2007 HOF Speeches

I’d Rather Be Burning a Mule…

KTC Logo PurpleSo, the title came from a bumper sticker I saw once in college while walking back to my house after class. It basically references (after much deliberated research on what was a poor internet accessed by dial up in 1995) that in the old days of the 1800’s where they used mules for work, it was easier to burn a mule when it died than to flat out take the time to bury it. I guess that kind of applies to us in some ways, more than others. We ended up having a party a couple of weeks later and on the flyer labeled it as The Burning Mule Party. No one got it, mission accomplished.

Wow…what a ride. For the first couple of weeks, I was sure this pilot was going to crash the plane into the ground.

You know, once when I was a kid someone dared me to stand in an fire-ant hill, jump a bike off a ramp that would fail a house inspection in a 3rd world country and to spray cars with our water hose from my lawn. All things that couldn’t kill me, but, I had to think twice about before doing.

But to dip? No one dared me…there was no ABC Afterschool Special about dip and peer pressure with Scott Baio tapping a tin top…and there were no second thoughts. I gladly and easily started to do a habit that could kill me in a matter of years and frankly, didn’t give a shit. Why? Say them with me everyone:

“Cancer won’t happen to me”

“Cigs don’t do for me what dip can do, I need that special buzz”

“I do pouches, not the loose stuff–it’s safer”

“I don’t leave it in as long as that one guy who died”

“My doctor said it takes years and I’ve only been doing it for three..I have some more time before I have to.”

“My mouth doesn’t hurt, why quit?”

“I brush my teeth afterwards—I’m a real clean dipper” (By far, this is the best line I have ever heard, uttered by yours truly one night while justifying the habit to my wife)

And so on…I think each of you can relate with at least one of those lines.

When I was about 11, my older cousin was a huge dipper. We lived out in West Texas then, so, it just kind of went with the scenery. It’s 23 years later and he still dips to this day. Ironically enough, his wife is a nurse and he has even had lesions removed from his lip. And he still trucks forward with it. I cite my age back then because I remember one day we were out in the pasture and he offered some Copenhagen to me. I’m like, “Ok, whatever” having no idea what this stuff in a can was. I took it, put it in my mouth and ****swallowed**** it. (After all, I was 11..)

First awful thing I remember is the abhorrent taste. Then the burning, then the choking…then the nauseating feeling it gave as it churned around in a place it was never meant for–my stomach. Luckily, there was a windmill with a tank of water nearby. Secondly, I’m fortunate that turned me off of wanting to touch the stuff ever again…until…

…that fateful night back around 1999 I guess it was while we’re all having a poker night at one a friend’s pad. I was out of those nasty clove cigarettes I had started smoking (couldn’t stand the taste of cigarettes nor did they give me the rush that the clove ones did). So, my buddy decided he was going to let me do some dip for my first time. All I remember was being rendered immobile on the couch—arms tingling—weight of gravity pushing me down. Something I hadn’t felt since my last joint a couple of years before. I was floored. There was no going back and I gave cloves up for dip that very moment. I was hooked.

I was hooked after one try. I was amazed something could make you feel like that AND be legal. Up to that point I had always heard that if you try crack just once…just once, you will be addicted. I used to laugh at that and say, “How the hell people…weak will, weak minded pussies.” Now I know. Now….I know.

So, while my habit probably wasn’t as bad or lengthy as some folks on here, it was a habit, it was detrimental to my health, it was disgusting and I felt guilty doing it and it was a total bitch to stop doing it—whether you dip once a day or ten times a day, you can relate to those items.

And that’s what makes this place a beautiful place. It should never go away. Would I still be dipping if I hadn’t found this place? ABSOLUTELY. That answer alone should show the value of what this place is and the power of the people within. I have been picked up off the ground and done the same for others throughout the past 100 days. On many levels, a cigarette smoker trying to quit can’t relate with a dipper trying to quit. Sorry, just the truth. That’s why this place is so unique—so helpful and instrumental in the quit—so fucking understanding of each one of our individual dip driven plights, no matter how small, large, tenured or painful.

So, thank you to my class—You’re With Me, Leather!—you have been an inspiration and a fine damn platoon to serve my one and only Quit Tour of Duty (because as iuchewie says, “you never have to go through days 1-3 again—if you don’t cave” and I have no plans of such. And thanks to Doosh—we were on the same schedule and the first to reach the famous HOF together from our class. Glad to have you here with me, friend!

I don’t know what else to say. I’m not big into speeches and thanking people, well, I hate all the crap so it’s just easier to say thanks to everyone, you know who you are. And to those in my class who struggled hard in the beginning and fell off the wagon…I’m glad you stuck in there and made it to this point—you didn’t fall off and just give up—you tried again and now look at you–you’re here.

Thanks again everyone and remember, if the Sausage King of Chicago can quit dipping, any of you suckas can.


Abe Froman

NOTE: This piece written by KillTheCan.org forum member Abe Froman

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