Gwen Petersen: In a Sow’s Ear 8-12-13 |

Gwen Petersen: In a Sow’s Ear 8-12-13

Snoose can refer to chewing tobacco or snuff — that powdery nicotine stuff users tuck inside cheek or lip. Dipping snuff can result in a tendency to drool which can be embarrassing.

Scene: A snuff-dipping Macho Cowboy sees a pretty Cowgirl dressed in an attractive Not Much. She looks at him and smiles. His mouth drops open and snoose juice dribbles forth. He’s so chagrinned, he can’t speak, let alone ask her for a date.

But she is a Cowgirl, so maybe she understands the brown stuff trailing down his chin like a liquid mustache. She lets him take her to church. When the parson asks the throng to stand to sing “The Old Rugged Cross,” Macho Cowboy’s cheek full of snuff gets loose and a splat drops on the hymnal. Mortified, he tries to sop it up with his bare hand. Unfortunately, the gesture merely smears the splat.

Macho Cowboy apologizes and vows he means to quit the snoose habit — soon, maybe right after the weekend rodeo where he’s up for bareback riding.

Cowgirl, always an admirer of rodeo, watches from the stands as M.C. comes out of a chute on a big gray-white bucking horse. He makes the ride! A pickup man gallops alongside. Macho Cowboy smoothly transfers to the pickup horse’s rump. Woops. A dribble of snoose juice slithers down the back of pickup man’s shirt. Sadly, the pickup man happens to be Cowgirl’s brother. She thinks the incident is funny. Her brother doesn’t. An altercation is imminent. Result: Another sheepish apology. Another determination to quit.

Snoose Juice

Inside his cheek

For about a week

A dip of snuff

Has made it tough

To eat his dinner

He’s getting thinner.

If he don’t soon spit

His face may split

His jaw has swelled

By what its held.

Look out! It’s loose!

I see the juice

Ooze down his chin

Drip on his shin.

He spits on a bug

It drowns on the rug.

He spits in his shoe

Icky thing to do.

He spits in the air

He don’t know where.

He spits, patooie,

And still he’s gooey.

He started on Monday

And then by Sunday

He’d filled a spittoon

And half the room.

Ya gotta admit

If he don’t quit

He’s gonna drown

The whole durn town.

An old, joke asks the question: “How do you know if a cowboy is level-headed?”

Answer: When the snoose juice drools evenly from both sides of his mouth. ❖