Monday, September 5, 2011

Snuff's Enuff

Recently I was cleaning out some bureau drawers and came across a small wooden box that belonged to my grandmother. In the bottom was a piece of paper folded over. I had never noticed it before and I doubt if it had been noticed for over a hundred years. I unfolded it, and this is what I read:

"How to Partake of a Pinch of Snuff

The true artistic method of ‘taking a pinch’ consists of twelve operations:

  1. Take the Snuff-box with your right hand.
  2. Pass the Snuff-box to your left hand.
  3. Rap the Snuff-box
  4. Open the Snuff-box
  5. Present th box to the company
  6. Receive it after going the round.
  7. Gather up the Snuff in the box by striking the side with the middle and forefinger.
  8. Take up a pinch with the right hand.
  9. Keep the Snuff a moment or two between the fingers before carrying it to the nose.
  10. Put Snuff to your nose.
  11. Sniff it with precision by both nostrils, and without any grimace.
  12. Close the Snuff-box with a flourish.

A. Steinmetz, Tobacco, London, 1857"

So you think you have problems?

Robin Hathaway


  1. Myyyy goodness! Good golly, Miss Molly!!!!
    You can't make up stuff like that! Never realized how complex dipping was!!!

  2. Whew. For a moment I thought you were talking about movies.

  3. This is hilarious!!! And that 'flourish' at the end!!!