Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Feeling the pinch

Apparently, smoking bans have provoked an increase in sales of snuff.

Personally, I'm all in favour of this. I remember attempting to kick off a snuff craze when I was at college, offering gobbets of cinnamon-scented powder in the same way that others would pass around their untipped Camels. It was foppish and affected of course, but when the alternative was stealing traffic cones, I'm happy to plead guilty. In any case, I was conclusively outfopped by a dissolute law undergraduate named Harry Dickinson (also perpetrator of the best Anthony Blanche impression I've ever heard) who managed to procure some white peppermint snuff. One lunchtime, he proceeded to snort several lines off it off the tables of the student union bar, with the aid of a £20 note. In those days, even at Exeter, it was regarded as more suspicious if a student was in possession of a twenty...

12 comments:

patroclus said...

When I was at Exeter (89-93), I snorted snuff *and* nicked traffic cones. I'm older and wiser now, of course.

I wonder if we knew each other, Tim?

Pashmina said...

I used to hang out at Exeter around the same time myself, as it happens, but mostly in rancid student houses attending some of the most debauched parties I'd ever encountered, and that disco at the Union (the Lemontree?), so I doubt I ever met either of you.

It was such fun I came this close to doing an MA there.

patroclus said...

Haha, indeed, the Lemon Grove ("Lemmy"). Where Thom Yorke was the resident DJ at the Friday night indie disco. As I recall he was paticularly fond of playing the Violent Femmes and Dinosaur Jr.


The Lemmy had its own bar, the Ewe, but the only place to be seen was the other union bar, the Ram. I trust that's the one Tim's referring to.

Tim Footman said...

Ah, "rancid student houses." Them was the days.

I graduated in '89 (although I hung around a bit thereafter). Were you a drama student, patroc, or similar? We may have brushed drunken shoulders.

Thom was also in a band called Headless Chickens at the time, with a guy called Shack (leader of the Exeter Mad Bastard Revolutionary Vanguard, later of Lunatic Calm). There really were an awful lot of public schoolboys (Thom = Abingdon; Shack = Shrewsbury) who felt the need to go a bit rock 'n' roll. Felix Buxton (Basement Jaxx) was there as well.

It was indeed the Ram where Harry did his white snuff. Famous for its cheese pasties. The only reason to go to the Ewe was when something was going on in the Lemon Grove: gigs, discos or weekly student guild meetings, which were quite fun, especially if you could make posh Tories cry.

The word verification is "rhash", which is almost what I'm doing to my memories.

patroclus said...

Ohh, don't, I could go on reminiscing for *ever*...

I did languages (French & Italian). Were you drama? Blimey.

I remember Headless Chickens, and I saw so many bands play at the Lemon Grove (I was music editor of the uni mag, The Third Degree, for a bit) - inc. Ride, Curve, Carter USM (haha), but the only one that actually made me throw up by playing ridiculously loudly was Mega City 4. Wonder what happened to them. Well, no I don't, really.

Tim Footman said...

Nah, wasn't a drama stude, just used to hang out with them. I did straight English. (The only degree less 'useful' than drama?)

Did you see The Sugarcubes in The Great Hall? Would have been in your first term. Sorry, everyone else, normal, nostalgia-free service will be resumed ASAP...

patroclus said...

No, but I was never a big fan of them (or Bjork). Did see the Pixies in the Great Hall though - legendary.

Sorry everyone, I think we may be done now.

patroclus said...

Tim, they've all gone away. Sorry about that.

Billy said...

I am un chien andalusia!

Where is this snuff stuff available from? I like the idea (for I am quite affected) but wouldn't know where to start.

Tim Footman said...

You can get it at any proper tobacconist (ie somewhere that sells tobacco products as its main purpose, not just a newsagents).

Is that old tobacconist (Smiths?) on Charing Cross Road still there, in amongst the bookshops? Anyone know?

And invest in a proper hankie as well.

Tim Footman said...

As if by magic... an article in today's Guardian about McGahey's of Exeter, where I first bought snuff!

Snuff Store said...

Nice post on snuff!

Snuff really is making a comeback, loads of people have started using snuff as an alternative to cigarettes since the UK smoking ban came into full effect.

So much so that a group of 'snuffers' have launched Snuff Store in the last few weeks.

Multi-coloured hankies as mentioned in a previous comment are a must.

Snuff taking still causes people to turn their heads a bit, but a proud snuff taker has nothing to fear, there's even the joy of being able to indulge one's nicotine addiction whilst at your desk in the office!