Monday, September 8, 2008

Sniffing the Future

Hear ye! Hear ye! Now hear this, all Transylvania Gentlemen in this part of the galaxy. What I am about to tell you, friends, will turn your whole world upside-over and spank it. Pick up what I'm puttin' down. Dig.

There is something that will, like those old banned coffee commercials used to say, calm you down and pick you up at the same time. Once you try it and get used to its peculiar ways, you may never want to smoke a cigarette again. (Except occasionally, for old times sake, like dropping in on an old lover at midnight for a quickie.)

This stuff will intoxicate you when you want to be intoxicated, and it will sober you up when you're drunk. It will enhance your sex life, make you a clearer thinker and a better driver, and some say it even improves your vision. Best of all, it's completely legal and not likely to be made illegal anytime soon.

So what the heck is this miracle substance? Behold, ladies and gentlemen, I bring you: SNUFF.

No, not snuff as you may be thinking of it. Y'see, in America "snuff" has come to be synonymous with "dip", those round cans of Skoal and Copenhagen that permanently wear rings into the back pockets of many a good ol' boy. These are moist and coarsely ground inferior tobaccos with minty flavor added, and you're to take a pinch and stick it between your cheek and gum and suck on it and spit it out and repeat the process, until pus-filled ulcers appear. This common man's pleasure is foul and not for you and I, friends.

The real snuff mostly comes from Europe and is an extremely finely ground (literally turned to a fine powder) blend of high-quality tobaccos, some with flavors and some natural. Real snuff is sniffed, hence the name. It's an ancient art going back to, some say, pre-Colonial South America. All great men in European history partook. So did America's founding fathers like Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson. Much of the deciding moments in the world's history were made by snuffsters. Not surprisingly, snuff use dwindled to almost nothing in the last century, except for a few old-fashioned gimps who knew something the rest of you didn't know.

So how do you get started? Don't bother looking in local smokeshops for it. Almost no one behind the counter in smokeshops will even know what you're talking about. You have to order it online, and I would recommend you jump in anywhere with Wilsons, McChrystal's, Toque, Fribourg & Treyer, or Honest Scotch Snuff.

Not only is a snuff buzz superior to that of cigars and cigarettes, smoking bans do NOT apply to it. So rejoice, fellow louts, a new day dawns for our recreational and spiritual self-medication! (Not that I'm about to give up cigars - not by a long shot - but snuff is a totally different kind of experience, and they accentuate each other.)

How do you sniff it? Well, very carefully. You're not actually snorting it, for the most part. You want to take a quick hard but short sniff of it, short enough that it stays mostly in the back of your nose and sinus. You will sneeze the first couple times you do it, so be prepared for that and just persevere. You'll soon get used to the sensation and the oh-so-pleasant buzz.

But isn't snuff bad for you? Well, duh. But hell, sniffing powdered pure tobacco is safer than ingesting burnt tobacco into your lungs, or holding it pressed for hours against your tender gums just begging for instant mouth cancer. Besides, as Brian Setzer so wisely and rhetorically asked, "How long you wanna live, anyway?"

- - JSH

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