TEENAGE SON SMOKING A PIPE
Naturally, being the avuncular expert on such matters, I sought to reassure her. Or him. Seeing as I can neither figure out the gender of the sender, nor their own preference.
"He's as gay as he should be, and not one iota more."
The idea that pipe-smoking equals sexual confusion is as loopy as the concept that bow ties do. Which I've also heard.
Maybe your son IS gay. That's between him and his wrinkled sheets, and I can assure you his smoking equipment and his tobacconist had nothing to do with it. We ("tobacconists") are not in the business of deciding whether the customer prefers bent or straight, and if asked will simply say "choose what seems sensible and right for you".
Although, if a young lady were to ask about pipes, we might indicate that certain shapes (apples, bent billiards, Rhodesians, Zulus, and semi-bent bulldogs) flatter the girlish face.
A large Peterson System Standard, however, might be a bit much.
Not quite a question of proportion as it likely is of heft.
Women simply have smaller jaws than men.
We might also ask her out on a date. The concept of a young lady who not only likes the smell of good pipe tobacco but actually indulges in it herself is infinitely charming. Trust me, the appeal is immense. A woman who smokes pipes will never want for friendship; her company is magnetic and energizing.
Men, not nearly so much. Teenage boys, hardly at all.
We expect teenage boys to take up a pipe.
If they don't, that is peculiar.
I finished my response to the querent by suggesting that the young gentleman in question might need a greater allowance. Good pipes can be a wee bit pricy, and surely one would want him to have at least one Charatan or Dunhill before he's eighteen?
As well as at least half a dozen reliable briars of various makes, so that he can stay up all night studying when necessary.
The same absolutely goes for girl pipe smokers. More so, even.
Pipesmoking manifestly aids intellectual development.
Irrespective of gender or preference.
Straight or bent.
If a young lady, a prince shape.
If a boy, perhaps a billiard.
Now, stop worrying.
And light up.
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