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.