Monday, March 06, 2006

Pocketknives

The majority of us boys carried pocketknives to school. Not to defend ourselves or to attack a fellow student, but to slice the dried abalone that we carried in our pockets.

A dried abalone cost only a nickel and would last for more than a week. We would use our knives to slice a thin piece off and chew on it for hours on end. Maybe, that's where the grown ups got the idea for chewing tobacco. With abalone, though, you weren't constantly spitting.

I don't think abalone would stand a chance today. Not because of its outrageous price, but because everybody would be screaming how unhealthy it was.

We would be playing marbles during recess and reach into our pockets with our filthy hands and slice off a piece. By the end of the day, the abalone would be covered with dirt and we would be chewing on as much dirt as abalone. However, none of us died from chewing on this dirty abalone.

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