We were all IDIOTS weren’t we? We were IDIOTS who, for whatever reason, started to chew tobacco and then became addicted.
I was the IDIOT who started chewing tobacco AFTER high school and college.
After 5 fantastic years at East Carolina, I got a job with a professional golf tour – at first I only worked in the office, but then after a popular restaurant chain bought the rights to the tour, they put me out on the road to run golf tournaments for a living. I know – it was tough working for the Hooters Tour.
I was a 27 year old single guy, traveling 36 weeks a year…visiting everywhere from Miami, FL; to Houston, TX; to Tulsa, OK; to St. Louis; MO to Chicago, IL; to Ft. Wayne, IN; to Pittsburgh, PA to Myrtle Beach, SC and everywhere in between.
The tour was made up of guys who had lost their PGA Tour cards and didn’t have anywhere to play and also those guys who were just out of college and haven’t made it to the PGA Tour yet. It was like a big traveling side show with a lot of camaraderie.
The job was 7 days a week for 4-5 weeks in a row…after a few months of this it really started to take its toll – having to be at the course each day at 6:30 AM and not getting back to the hotel till 9:30 PM. Then I noticed a bunch of players chewed tobacco…it was everywhere. One day in the command trailer I was offered a pinch. I took it, got the immediate buzz and before long was addicted.
At first it was because of the long grind, giving me that edge after my coffee at 6:30 AM; then it was the hot days in Bastrop, Louisiana sitting out on the golf course keeping up w/ pace of play and not falling asleep; then it was boredom in the hotels at night; then it was to keep me awake on those 6 hour overnight drives to the next city; then it was ALL the time.
Damn US Tobacco for coming out to the golf tournaments, putting up their tents and giving away their product. The cabinets in our command trailer had no short of 20 logs at any given time. Whatever we needed, just call them up and they’d send samples.
I’ve since gotten married, left the tour, changed jobs and moved a few times, but the one constant was Mr. Copenhagen.
I knew it was a disgusting habit and all I heard was ‘keep that up and your jaw is going to fall off.’ But for some reason, I felt like I wouldn’t be “one of those” and I kept telling myself that I could quit anytime. That time never came and I was an idiot to think that I could continue to chew tobacco without getting cancer.
So one night I found Kill the Can – I read Jenny & Tom Kern’s Story and that scared the living daylights out of me. I immediately signed up and started posting roll daily. This site is a lifesaver and I know that the friendships I’ve built on this site will last a lifetime.
I’m very late on my HOF Speech mainly due to health reasons. I haven’t felt well in the past 3 weeks due to Shingles and now this morning I had a cat scan done on my liver (as lesions were found during an ultra sound – when the doctors were trying to figure out my internal pain pre-shingles). Of course, the many ailments I’ve had since my quit date have caused me to question if the quit was worth it…would these problems have popped up if I wouldn’t have quit?
There’s no way to answer that question, but I owe it to my fellow August brothers to stay quit and to continue to post roll every day. I won’t be the IDIOT who uses an excuse of “why me” to cave after 125 days of quit.
However, I can’t look forward and tell you what tomorrow, next week, next month or next year will be like… I can only tell you that I am quit for today. I’m awaiting word on my liver and staying quit…doing this one day at a time – that is all us IDIOTS can do.