"Aw c'mone, Mandie, it ain't that bad." Daring me to take a dip, my husband held out his can of Copenhagen.
Now, I've had my share of cigarettes, and they weren't really for me. Plus, all that nicotine brought on way too many panic attacks.
My family's convoy of four cars: a Ford van, a Mitsubishi, a Ford F250, and my husband's Hummer H3; had just pulled out of the Cracker Barrel parking lot where we'd had way too many pancakes and way too much sweet tea.
We were now following my father, driving the van, trying to find a gas station with an air pump to fix my brother's tire on the Mits.
As he stops the car at a red light, my husband urges me again. "What happened to that adventurous girl I met in high school?" The right side of his bottom lip sticks out a little where he always puts his dip in.
I smirk and cross my arms over the seatbelt. "One of us had to grow up."
My husband laughs, "Alright, you chicken." He was starting to put the lid back on the can when I snatch it from his hand.
I peered down into that little round can of black, stinky stuff and swallowed. This was going to be gross.
I looked back over at my husband, who's eyes had grown a bit wide. Apparently, he hadn't expected me to take his dare.
I smile at his shocked face. "Okay, so how do you do this?"
He laughed. "Are you serious?"
As a heart attack. I wasn't about to be called a chicken. And my father had dipped for as long as I could remember and my husband had for years. My brother did also, and he swallowed. He never spit.
I cocked my eyebrows at my husband. "I ain't no pinchy pollo." I hold the can up. "So how you do this?"
When he stops laughing at my stupid Spanish, he proceeds to show me that you pinch a good bit of the tobacco between your fingers and squeeze thight.
Then, he shows me how to open my lips wide enough to stuff the wad between my cheeck and lower teeth and then squeeze my mouth shut and mash the mass of sour mush with my tongue to make it stay in place.
Then, I proceeded to spit into his dip bottle every five seconds.
A few minutes later it tastes really bad. "Ew, is it suppose to taste like this?"
A few minutes after that, my throat is really starting to burn. "Is my throat suppose to burn like this?"
"Hay no, cochina." My husband looks at me like I just told him I was gay. "You're not suppose to swallow it!"
I glare at him. "Like I want to? I'm spitting every five seconds, but it's still draining down the back of my throat."
"Okay, use your tongue to push it up closer to your lips. Get it away from the back of your mouth."
Okay. Easy enough. But that's when the world starting spinning. Everything was spinning.
And apparently, I found something very funny. Because all of the sudden I started laughing and couldn't stop.
"Chingado, Mandie! Spit it out! You are way too buzzed!" My husband shoves his hand in front of my face.
"Wait!" I'm still laughing. "Is this what happens to you everytime you dip?"
His face wrinkles up for a second and I find it hilarious and go into histarics again. "No. You get used to it after a while."
I feel as high as a kite and my face it completely numb. My heart feels likes it's beating 100 beats per minute, yet I feel like I'm about to faint.
"Freddy! Why didn't you tell me about this before? This feels awesome!" I go back to laughing.
"You're not going to feel so awesome in a little while. You should probably spit that out here in a few minutes." My husband gets all serious.
"What? No way! This is awesome..."
By this time, my father has found a gas station with an air pump and we all pull in. As soon as the car comes to a stop and I see my brother and father get out of their cars to work on the tire, I open my door.
"Where do you think you're going?" My husband had a death grip on my shoulder.
"Uh, to ask my dad why in the world he didn't tell me about this stuff before?" Duh.
"You aren't gonna be able to walk like that."
I shove my body towards the door and out of my husband's grip. I fall my way out of the Hummer and find that, indeed, my husband was right. I could barely put one foot in front of the other.
The concrete was spinning.
I stumble my way over to my father and brother knelt down by the almost flat tire. "Dad, why didn't you tell me about this stuff before?"
My father looks up at me a little confused.
I sway a little and my brother catches me before I kiss the concrete. I think he smelled the tobacco on my breath. "Amanda, do you have a dip in?"
I smile, probably with tobacco in my teeth and all. "Sure do."
My father stands up. "You better spit it out. You're gonna hit the ground if you don't. Not to mention you're gonna be sicker than a dog."
I roll my eyes. "Whatever."
I turn back towards the Hummer and see my husband propped against the bumper watching me.
I pass the van, with my grandmother and step-mother in it, right when I felt the need to spit. I bent over just a little to spit. But it must have been a little too far because I just kept going.
And there I was lying on the concrete, laughing my butt off at myself and how insane I felt, when my grandmother threw her door open. "Amanda Kate West! Do you have snuff in?"
This I found even more histarical. "Sure do."
And this my, prim and proper, grandmother found even more histarical because she nearly fell out of the van laughing. My step-mother had to pull her back in and my husband had to come haul me off the ground and back into the car.
Once he had my seatbelt on, he held out his hand. "Spit it out."
By now, I didn't feel so good anymore. Sure I still felt like I was flying, but my stomach was churning and burning.
"Fine." And I spit the wad into his hand.
When they had finished fixing my brother's tire, five minutes later, and started rolling again towards the highway, the worst nausea hit me.
I swore I was going to blow pancake chunks everywhere.
My huband felt like it was his fault. "I shouldn't have dared you to do that."
I lay my head back against the cold window and breathed slow. "It's okay. It was fun while it lasted."
Forty-five minutes later, somebody needed to take a potty-break and we were getting off the exit heading toward the nearest gas station. I threw up a "Thank you, Lord" as we pulled in.
I headed straight for the Sprite and a pack of Rolaids.
When I emerged from the gas station with what I hoped was going to cure me of this dip-hangover, my father was standing outside with my husband and brother.
And my father can't resist. "Freddy said you turned green but didn't vommit."
I glare at my husband. "No. But I wish I had. All over his interior."
My husband laughs.
My father laughs too. "Did I not ever tell you about the first time I dipped?"
No, apparently oh wise father, that is one life lesson you left out.
I shook my head.
My father laughs again. "Well, I was on top of the house, fixing the roof with my ex-father-in-law when he offered me a dip."
My mouth fell open. "On top of the house?"
My dad laughs harder. "Yeah, on top of the house. Imagine being on top of a house when everything starts spinning. I nearly fell off."
By this time, my brothers and sisters have had a good laugh over my experience and we're all headed back to our cars to continue the road trip.
I had just pulled open my car door when I hear my father call from the van, "You sure you don't want another dip?" I see him pull his can from his back pocket.
"Hell to the no!" I yell back.
And then I hear my grandmother laughing histarically again from somewhere in the back of the van.
Lived Through by Mandie Described at 3:06 PM