Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Eek! (02/25/10)
TITLE: Popís Nasty Habit
By Delores McCarter
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ADD TO MY FAVORITES
My grandfather, commonly referred to as ďPop,Ē was known for his chewing tobacco or his can of dip. You would either hear the bag rustling or you could see the familiar round circle in the back of his jeans from the can of snuff. However, the most noticeable thing about Pop, I hate to admit, was the large wad of tobacco spit coming from his mouth on a regular basis. Yuck!
We heard that Pop starting chewing tobacco when mama got pregnant with junior, my oldest brother. He didnít want to bring cigarette smoke in the house with babies around.
Iím sure my mama and daddy were thankful for the absence of the second-hand smoke, but Pop suffered from some crazy side effects as a result of chewing that stuff. One of the mildest side-effects was the blow-you-down bad breath he would get every time he starting chewing tobacco. He would also get those crazy mouth sores that no amount of petroleum jelly or chapped stick could help. Then, his gums would recede and his teeth would rot out.
I was not a defiant child, but clearly remember refusing to empty Popís spitting can. I picked up his can just once in my life and I nearly had a hissy fit after I gagged from the awful smell. I couldnít understand the addiction but I didnít want to understand it. All I knew was it was a disgusting habit and no one made me touch that can again.
When Pop was chewing, you better look down and see where he put his spitting can. For wherever the can was, his spit would soon follow. I can remember that thick mass of brown saliva so clearly in my mind today. It was gross. Just remembering that just makes my stomach turn.
When we were toddlers and crawled unknowingly in the Popís path, we would inevitably end up with tobacco juice on our clothes or, worse, in our hair. We still have the photos for proof. Mom keeps them in her box of photographs marked ďblackmail photos.Ē
One day, during a summer church revival, Pop was delivered from the beast of tobacco addiction. The pastor claimed that God could heal folks from the addiction of that ďwacky tobacky.Ē Although it was claimed that the pastor was referring to marijuana, Pop didnít know. He just took the pastor at his word and claimed his healing. It was evident that his faith was successful. Finally, we could hug and kiss Pop without fear of passing out, thank you Jesus! I didnít know much about healing and miracles back then, but when I saw Pop being delivered from chewing tobacco, I knew God was a powerful God.
One of Popís vices was munching on sunflower seeds. Pop ate those things by the bag full. I guess the shells have a similar texture and they helped him kick the habit. He wasnít very diligent in picking up those sunflower seeds though. I could always tell exactly where Pop was by following the trail of his sunflower seeds. I knew I had to support him so I didnít complain. Well, I didnít complain when he was around. Letís face it, it is not easy picking up wet sunflower seeds, and doing that every day gets old very quickly. However, as much as a nuisance that was to do, Iíd much rather run the vacuum cleaner every day then have Pop chewing tobacco again.
Pop is gone now. He fully rededicated his life to Christ and got baptized shortly before I left for college. We are all happy knowing Pop is now up in heaven, one-hundred percent tobacco free. I would hate to imagine him up in heaven spitting out chewing tobacco.
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