Filthie's Mobile Fortress Of Solitude

Filthie's Mobile Fortress Of Solitude
Where Great Intelligence Goes To Be Insulted

Sunday, 24 April 2016

Old Habits

When I was younger one thing Guaranteed To Piss My Parents Off was tobacco. They threatened me with death and damnation if I started but it was a tough sell when they both smoked like stacks themselves.

Ma Filthie circa 1978: There's never an oxy-acetylene torch around when ya need one...

The problem was that even back then the writing was on the wall for smokers. You couldn't smoke in most businesses anymore by that time and they were beginning to get really stupid with making people stand outside in blizzards as a way to punish smokers. (Then these sanctimonious health Nazis would go run 5 miles through their smoggy urban cities which was akin to smoking two packs of cigarettes!) If I wanted to do tobacco - snoose was the only option!

Glen Filthie - the early years: Rebel. Chick magnet.

It was awesome. I would chaw up on Copenhagen and gob in the drains, or out the door or in the corners. If I couldn't do that, I would use an empty pop bottle for a spittoon - which we came to call 'lava lamps'.

I could make one of these for you for free.

Soon big bro was chewing too - and my folks were absolutely livid. When Pop found an unguarded tin of snoose he started firing them into the bush beside the shop. The snoose 'tins' were made mostly of cardboard back then with thin metal lids. Later they were made out of plastic and were useful for opening beers if ya didn't have a church key.

You can see how ads like this would appeal to a 14 year old farm kid. Dammit. Now I want a chew....!
We didn't care, back then a tin of snoose cost 65 cents and we would just go buy more. Soon we both had a couple "logs" of snoose hidden for such emergencies. Pop was defeated - or so we thought. One day I came in from chores to spy him quietly chortling and chuckling to himself as he fiddled with something on the kitchen counter. "What's up, Pop?"
"Well Glen, I've just realized I've been taking the wrong tack with your older brother and that disgusting snoose habit he has. It's time to bump up my game," and he dissolved into a gleeful, barely controlled evil chuckle. "Here's how it works: your hard-rock big brother left this can of snuff here just lying on the table to piss me off! I know he did because he thinks it's all a great big fat joke to watch me flip out and start yelling at him!" Pop's voice began to rise with anger and the vein started throbbing in his forehead so I quickly diverted him - back to the scheme at hand! "So...what are you doing with the snoose?" I asked.
"Well, son, I just dumped half your mother's black pepper into it and mixed it up! When he goes to fill his lip with that shit - he will be in for a big surprise!"
No, it wasn't one of Pop's pranks - but you would be correct to suspect it...
Outside the distinctive chugchugchugchug of Big Bro's 1968 Firebird could be heard coming up the driveway. "Quick, Glenn! Go to the table, sit down, and act natural! And not a word! If we play this right, your brother will be puking his guts out and leanring a valuable lesson - and we may just kill ourselves laughing at him! Here he comes...!"
I was at the kitchen table idly shuffling cards. Dad had a farm magazine out and pretended to be reading it. "Hey guys. Pop, are we going to be running that new fence today? If not I would like to...hey! My snuff ! You missed a tin you old buzzard! Usually you pitch them in the garbage!"
"Er...gimme it. I'll pitch it in the bush and you'll be better off for it...!"
Suspecting nothing, Big Bro took the biggest dip of snoose I've ever seen and carefully packed it into his lip! He looked like a happy toad!
"So? Are we running fence this afternoon or not...?"
We kept watching him, waiting for the comedy and hilarity to ensue...but Big Bro just looked right back at us like we were off our gourds. "What's wrong with you guys? Pop - speak now or me and the girlfriend are off to the movies...going once....twice...Sayonara boys!"  With that, he thieved a bran muffin off the counter and even ate some of it around the wad of snoose in his lip!
After he walked out we scampered to the dining room window to watch him walk out to his car and get in - and off he went. "Well - what in hell just happened there...?" Pop was dumbfounded. I went back to the table and grabbed the tin of snuff and opened it - and lightly sniffed. "Is the pepper any good, Glenn?"
Pop prided himself in being the Ultimate Prankster but - he had nothing on his youngest son. He knew my brother chewed, but he didn't know I was too because I was sneakier about it. I took a great big honkin' pinch of chew, packed my lip - and sighed in contentment. "Not bad - a little spicey, but not bad..." I laughed as Pop stormed up, grabbed the snuff and threw it in the garbage. He turned to me but couldn't talk, he was so damned mad! Then he fished the snuff out of the kitchen garbage can, stomped outside and dumped it - and threw the tin into the bush beside the shop.

I quit chewing in my early 30's and went 5 years. It was truly awful. I sweated. I felt like shit. I had the DTs! Then for some reason I started smoking stogies. The fags and kids go on about how great pot is - but there is no way pot is any equal to a fine scotch and a good cigar. Sometimes I have pleasant dreams of fishing trips long ago - lighting a cigar from a burning branch in the campfire along with a dollop of bourbon or scotch. I've been clean and tobacco free for ...7? 8 years now? I quit the second time on April Fool's day in '09 or '08. I fully intend to start again though. When the Doctor gives me that diagnosis no one wants to hear - I will celebrate with a big fat gagger and a tin cup of 15 year old single malt filled to the brim!

In his final days a man must get his priorities and affairs in order.

They used to sell these as home ornaments but I bought one and used it for it's intended purpose
It probably ended up out in the bush too...


  1. The one habit I have never been able to walk away from is smoking. Anything else no problem but I always go back to the cigs.

    I need to stop.

    1. All I will say to that is that you CAN quit - and have no fear because you will do it when it is your time.

      I wasn't worried about the health effects, for me it was the cost - and the fact that addiction is a weakness I won't tolerate in myself.

      Yannow I suppose I might though...if I could grow my own. Have you ever given that any thought, PP?

    2. Oh ya I have grown a lot of tobacco. The problem is that to get tobacco to the mellow smoke level of cigarettes requires a fermentation process and that requires enough tobacco grown to make a huge bale of it.