If you have ever had Hawken, then you know why I started. Hawken is better than candy to a 13 year old boy. You see it’s nice and sweet without the sting. The perfect gateway dip for a young boy. Add to that the fact that you are doing what they do in the big leagues and something your parents will not approve and you know where the road leads.
The pictures never really scared me. Still don’t. I rationalize those mangled faces as idiots that don’t go to the doctor and don’t know how to take care of themselves. “THAT” would never happen to me. The invincible mindset started in high school and continues to this day. I would guess that a large majority of dippers think that it would never happen to them. It probably helped that no dentist ever really lectured me. They’d say stuff like “you could get cancer” or “just move it around and you’ll be fine.” I’m willing to bet that they didn’t think a 16 year old was dipping a can and a half a day or that it would turn into a 20 year habit.
I’ve got all sorts of stories that I won’t bore you with. Needless to say my wife, friends, parents, children, nephews have all tasted my spit. Ya, it was funny, but also very sad. I don’t want to be the person that when they thought of me they thought about dip. I don’t want to be the dipper in the room. I don’t want a can of dip on my birthday. It’s not who I am and what I am about…but it was.
And that’s why I quit. I was not afraid of cancer. I didn’t care if people drank it or knocked it over. I knew I could hide it from my 20 month old son. I had convinced my wife that it wasn’t a big deal. There was nothing pushing me or stopping me from dipping for the next 20 years. However, I began to see not what other people saw, but what they thought. I don’t want to be known as a dipper. I don’t want my eulogy to be how I’ll be reaching for that can with the bear on it in heaven. I am willing to bet if you asked anyone that knows me to write down five things about me, dip would be in the first two of everyone that responded. ….AND that’s the scary part. I am a grown man that has lived for 36 years and the vision of me spitting is in the top five things you think of when you think about me. THAT’S BULLSHIT. It’s the equivalent of a bad smell in a five star restaurant. The food may be great, but you can’t get over that smell.
There is a hell of a lot more to me and the rest of us than a can of dip. I’m a business owner. A loving husband. A caring dad. A great friend. A Vols fan. A fisherman. A golfer. I’m witty. Loyal. Honest. Creative. And I was a dipper.
PS–Go Vols and Lane Kiffin Sucks.