Clearing the smoke on chew tobacco

better-than-steroids1I shudder to think how low Fishing Jones’ Treatise on Disgusting Habits might go but at least ‘Vol 1’ – chewing tobacco – is above the waist.

While it’s much more an American thing, I confess to having briefly tried chewing tobacco: my one and only seduction by Formula One advertising , more than 20 years ago. Thankfully, shoving a miniature tea bag between my cheek and upper jaw had none of the quasi-exotic allure of a James Bond-style drag on a cigarette and the novelty soon palled.

Despite highlighting its solitude-conservation qualities, Jones too ultimately gives ‘chew’ the thumbs down. Although I am intrigued by one commenter’s Red Man/Juicy Fruit combo…

Gene Hill contemplates the life of a chewing man in this extract from Outdoor Yarns and Outright Lies but I’d be failing in my duty if I didn’t close with a salutary article on the consequences of chewing tobacco for some of its principal patrons: baseball players.

“Bill Tuttle, former Detroit Tigers outfielder, was one of the big users of chewing tobacco. Even in his baseball cards, Tuttle was seen with a big wad of chewing tobacco bulging from his cheek. His baseball career ended and thirty-eight years later, Tuttle had a tumor that went through his cheek and then on his skin. The tumor was removed, but so was his jawbone, most of his teeth, the right cheekbone, gum line and his taste buds.”

Hmmm, peppermint anyone…?

[Pic courtesy of shelisrael1]
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