These items all gave me challenges growing up and I just never could get the hang of it but a few times I got a little comic relief from them.
Dad smoked cigarettes every day since a young man as it was culturally the thing to do. Even in WWII they gave each soldier cigarettes to help them relax and enjoy a minute or two of calmness. Mom smoked too until about 1961 when the science proved smoking was bad for your health. She chose and I emphasize CHOSE to stop that day. No longer were there cigarettes lying in the ash trays with red lipstick on them. For you younger folks, ash trays are little glass trays with dips on the edges so you can balance a cigarette in them while doing something else and the tray captures the ashes so they don’t get all over the place. I know this will tick folks off but if a person chooses to smoke or drink then they are responsible for their actions, not the companies that supply them. I am personally amazed that we have an expectation that companies are 100% liable. We expect doctors to 100% perfect. Are you perfect? Is that even reasonable? OK back to the story. One more thing. If we hold all the beer companies liable for beer and the convenience stores and the grocery stores and the people that work there plus all the restaurants and pubs then we will put them out of business and there won’t be any taxes paid to support the folks living off the government. That is the definition of mixed emotions. Now, back to the story.
I tried cigarettes many times and I have to say even my wife tried them once when she was a kid. Her story is better than mine because she tried them at church. She was disgusted and put it out. I thought surely I would like them at some point but just found them to be discusting and expensive. Then I tried cigars which made me green and I started throwing up chunks. Bad experience and that was at work where I wanted to be one of the boys. Dipping snuff, Copenhagen, seemed like a good idea and I tried it on the way home from a track meet at Newkirk. I barely made it home when chunks started flowing from my mouth right as I got off the bus. WOW, nothing worked for me. But here is my favorite story of my efforts and it is about chewing tobacco.
Bill Adams was the president of the company I worked for in Oklahoma City and he married way over his head when he got Barbara. I would also have to say Bill was one of the greatest mentors I ever had and he was a delight to work for but his wife is what made him sooooo good. Trust me. Barbra was the ultimate hostess and she was having a party at her house for the key folks at the company, not that I was key but they had to invite me. Anyway, in those days country and western dancing and two stepping was peaking so the theme of her party was western. Knowing that Bill and Barbra were classy folks I decided to have a little fun at their expense and everyone else for that matter. So on the way to the party I stopped and purchased a pack of RED Man Chewing Tobacco and placed it in my rear pocket. Now you may not know it but when you are a country boy that pack once open folds over and you stick it in your pocket sideways so it stays exposed and in your pocket. It is kind of like a badge of courage or like having a circle in your pocket from Copenhagen or Skool wearing a mark in your jeans. Now if you are an original those are called Levis or Wranglers. Anyway when I showed up I had a coke bottle for spitting in to keep from spitting on your nice floors. If you don’t know it you take a pretty good pinch of the tobacco in your fingers and stuff it between your jaw and skin so that there looks to be a large ball in your mouth pushing out the skin on your cheek. Now that you are visualizing this situation I have to tell you “the rest of the story”.
As I walked around the house party Mike Major and I think even Bill took a little pinch and started chewing. Ernie Upton was there and I think he also starting chewing and spitting in a bottle. It got pretty funny as the women were grossed out and getting on me for starting this mess. Well about that time I had the ladies attention and I told them that chewing was good for your stomach and what ails you if you swallow it. So I pushed the wad out of my cheek and swallowed it. They were squealing and Shouna was laughing herself silly. Why? Because I never chewed any tobacco, remember it makes me sick. Did I mention that I also purchased a box of raisins and was actually chewing on them? After I had everyone faked out I revealed my secret. Only Shouna knew what I was doing. It was a treat for me and a story for my children. Have I ever mentioned that my children are a little, maybe a lot, ornery?
So what does this have to do with the Osage? What do you learn in the Osage?
- · Your assumptions might be wrong, so get the facts, ask some questions
- · Sometimes it is fun to spit on someone’s parade ( a little gross)
- · Everyone would rather laugh as long as no one is hurt by your fun
- · Your choices are important
Thanks for your time,