At the back of the hill

Warning: May contain traces of soy, wheat, lecithin and tree nuts. That you are here
strongly suggests that you are either omnivorous, or a glutton.
And that you might like cheese-doodles.
Please form a caseophilic line to the right. Thank you.

Thursday, May 17, 2018


His daughter in law works at my bank, and I've spoken to him several times. He lives opposite, down the street a bit, and his dog is getting old. The first time he was taking a break from a mahjong game -- his brother who loves playing mahjong was in town from Macau -- and I was waiting for the bus to Tongyangfao with a cigar.

He's 62. Older than me. And yes, in worse health. His doctor advises him to quit drinking entirely, but a little wine is good for the heart, and without the pressing need to get up and take a leak, he couldn't walk the dog or have a late night smoke. All men need wine and the comfort of tobacco.
A late night smoke makes life so wonderful.
As, indeed, I know very well.

The pipe clenched between my teeth at present is older than me, a Comoy off-brand made sometime in the fifties. Virginia with a touch of Perique, and a glass of Scotch and water withing arm's reach. I had woken well after midnight, and decided that what would make life really perfect was cold air and tobacco. After a drink at a nearby establishment where I've known the owner for a very long time -- slow evening, neighborhood folks and one or two, restaurant people off-work -- and with my right leg was feeling like it was twenty again, I wandered home. Mr. Siew was letting the dog out and having a cigarette, despite his doctor's disapproval and entirely not withstanding his wife and daughter in law frowning on it.

Tobacco and Cantonese men go together like fish and ginger.
You cannot ever break that bond.

The pipe is is shape 110B, which a google image search will show as being a piss-elegant variation of a Billiard. It has started to smoke really well now. Some pipes acquire a set of memories associated with a time or place, like one of my favourites, which I will always thing of as belonging to a street crossing near three pork chop places in Chinatown, during cold weather. This pipe will always remind me of the alleyway with all the rats.
The rats are charming, lovable, and very happy.

We spoke of tea. Both of us have particular tastes. And while Monkey Pick is not on my top ten, prized Pu-Erh and great red robe are.
His dog doesn't care either way.

Mr. Siew headed back across the street, I went inside. The pipe was down to the dottle, and I poured myself a smidgen of Scotch. My right leg is, remarkably, not acting like a bitch. Life can be very good.

One of the briars I shall smoke tomorrow is a Josts Comoy shape 440 (also listed under different numbers), which Marty Pulvers sold me years ago.
A lovely little temptress, but without a strong time or place memory.
I worked at a downtown law office at the time, with a department head who collected Beanie Babies, and a supervisor who had invested in personal breast augmentation. Despite those two it was a good period.

Both of these old briars fondle very nicely.

One is associated with rats.

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