I hated the smell of cigarettes and smoke used to give me headaches so I wasn't a good candidate as a smoker. I did play baseball, however, so I had to try chewing tobacco. My first foray into chewing was when I was 15 and playing a baseball game. A friend had a can of Skoal and I took a big dip, put it in my front lower lip and was immediately buzzed and vaguely dizzy. I went out to my position at third base, fielded a grounder and threw it over the first baseman, over the fence, and into the forest. I guess my adrenalin was going too. About ten minutes after putting in my first dip, I got another ball hit to me which took a bad hop and hot me in the chest. I'm not sure how, but that caused me to swallow the whole hunk of tobacco. Want to make sure you don't develop a smokeless tobacco habit? Swallow your first ever dip. I turned six shades of green and threw up all over the field. My eyes burned, my throat burned, my stomach burned, my sinuses burned, everything burned. It was awful.
I tried chewing one more time when I was 18 at a carnival. Didn't swallow it but having that buzz and going on rides made me puke again. Haven't chewed tobacco since.
Letting Go by David Sedaris
I admittedly am a huge fan of the personal essay and David Sedaris is one of the people who brought it into vogue about fifteen years ago. I've read probably half of everything he's published and I just don't get why people think he is so wonderful. Friends that I adore and respect will say, "Oh My God did you get the new Sedaris yet? It's amazing," and I just generally mumble and nod and try to change the subject because I don't want to admit that I'm not a big fan. This is weird because when I don't like something I usually have no problem saying so. But with Sedaris I just don't want to go into it and say that I don't enjoy reading his stuff. Why don't I? I'm not really sure but I think it's because I think he's just kind of a dick. People who write personal narratives, by design, have to talk about themselves a lot. But when Sedaris does it, he's just a little too smug. Give me self-deprecating. Give me goofy. Give me mean or bitter. But don't give me smug.
Essay: 5 of 10
Sedaris picks up smoking after seeing his family smoke and vowing to never do it. But since he is who he is, he has to do it in Paris.
Teachability: 6 of 10
Students would probably like David Sedaris more than I do but maybe not because my bias would reveal itself and I'd make it miserable for all parties.