Curt Schilling penned a letter to his 16-year-old self warning him against the dangers of tobacco. His 16-year-old self didn’t write back warning him against the dangers of believing the post office can deliver a letter 32 years in the past.
“Dear 16-year-old Curt,” Schilling writes—jeopardizing the bloody sock and the very existence of Kingdoms of Amalur through his ignorance of Ray Bradbury’s “butterfly effect”—at the Players’ Tribune. “Tomorrow at lunch, a kid is going to dare you to take a dip of Copenhagen. If you say yes, like I did, you’ll be addicted for the rest of your life. Well, the rest of your life up to the point when you are diagnosed with cancer.”
You will develop sores, you will lose your sense of taste and smell. You will develop lesions. You will lose your gums — they will rot. You will have problems with your teeth for the rest of your life. You will meet men — many good, honest men — who chewed. None of them will have their entire face. They will be missing jaws, chins, cheeks, noses and more. None will live more than a year or two after you meet them. All of them were tobacco chewers.
Schilling didn’t say if chewing tobacco also unleashes delusions, like a person carrying on a conversation with another version of himself, as Patrick Troughton and Colin Baker did in The Two Doctors, or priority mail delivering envelopes postmarked 2015 to 1983.
The three-time World Series champion developed squamous cell carcinoma after using tobacco for several decades. His mouth cancer diagnosis came in February 2014 upon visiting a doctor after a dog bite. Schilling neglected to warn his younger self about the dog.