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.

Friday, October 19, 2012


Yesterday evening I marvelled over the good fortune of a friend of mine, who has found a person with similar tastes, interests, and cigar-smoking habits. How wonderful to go through life together with so much in common!
She is one very lucky woman.
His and hers cigar cases.

She was enjoying a Partagas from Cuba while watching the game.
He had a maduro wrapper 'Presidente' while sitting beside her.
Even though the broadcast bored me, because I am completely deficient in any sports excitability whatsoever, I envied them.

As you may have noticed, there are very few pipe smoking women. At least not in the United States, where the vast majority of women with whom I am likely to come into contact happen to reside.

So the nearest I'll come to something approaching the happiness of the couple I mentioned is sitting on a hill one day on the leeward side of another person, smoking my pipe - probably a mild Virginia, so as not to bowl her over with sooty clouds of Latakia - while together we watch a dragonfly cruising past bisecting the view. Early on a summer evening, while the sky is still pink.
With quite a bit of luck she will not mind the slight reek of burning leaves, nay, she will actually enjoy sitting next to a badger-like coot with a pipe.
Who likes hearing her talk about politics, food, and literature.
The principles of democrats, and international relations.
Charsiu, bitter melon, noodle soup, and shellfish.
Jane Austen, Dickens, Yourcenar, Nabokov.
Mere hypothetical examples, of course.

Did I mention the dragonfly flitting past?
A reincarnated bureaucrat, released from human drudgery, briefly experiencing freedom and a splendid summer before being reposted as ...... a person who will grow up to be a bureaucrat.

Ideally, and this is the ulterior motive that I have in mind, I would corrupt her and lead her astray. Spoil her entirely, and bind her closer to me, as if it were an addiction that she could not and would not want to break.
A constant need, a fevered heartache, a fiery longing.
First a Virginia flake in a fine Comoy.
Then a bit of dark twist. In a bent Sasieni, very elegant.
Soon a sandblast of excellent grain definition, filled with aged Dunhill's London Mixture - I have numerous tins that have matured for years.
Why, I'll even crack open a canister of Balkan Sobranie purchased three decades ago. Together we will experience the perfumed Levantine haze, drifting in and out of Turkish dreams with sooty creosote. Evening fades to black, as we recline upon our hillside enthralled with magic fumes that have not been smelled since the eighties.
After which we will descend from Olympus, and find a restaurant that serves the juiciest charsiu, crisp fresh crunchy bittermelon with a hint of garlic and blackbean sauce, rice stick noodle soup redolent of cilantro and porky bits, and steamed oysters of surpassing tenderness, creamy and custard-like.

She will smile with happy delight, and the lights will reflect off the cutlery, her glasses, and the pearl necklace.


Later we shall slowly stroll home through the now fog-veiled streets, deep in thought and comfortable in each other's presence. She with a dark mixture by Germain and Son in an old Charatan, I smoking Rattray's Old Gowrie or Brown Clunee, both manufactured by Kohlhase & Kopp from Germany, most likely in my favourite bent.
We will probably hold hands.
Very romantic.

I deliberately mentioned pearls, because I believe that all bright young ladies should wear pearls. It's exceptionally feminine.

The steamed oysters are essential at the restaurant I propose. There is something utterly delightful about cooked bivalves, and most normal women love seafood dishes.

Even though they would excite my gout, I shall not mention that.

Why spoil her happiness?

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  • At 10:30 AM, Blogger The back of the hill said…

    And, on the unlikely chance that there might be a sprightly young miss between eighteen and fifty years of age out there who is considering taking up the habit, here's an article she might find useful: 'FRIENDLY ENCOURAGEMENT TO A WOMAN WHO LIKES PIPES'.

    Really, I do not see why women should not smoke pipes. It's about time that young people start associating the fragrances of good pipe tobacco with their favourite aunties and older sisters, not just the men folk in the family.

  • At 12:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Ah, the romantic inclinations of middle aged pipe smoking men!


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