Retired Fireman’s Political 5 Alarm Fire

January 16, 2008

Dip-less In Kentucky?

Filed under: The Fireman's Fav's — Retired Fireman @ 4:40 pm

Smokeless In Kentucky

So here I am, a “Pilgrim in an Unholy land” as the case may be.  A Native Californian, alone except for another Native Californian and his Native New Yorker girlfriend here in Louisville, Kentucky.  So far, I have enjoyed myself immensely.  I have been doing exactly what I have come here to do.  ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!

I got off the plane and, other than the mix up as to how I was going to get to the hotel, how my Metro PCS Wireless phone was going to work out here, and why Louisville Airport was the only airport that did not have free wireless service, met my buddy’s girlfriend, made it to the hotel, met my friend, made with the pleasantries, got out of my road clothes and proceeded to immediately pass out in bed, having been up since around 0300 that morning.

I awoke around 2300 hrs Kentucky time, which was 8pm California time, not knowing where I was, what was going on or anything.  talked to my daughters, realized there was nothing good on because this hotel has crappy channels, (no Spongebob) and then toured the Internet for awhile.  I proceeded to drift in and out of consciousness like that all night and most of the day.  My friend would check on me, making sure I was alright, as he had to work.  I skipped breakfast and such.  His girlfriend called around 1pm when she got back from the doctor, and still I slept.

I had not been away from home, the family, kids, dog, cats, fish and other “hangers-on” in quite some time and never for this long.  Even when I had, I always felt guilty about it and felt a need to go right home.  When on vacation, I always felt the need to do something.  Had to go sightseeing, couldn’t waste the trip, had to go, go, go.  Well, not this time.  I had no kids to deal with, no wife, no chores, no complaining, no whining, no, “I’m bored”, no “I’m hungry”, no nothing.  Just the TV, the computer and a bed, although nowhere near as comfortable and good for my destroyed back as my “Select Comfort” one at home, but a bed that was raping me none-the-less. 

 Until IT happened.

I reached over to the nightstand, where I kept my trusty can of Copenhagen Long Cut tobacco, needing to put that pinch between my cheek and gum to satisfy my every need at that moment, to make the moment I was having of cartoon watching in my nice, warm bed perfect…when I saw…it…was…EMPTY!!!!! GASP!!!!  HORROR OF HORRORS!!!!

But this cannot be!  This would mean I would have to get out of bed, get dressed, leave my room, go out into the unknown world and find someplace that had it.  Oh woe is me.  I knew I should have hit up Sam’s Club before I left.  Oh well, this is Kentucky, right?  Surely all I would have to do is go outside, kick over a rock and there would be an underground river flowing with cans of chew.  It’s not like in California where the Tobacco Police cruise the streets, making you feel guilty about “Second Hand Smoke” and how you are destroying everything known to man and science by utilizing the gift the Native Americans gave us that drove this country’s economy for hundreds of years and was used for medicinal and ceremonial purposes for eons.  Here, they still grow the stuff for gosh sakes.  Why, I bet I could even find it in fresh cans on trees if I looked hard enough.

So, I hoped in the shower, got dressed, feeling more rested than I have felt in about a year, feeling like I could take on the world, called my friend’s girlfriend, since he was at work, asked if she wanted to show me to the store.  She said she would and away we went, on a nice, brisk afternoon.  We went to the first liquor store we came to, a mere two blocks away.  I got four 20oz. Diet Pepsi’s, a staple of my existence, and asked for my can.  Alas, they had none.  I was shocked…they didn’t carry it.  However, the nice gentleman pointed us in the direction of a smoke shop that surely would have one, only a mere four blocks away, past a firehouse.  Hey, great for me, right?  Off we went. 

Upon entering the smoke shop, our nostrils were hit with the aromatic smell of several of the worlds most wonderful cigars.  no El Ropos in here.  Not one, but four carved Indians inside adorned this establishment, and several walk-in humidors.  There was a large case of Meerschaum pipes to die for.  Smokes of all tastes and makes.  Surely my quest was at an end.  After all, Kentucky=fine tobacco products.

“Nope, we don’t carry Copenhagen.  It’s a dated product.  If it don’t sell we get stuck with it.  Then we’uns gets screwed.  Ya’ll might wanna try the fillin station down yonder.  Might be ’bout 5 blocks dat’a ways.”  

By now I was aghast.  Now, those of you who do not use tobacco or who do not chew may be thinking to yourself that I could just use any product.  After all, it is all the same.  Well, it is not.  It is all different, and it all matters.  If I am going to run the risk of having my face fall off, I might as well do so with the thing I like and enjoy, and not some cheap crap that I hate and doesn’t taste good.

By this time, his girlfriend wanted to go back and get the car.  I still had a bag full of Diet Pepsi.  I insisted on walking, as I was enjoying the excersise.  I had not had much lately and was liking being out and about, getting a look at all the locals.  The locals, mind you, kinda reminded me of a homeless camp, but that’s another story.  Anyway, we went off “yonder” towards the gas station, passing the firehouse, which allowed me to shoot some bull with the guys there.  Let me tell you, no matter where you are, identify yourself as a fireman, or retired fireman, and you are a brother…period, and it is a great feeling.  Anyway, we finally made it to the gas staion where finally, they had it.  We found the Grail.  the bonus was that it was in the convinient Money Saving Two Pack.  However, they do not give money back at the register, and their ATM machine was not taking my card.  The cashier had to do it for me.  Yup, couldn’t have felt more like a tourist if I had Bermuda shorts on, a Panama hat and a camera around my neck.

So, quest over, the Grail returning home in pocket, and a stunning walk taken on an overcast, chilly Kentucky day, I learned one thing…Kentucky does not like chewing tobacco.  I mean, what is it about this town?  They went smokeless, so you would have thought the stuff would be everywhere.  It is Kentucky, one of the last bastions of where real people in this country live…and a guy couldn’t even get a can of Copenhagen Long Cutto save his life, not even in a smoke shop or a liquor store.

The moral to this story is, if you travel to Kentucky, bring your own tobacco products.  As for me and my plans for tomorrow…I am staying in bed.

Good night everybody.  And Fred Thompson…WHERE THE HELL ARE YOU?!?!?!?!?!



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