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Despite this we stay for May 12, 2011

by Carol Dunn
HUERFANO- If you live in a rural area, sooner or later you will be a player in one of the most horrendous victimless crimes in America – snuff juice in a can. You may be an innocent bystander. You may be the unfortunate main character, but it WILL happen. You and your friends will be sitting around telling 100% true stories. You’ll be drinking something out of cans. Most of the time it’s beer, but it can also be Coca-Cola. These seem to be the two most prevalent types of can involved. One or more of you will be working a wad of snuff between the cheek and gum. The cans will begin to accumulate. No one will be paying attention to the cans, what’s full and what’s empty, because the 100% true stories are very amusing and people are slapping their leg and laughing until they snort. Besides, you can tell what’s empty by picking up the can and swishing it around. Yep, something in it – must be beer. The cans are randomly placed, so it can get confusing about which can belongs to whom. But in the midst of all this levity, a demon lurks. There is a can that someone has been spitting snuff juice into. It’s hidden in plain sight. [You know what’s coming.]
Then, in the middle of a 120% true story, someone’s brain processes the fact that what has just slid down their throat is not Coca-Cola but some vile concoction that tastes remotely like hydraulic oil. A nanosecond passes before the guy blasts a spray of vile liquid in a ten feet radius and yells PGAAAHGUK! There is choking and coughing. He casts the can to the ground as though it just grew two heads and caught fire. “Wrong can!” someone yells, wiping his hair. Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha! If he took a big enough swig, he will be throwing up at this point. He is not amused. Others in the group may also be throwing up – a sort of sympathy-barf.
This is a hard lesson to learn, and it takes some people multiple incidents to catch on. It’s a rite of passage really. Many rural men have endured this, and the laughter dies down quickly – partly because so many people are sympathy-barfing, but also because they have that far away look in their eyes remembering their own snuff can incident. Dare I postulate that some rural women, too, have been victimized by snuff juice in a can? However, they will never admit it.
The moral of this story is, hold onto your can. Just like they say at the airport, never leave it unattended. Pay attention to who the snuffers are, and don’t sit beside them. Because even if you don’t drink it, eventually you’ll be wearing it.