Some years ago a research group with highly stuffed pockets and somewhat less density in their brain department spewed out some worthless information about tobacco. Forgive me as the time has eroded from my mind the exact numbers and pertinent statistical information needed to make this a scholarly presentation. In a huge pile of some medical lectures this was their conclusion; " A whole bunch of children ate cigarettes during a certain time span. Some of those nicotine-munchers got sick, a few gagged and few more deposited their lunch in inappropriate places."
Now tell me, my good readers, just who kept track of children-eating-cigarettes, or should I say children who eat/ate said cancer sticks, coffin nails, or Kentucky Gold, and why is a wide-eyed raving consumer group sucking up my tax money keeping tallies on, well, oh the heck with it--you know a story is coming, so allow me if you will to tell you about my Grandpa's Copenhagen Jone's
Now for all you well-traveled readers who may have "Googled" Denmark, houses of ill-repute or little mermaid statues, nay, thou hast come to the wrong place. The Copenhagen of my narrative is a slimy fermented sewage-like compost that my dear ol' Grandpa stuffed into his cheek on a regular basis.
An important factor needs to be mentioned here. I come from a multi-cultural family. On one side we have the Nordics, of which my name implies, then we have the Celtics to whom my sister mistakenly claims to be the predominant blood transfusing through our veins. But when I think of her unstable thinking process, perhaps she is right unto herself.
Back to Copenhagen. This story is from the part of my family that comes from Kentucky. That's right, tobacco-chewin', slow talkin', white-sock-wearin', front-porch-rockin,' Kentucky. I long ago veered away from my hayseed family tree, keeping a love for bluegrass and a hankerin' for storytellin'.
My sister's make believe world assumes they, our family, hold roots in Ireland, but go back three generations in Kentucky and the lineage gets a bit fuzzy, so I would be hard pressed to figure out exactly where my dear old gramps came from. I am certain a UFO fits in this story somewhere but finding the spot to insert the well-worn reference has me befuddled. Besides my theory is my mother's clan came from Scotland
In the wee years of my developing life my grandmother's sleeping arrangement had me confused. Gramps slept clear at the other end of my grandma's boarding house in his own little sanctuary where he seemed quite content to sit and listen to the old box radio that sat on the dresser next to his worn suspenders. Under the bed he kept an old peach can used for the ‘baccy spit.
One day when my age caught up with reasoning, grandmother sat me down and gave me a stern look while she rolled a little lace handkerchief nervously between her fingers. Her words cut into my soul as she said, "Never kiss a man who insists on putting horse droppings in his mouth." Now the clouds rolled back and darned if Copenhagen wasn't the culprit. The dark juices rolling from gramp's cheeks killed grandmas libido.
In my eighth year grandpa beckoned me to come to his side. I innocently took the two well-worn quarters he placed in my palm and scurried off to fulfill his orders by heading to the corner store in order to fetch him a couple of cans of Copenhagen. I had not a clue that soon a savage right of hillbilly childhood was about to be inflicted upon me.
I straightaway returned with the two cans of rotten silage. Grandpa opened one of the cans and with his two aging brownish fingers lifted a scrap heap of the canned substance into his mouth then sat back in his cane rocker and comfortably stared into space. The shredded sludge foamed as he masticated the rotten substance. Soon little streams of blackish brown substance began to trickle down his gray stubbled chin. After a good soaking atop his dingy yellow long johns. He reached for the peach can, spit out the hazardous waste, waited a spell then repeated the same process. My grandpa was in red-neck heaven.
For whatever reason I had never before watched the whole process and found myself mysteriously fascinated by the whole scene. After he regained consciousness gramps offered me a pinch of the devil weed. I placed the most minute amount of the tobacco in my mouth that I could get away with. In a matter of seconds death was imminent. My face first turned red, then two shades whiter than the painted Victorian porch where I sat. I started hallucinating. Giant rivers of foul-smelling brown sewage flowed through my fevered mind.
When grandma heard my merciless screams she came running with a tin pail of water to flush my mouth out. Normally, according to early medical journals, it took at least two gallons of fresh water to dilute the toxicity of Copenhagen, but sadly she was too late. Sweet Grandma, who once warned me about biting into the poison brown apple, proceeded to take a lawn rake and beat my grandpa with strength only read about in hero comics.
Alas, it was too late. My DNA code degenerated into a radically different ancestry. I quit school in the third grade, threw away my shoes and started sitting in trees playing a banjo. Because of the times, I am certain no statistics were ever recorded of my ingesting the counterpart of three bottles of Jack Daniels in one nibble of venomous horse manure. Without the great university study, I was just one of a thousand other kids who consumed a substance known to cause a total neurological shut-down.
Thank you grandma for your down-home wisdom. Although I never heeded your warning about consuming vile substances, I can honestly say–I never kissed a man who chewed. Now, if only I could wear shoes again.
Settle in, grab a cup of coffee and enjoy your stay here at Shelly's. The pie is great, the coffee pot is always on and soon you will find this to be the best place in town. SOON TO BE AMERICA'S MOST READ BLOG