Spittin’ Image

We exhausted our share of fads growing up.

At one time, it seemed as if everyone owned a Duncan Yo-Yo. We cared for Pet Rocks and wore mood rings. And for a while, if your shirt bore a crocodile logo, you were considered teenaged royalty.

One ritual, however, spread faster than a rumor  — the use of smokeless tobacco.

Where I went to school, nobody worshipped the Marlboro Man. It was Red Man. And Beech Nut. Kids who didn’t chew tobacco dipped snuff, tins of Skoal wearing a ring into the back pocket of their jeans.

The spittle stained teeth, sidewalks and countless pieces of laundry.

My smokeless foray lasted one day.

After limbering up on some chaw, I wanted to taste the hard stuff. So I took a dip of  Copenhagen, the nicotine grabbing hold, taking me for a spin.

Still woozy at a birthday party, I ate cake and drank punch, along with a slew of tobacco juice.

That I remember.

Yakking it all up in a town 16 miles away, a buddy had to tell me.


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