No, this is not a recent development. But events of the last six years have impressed it upon her much more than ever before.
Well, one event.
One long drawn-out event.
Since Marty Pulvers, the proprietor of Sherlock's Haven, retired, I have been stockpiling pipe tobacco. Initially I was just making sure that I wouldn't run out of favourite blends after Marty sold the store. Then there was the state proposition to tax tobacco out of existence in 2006 - not its officially stated purpose, you understand, but definitely a long-term goal of the health nut fringe. It was a cause of minor heart palpitations to tobacco afficionados.
In the run-up to the November election the non-smokers in San Francisco became insufferable, damn gloating beasts. Many of them were openly crowing over the gouging that would happen after their assuredly overwhelming victory. While they hooted and gibbered, I stockpiled.
The proposition was defeated, which took the wind out of their sails and the hot-air out of their squawking. They sulked, brooded, wept.
I still stockpiled.
Shortly afterwards, while I still stockpiled, British American Tobacco had a temper tantrum, and broke off their relationship with the company to whom they had farmed out most of their blends. They finally sold rights to everything except Dunhill (the most desirable brand) to their blender. I still stockpiled.
When the various Dunhill mixtures disappeared from American tobacconists shelves, I had socked away over five hundred tins - enough for ten years of smoking.
Dan Tobaccos also disappeared. Got a few years worth of those, too.
Supplies of both Samuel Gawith and Germains have been irregular - sometimes a surfeit, sometimes a painfull dearth - for the past few years.
I shan't run out of either brand any time soon.
Further increases in tobacco taxes, plus the conviction that the State of California is out to get me, have only encouraged me to stockpile.
Stuff that I like eventually becomes unavailable.
Neurosis is a good thing.
Today I received ten more tins of Three Oaks.
I'm still stockpiling.
At present I have more than a quarter of a century's supply of pipe-tobacco stashed away. I shall be smoking till the day I croak.
Tobacco improves with age, and much of it will have been unavailable for years by then. What remains will be worth several hundred dollars per tin.
Savage Kitten will be inheriting some prime e-bay material.
Maybe then she won't think I'm so crazy after all.
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