Snuff's Enough, Y'all
BLECH! What was that? I spit repeatedly into the nearby flower bed, trying desperately to get the taste out of my mouth. Not caring that the boy I just kissed was standing right there. I looked up from my wretch-fest to the biggest Cheshire grin you ever saw. “What’s the big deal?" he said. "It’s just dip.” Come again?
For those of you not from Texas, dip is code for chewing tobacco or snuff.
That’s right, my first kiss, at the ripe age of 15, was with a can of Skoal. What kind of boy has a dip in his mouth when he goes in for a kiss? The kind that I know all too well, unfortunately, growing up around these parts.
The type who learned to dip at an all-boys’ summer camp in the Hill Country, where 9 and 10 year olds sit around the campfire singing “Dixie” and “Up Against the Wall Redneck Mother” instead of “Cumbaya.” Where coming-of-age enlightenment meant learning to cuss, dip and spit, and show it all off in front of his buddies.
I propose that spit cup etiquette be included in that education, such as, don’t leave one sitting around for a poor, unsuspecting young girl to mistake for iced tea. Yep, that was me, too. I have a lifelong hate/hate relationship with dip spit.
It’s a wonder that I didn’t just give up and decide to go play for the other team. But this was the 80s, pre-Katy Perry, and kissing a girl and liking it was totally not en vogue. Still. I think most would have understood my plight.
But no, I kept on chasing after the classic Texas frat-boy-type, with the snuff in his mouth, and the outline of the can worn into the back pocket of his Wranglers.
After several more negative encounters with Red Man and Copenhagen, I swore off cowboy types forever and flip-flopped over to the Euro-inspired (today we call them metrosexual), Morrissey-loving intellectual types. But that didn’t turn out so well, either. They had their own vices that may not have been as repulsive as dip spit, but every bit as insane and self-desecrating.
But this story has a happy ending, I am delighted to report. Luckily, I found a man who, although attended said boys' camp, neither dips, spits in a cup, nor has any other crazy habit. Unless you count putting on his pajamas at 7:00 p.m., but that’s not really crazy. Just lame.
When asked his opinions on dipping, he replied, “I never liked it because it made me dizzy and nauseous. And it’s gross.” Ding, ding, ding, sold!
As for that first kiss all those years ago, the kisser was unfortunately diagnosed with mouth cancer (see, it’s not only nasty, but really bad for you). But everything turned out fine, thankfully, and he is presumably now dispensing dip-free kisses all over womankind.
And reflecting back on that kiss with a glass-is-half-full attitude, I can say this: at least it was Wintergreen.