After which I leave for lunch in Chinatown.
Or an early dinner.
During cold weather that is ill-advised.
"Dammit, Old Toad, have you been entertaining the ice zombies again?!?"
Not opening the windows to air the place out will ALSO present problems.
No, I haven't been burning incriminating correspondence, and there wasn't a trash can fire. Non-smokers have sensitive noses.
Yesterday was International Pipe Smoking Day. But my apartment mate, Savage Kitten, was only going to work for a few hours, because she wasn't feeling well. Combine that with the cold spell we are currently having, and you can see a difficulty. A goodle on the horizon, as it were.
Fly, and ointment.
Turn on the heat in the bathroom, open the window a bit, run hot water for a long soak, and light up a Nicaraguan cigar. Lay back, and occasionally flick the ash into the crapper.
That only goes so far.
[Less than 2 hours.]
I was out of the house before two o'clock. Two pipes in my pocket, a pouch filled with Best Bayou Slice, and planning to have some plum vegetable fatty pork (梅菜扣肉 'mui choi kau yiuk') over rice for lunch.
While eating I was acutely aware of the Chinese loony behind me.
And grateful that she didn't recognize me at all.
I know her. She's a fruitcake.
First bowl, in a Dunhill Liverpool I've owned since I worked at Drucquers.
It was an exquisite smoke, but even with a stop indoors to pick up tea and Yunnan white medicine (雲南白藥 'wan naam paak yeuk'), my fingers were turning blue from the cold. Raynaud's phenomenon in action.
Combined with muscular aches and stiffness.
Bright spot: Three Chinese girls are now freaked out, because I spoke Cantonese in response to their Mandarin, and indicated that I could also understand them when they spoke Toisan.
I am a potent kwailo.
Once I finished that bowl I ended up at a bakery warming my paws for forty five minutes with a hot cup of milk tea while observing the old crotchets who hang out there. All of whom are filled with beans, oh boy! Must be the sugar in the egg tarts and the paper-wrapped cup cakes. After an old wife biscuit
I filled another pipe. My hands had recovered.
I lit up again as soon as I was outside.
A sandblast bent bulldog.
Four blocks later I was wondering if I was an idiot. It is very hard to tamp your pipe with your hands in your coat pockets. Damned well impossible. On the other hand, a bristly pipe cleaner doesn't prick at all. Maybe gloves are a good idea? Perhaps when I get home I should cut thumbholes in two old socks. Yeah, I got those, and I might as well re-purpose them. Maybe four old socks. Two for each hand. The holes go where the heels are.
Long slog to the end of bus line, while thinking about socks. Holed socks. Mis-matched socks. Ill-used socks that could have a new lease on life.
Many old socks. Ratty but warm and colourful socks
Maybe wash 'em, just to be safe.
Got home by five thirty. Took until seven before my hands had recovered. By which time I felt like having another cup of tea and going out onto the front steps. With a Wilke squat bulldog. Saddle stem.
Filled with Greg Pease's Fillmore mixture.
Bitches, it's permafrostic!
Next year, let's make International Pipe Smoking Day better.
By celebrating it during the warm season.
April or May, I should think.
I hate cold.
All three pipe fulls were delicious, and perfect for IPSD.
I have an entire box of warm footy rags I should look at.
Some of them are in decent condition.
Just need a rinse.
The rodents are thriving in Spofford Alley. After eleven PM, while enjoying a cigarillo, dozens of them traversed the area between where I was standing (near the overflowing garbage) and the lit doorways of mahjong parlours halfway down, just beyond the barber shop. Twenty minutes. Plus.
My friends the feral white rats are still there. At least one of them is male.
They are all charming, with lively personalities.
Two of them don't mind my feet.
If I stand still.
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