At the back of the hill

Warning: If you stay here long enough you will gain weight! Grazing here strongly suggests that you are either omnivorous, or a glutton. And you might like cheese-doodles.
BTW: I'm presently searching for another person who likes cheese-doodles.
Please form a caseophilic line to the right. Thank you.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


As an ‘approchement’ to the anti-tobacco fiends fanatics who insisted that firmly closed tins of pipe tobacco in my area offended their delicate sensibilities, I have taken much home, and put the rest away. My desk is at present free of tobacco. Now, can I demand that they stop drenching themselves with cheap-ass perfume?
I think I can.
But it would probably be more politic not to.

Among the tobaccos which have disappeared from sight, due to coworker fascism, are several tins of Samuel Gawith – products of a very fine and ancient company, which has brought far more joy to humanity than any number of wheat-germ snarfing health Nazis.

But this of course brings up a question: What kind of pipe tobacco person are you?

I have prepared a little list. Please choose for yourself which product best describes you.
I am keen to know you better.


Samuel Gawith 1792 Flake
A dark pressed steamed Virginia flake aromatized with Tonquin oil. Strong and robust, must be smoked really slowly. [CLICK]
You are a sleek young miss with a very bright smile, round-faced but with sparkling eyes. Your panties (‘bikini briefs’) are probably electric pink. Like many Chinese girls, you like lobster.

Samuel Gawith Balkan Flake
Dark and fragrant, rich with Latakia. This is a luxurious product, which renders down to a fine white ash. [CLICK]
If you smoke this, you probably like flawless English pipes with two-tone staining, along with silken jammies, lace panties, and ruffles in surprising places. Your spectacles help you look more sweet and innocent than you actually are, but evenso you don’t want to upset your parents. They just don’t know about the pipe-tobacco you've got hidden in the giant plush Hello Kitty on your bed.

Samuel Gawith Commonwealth Mixture
Half aged Virginia, half Latakia. A smoky straightforward product. Full-bodied, for the tweed and leather type. Perfect for foggy evenings. [CLICK]
You have thick shoulder-length hair and a high forehead. You read mystery novels, although occasionally you can be found laughing yourself sick over Barbara Cartland romances. You speak Mandarin better than Cantonese, which displeases your aunties no end. Bad girl!

Samuel Gawith Full Virginia Flake
Brown pressed flue-cured tobacco, medium strength. One of the best flakes on the market right now, along with G. L. Pease’s Union Square. A must for all Virginia smokers. [CLICK]   
A quiet little miss, demurely dressed. You favour dark skirts and pale blouses, and you look absolutely fabulous(!) wearing pearls - sometimes you wear nothing else. Home cooking is what you prefer – shrimp paste stuffed beancurd, steamed pork with salt fish, cold poached chicken with shredded ginger.

Samuel Gawith Grousemoor
Blonde ribbons made fragrant with an old-fashioned essence first used in snuff. An excellent product, for what it is, though it will not appeal to very many pipe aficionados. This is like smoking history. [CLICK]
You may come to a bad end, OR you’ll publish your first novel before you’re twenty. Either way, there is a depth to you quite out of keeping with your parents and classmates conceptions. You probably also read licentious literature in several languages. You own only one bra – you have given up on the idea of ever growing into it. That’s where you keep the tobacco, the sand-blast Sasieni, and the Comoy.

Samuel Gawith Skiff Mixture
Mild to medium English-Balkan. More Virginias than one would expect. Slightly heretical. The type of mixture that both young persons as well as old grumps can enjoy. [CLICK]
You are most comfortable in blue-jeans and sweaters. Sometimes athletic. You’ve probably got your hair in a ponytail. When you help out at your parents drygoods store you are friendly with all customers, including the old aunties who only speak hometown dialect, and the elderly uncles who call you ‘leng nui’. BBs.

Samuel Gawith Squadron Leader
The classic English-Balkan with a definite Turkish presence. Redolant and stinky, a profoundly satisfying smoke. Guaranteed to offend pretentious dipwads. Damn good stuff. [CLICK]
One of the most sparkling little ladies around, equally comfortable in jeans or skirts. Saucy, but very intelligent and sensible. You have kissable looking lips and you blush easily. Unlike the rest of your family you also like hotsauce with your food, not just that dab of oyster sauce or hoisin. You even like northern dishes!

Samuel Gawith Saint James Flake
Pressed Virginias and Perique. Strong but smooth, pleasantly sweet. This is the classic vaper. Sophisticated without being froofy or ‘la’. A remarkable product, a real smoke. [CLICK]
Not a day goes by that you don’t have a strong cappuccino or espresso. Yes, you are full of beans. If you were old enough to drink, you would favour brandy. You visit your auntie in C'town everyday – she finds your pipe smoking enchanting, because it reminds her of when she still lived in Hong Kong, sneaking out to party at night. Her oldest friend says the fragrance reminds her of a Shanghainese gentleman caller long ago.

Samuel Gawith Westmoreland Mixture
Virginias, Cavendish, and maybe 30% Latakia. Unusual by American standards, but never the less not uncommon across the pond. A pleasant smoke that some others will sneer at, even though there is nothing wrong with the product – it just doesn’t suit them. A few lucky smokers will find this delightful and exactly what the doctor ordered. It is. [CLICK]
Slim and lithe, with top grades in school. Lowell High is proud of you, and Berkeley can’t wait. But you’ll probably end up at Harvard. Underneath your clothes you wear undies trimmed with lace, because it feels good. Your long long hair is always tied in a ponytail. When tourists ask you anything you often pretend not to speak English. Just because.

See? Scope for everyone. And if you run out of tobacco, I can always give you some. Just look for me when you’re lurking near the tobacco store or in an alleyway up from Stockton Street, and you and I can enjoy a pleasant pipe together.
This is NOT an obscene proposition.


NOTE: Readers may contact me directly:
All correspondence will be kept in confidence.

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  • At 11:30 AM, Blogger Spiros said…

    You work with people whose delicate sensibilities can be offended by sealed tins of pipe tobacco? What an amazingly refeened set of co-workers you have! Are they given to fits of the vapors? Do they weep in butchers' shops? Do they quiver at strong language? Yet again, I am grateful for my workplace.

  • At 1:09 PM, Anonymous boltcutters said…

    as an insider...i can tell you, fill the tins with poorly spelled notes scrawled in crayon and you're golden. no one will touch you.

    i for one am a captain black man. what does that say about me.

    be honest - i can take it.

  • At 11:29 AM, Anonymous Looking for bopsies! said…

    Captain Black: poorly packaged perversion, geared toward teenyboppers.
    And the folks what would like to bop them.
    Take that lst sentence any way you want.


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