before a game. I look up and I see this poster hanging off the wall by my training table of Sammy Sosa. It reads in plain english “Kids DO NOT use tobacco. It’s not cool. Sincerely, Sammy Sosa”. Meanwhile visible in Slammin’ Sammy’s back pocket is a circular object of snuff tin, and in his mouth is a bulge of brown goodness. I vowed my entire college life to steal that poster for my room, but I never did. The image is burned in my brain forever, however.
Back to my story. I had a buddy at school that I knew began smoking cigarettes. Although I’d tried them it wasn’t my thing at that point. The whole cardiovascular thing with kids that started smoking that young didn’t work out real well. I didn’t like the smell and grew up in a home with 2 chain smokers so it drove me away I figure. This buddy I speak of, we’ll call him Rob, because that was his name. He worked at a carry-out and was getting all the kids my age cigarettes, tobacco products, the works. He had ‘the hook up’. Finally I told him one day when he came over that the next time he came over I wanted him to bring me a tin of chew. He said alright and after a baseball game (ironically he was on my ball team) he came over and in his overnight bag, sure enough, was a fresh new tin of skoal straight. I remember it was still all plastic back then, not the metal “tin top” they give us now.
I opened it up, took a whiff, and put the lid back on. I nearly almost puked from the smell. After Rob left I threw the full tin away in a trashcan and vowed to never go near it again. A few weeks later school started and I told him I wanted another one. I handed over my 4 or so dollars and he delivered one to me the next day at school. Such a covert operation you know. Hidden in my locker all day, I couldn’t wait to go home and conquer this beast that was Skoal straight.
I told one of my best friends Justin that I wanted to have a catch after school and he was up for it. He met me in my front yard and I showed up with a glove, and my new tin. The moment had arrived. I sliced open the tin, put the index finger and thumb in and got a big wad of snuff and threw it in my lip. I picked up my glove and put it on and man, I didn’t just look like a ball player. I felt like a ballplayer!
Justin said “ew, you do that stuff man. That is gross stuff” or something pussy to that effect.
“Yeah I sure do, it’s awesome man,” I cockily and confidently said back to him.
We threw the ball for about 10 or so minutes, it was the greatest time in my life. I felt like I was on cloud 9. Best buzz I’ve ever had in my life. Too good of a buzz really.
About a minute later Justin threw the ball, and I caught it. I said:
“Hold on a minute man,”
I doubled over and stared at my feet. Man, I was dizzy. This was not like the times that my grandpa had given me a small amount of mail pouch chew to keep in for a minute for play, or the times my older brother and his friends gave me a dip and quickly told me to spit it out before my mom saw that. This was much, much different. My feet were spinning, even though I was standing still. Everywhere I looked was a giant spin. I was in a cold sweat.
About a few seconds later, the dip came out with a stream, no a waterfall of projectile vomit. It went on for a few minutes and when it subsided, my nike shirt was covered in puke and I told Justin I didn’t really want to throw the ball anymore.
I had a new friend, even though our initial meeting wasn’t so kind.