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.

Sunday, December 06, 2015


A reader (Zebra Chick) popped her head above the sand dunes to ask several questions:

"Hi blogger,

I don't know much about Saudi Arabia, but I came across your blog because it's a smoking blog. See, I've got to do a project about smoking, for my health class, in High School. But nobody smokes in my neighborhood; I've never mest a real-life smoker in my life, and I don't think I've even seen anyone smoking more than maybe three or four times in my life, when my family went on vacation.

Your blog is really da bomb, really kicks ass, lol. You really know your tobaccos. Can you answer some questions, that I haven't been able to find on statistics and health websites?

(1) How long does it take to smoke a cigarette? A cigarillo? A cigar? A pipe? (2) How many of these is it possible to smoke in an hour? When you're done with, say, one cigarette or one cigar, can you immediately start up with another one, and another one, or would you get sick? (3) Can it take different amounts of time, depending on how quickly and how hard one is smoking? What would be the difference, in terms of actions?

Thx so much! Hugs!"

Okay then! Actually, this isn't a smoking blog, though I do write a lot about the subject. Enjoying tobacco is a major part of my life.

"How long does it take to smoke a cigarette?" Between one minute, when you are sucking it down desperately, and seven, if you take the time to savour the full poisonous goodness.
Most people take about five minutes.

"A cigarillo?" Usually a bus turns the corner immediately, and I never get to finish it. But if I'm having a quick puff in the kitchen, half a cigarillo needs a few minutes at least.

"A cigar?" Depends on length and girth. What are often called "dog-walkers" last about ten or fifteen minutes, enough time for Rover to poo on your neighbors' lawn, behind the rose bushes, where Bob can't see it. Double Coronas can take over an hour, and a Salomon could be a commitment; at least an hour, sometimes three, it depends on size. Most robustos, toros, and torpedos will take forty five minutes or a little longer.

"A pipe?" Depends on size. In my case, half and hour to an hour or slightly more. Not all pipes are equal.

"Can you immediately start up with another one?" Of course you can! But why would you? The moment you light up, you are sabotaging your tastebuds. It is consequently best to wait a while, like an hour or so, before re-indulging. Many people find that one or two pipes or cigars a day is plenty.
Too much smoking leaves your mouth feeling raw and worn out.

Cigarettes, of course, are the paradigm of addictive, and people who are hooked often start feeling withdrawal symptoms within thirty minutes at the shortest, and hour and a half to the longest. Hourly intervals seem to be enough to keep most of them happy.

"Get sick?" Why yes! You can huff too much, and end up chucking your lunch all over the sidewalk. Which is very embarrassing if you're a teenager and anyone sees you.

If you're an adult, they'll simply assume you're a wino.

"Difference?" Smoke slowly, don't inhale, and have a drink handy if possible, for cigars and pipes. Cigarette addicts will smoke when and wherever, and care little about flavour or quality.

Both coffee and tea are excellent.

Nicotine is addictive, and not good for you.
Though it helps the short-term memory.
Good when studying for a test.

"Hugs!" At arms length only, please. I'm somewhat averse to being touched by non-intimates, but I appreciate the sentiment.

I suspect that whichever teacher set this assignment may be trying to find out who is already smoking, in hopes that they will inadvertently betray themselves.
It's a very sneaky thing to do.

Teenagers, per the currently operating legal codes, cannot buy tobacco. But if they could, the only rational choice would be good-quality pipe tobacco, rather than cigars, cigarillos, cheroots, or cigarettes.
Pipes inculcate a calm and thoughtful mental state.
Cigarettes are depraved.

For people who are not yet eighteen, acquiring pipes and appropriate tobacco may be a major problem, but it wasn't when I was growing up, for which I am eternally grateful. I bought my pipe when I was thirteen, a few weeks later I purchased a tin of Niemeijer's Scottish Mixture (no longer available).
Many of my classmates owned at least one pipe.

Modern teenagers will be dependent upon the kindness of various relatives and family friends in both regards, and while a week's worth of decent pipe tobacco in California costs from ten to twenty dollars, a pipe that you will still wish to own a few years hence will be between one and two hundred.
At first a less expensive pipe will have to do.
Even for the most surreptitious indulgence, you need two or three briars, as they have to 'rest' after use.

As you become more accustomed to smoking, your pipe collection will increase; there's always "just one more". I owned over two dozen pipes by the time I hit eighteen, I believe my father had a similar number when he graduated from high school.

I also stress that there is no reason on earth why women should not take up pipes instead of cigarettes. It's a far more civilized and charming habit, and good taste is not limited to one gender.
Just make sure it ain't some frou-frou "ladies pipe".
Those are good for pot, and nothing else.
Oh, and avoid aromatics.

By the way, none of the above should be construed as encouraging teenage smoking. Like extramarital sex in the religious part of the country, that should be saved for marriage.

Remember, smoking is bad for you.


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


  • At 8:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymeux said…

    "The moment you light up, you are sabotaging your tastebuds." Why on earth would you want to do that?

  • At 10:49 AM, Anonymous One, Two, Three, Four, Five said…

    One minute for a cigarette? Wow!!! Is that what they call a "Power Smoke"? So that means that if I tried really hard, I could smoke 3 packs of cigarettes in an hour, and 72 packs of cigarettes in 24 hours, without sleeping? And 100 packs of cigarettes in just over 33 hours? So if I do an intense Power Smoke from 5 AM on Saturday morning through 2:20 PM on Sunday morning, I could smoke 100 packs of cigarettes in that time? That is AWESOME. I should try that.

  • At 7:09 PM, Blogger The back of the hill said…

    Anonymeux at 8:46 AM,
    Because there's a cumulative pleasantness, and it's relaxing. And the tastebuds don't take long to recover, if you smoke moderately.
    There's an entire aesthetic operating with pipes and cigars. Pipes especially.

    If, however, like One, Two, Three, Four, Five at 10:49, someone tries to smoke 100 packs of cigarettes all the way from Saturday morning at five till Sunday morning after midnight, they will probably be sick as a dog, have a mouth that feels like a trainwreck, and end up hospitalized. Plus, after barfing several times, the very smell of a cigarette will make them heave.

  • At 7:09 PM, Blogger The back of the hill said…

    One, Two, Three, Four, Five at 10:49;

    Yes, you should. You really should.

    Go for it.

  • At 7:09 PM, Blogger The back of the hill said…

    Pall Malls or Cool Filter Kings.

  • At 8:19 AM, Anonymous One, Two, Three, Four, Five said…

    I was thinking of doing my 100-pack Power Smoke this weekend, but it's my sister's wedding. I mentioned to her the idea of maybe doing my Power Smoke at the wedding, as part of the wedding entertainment, and she thought that that was a cute idea; but then when I told her that there was a good chance that I might puke a lot, she was icked out. So I won't be doing it this weekend. Hopefully next weekend.

    You say Pall Malls or Cool Filter Kings? Why specifically do you think that those brands would be good?


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