Vol.XX No.IV Pg.8
June 1983

Stuff About Things

Robert F. Turner

Various campaigns to curb or stamp out the use of tobacco for smoking or chewing have my approval, and the following stories should not be taken as endorsement of the filthy habit. But the general disapproval of tobacco use among saints, though still often violated, was not always as strong as it is today. At the risk of shocking the younger generation...

I have held meetings where men put the weed in their mouth before going into the meeting place, then sat near an open door so they could discharge excess "amber" during services. After dinner at one home, the men went out in the yard to chew and smoke, and my wife says the women passed the snuff around. (She declares she didn't take any, and I believe her.)

One day an older and very popular preacher rode in the car with Vivian and me, and asked me to bear a message to my father. "Tell him," he said, "that E.G. Creasy is a gentleman!" Naturally I wanted to know what this meant — and finally he elaborated, "E.G. no longer uses that filthy stuff!" Of course he knew I knew they were both long-time chew-n-spitters. I gave my dad the message — he laughed — and kept on using the stuff until convinced it was killing him. But the kicker is yet to come. Four years later I passed near the Creasy farm, and decided to drop in for a visit. I found E.G. on the gallery, chewing and spitting up a storm. We had a nice visit, and then as I was leaving I said, "Oh yes, bro. Creasy, my dad said to give you a message. He said to tell you, "I don't believe it!" (It worked. He had forgotten.)

"Don't believe WHAT?" he asked. And I played it cool: "I don't know — he just said to say, 'I don't believe it.' Neither one of you fellows make any sense to me."

"But Robert, there must have been some context to his statement. What caused him to say that?"

"Well, I gave him your message — 'E.G. Creasy is a gentleman!' — and he said, 'Tell him, I don't believe it!' It all sounds crazy to me. I'm just an innocent bystander." As I recall, bro. Creasy said, "You may be a bystander, but you are not innocent." (Try getting some good out of this.)