Thursday, July 20, 2023


After paying I went outside and lit up the briar I had filled before my food came. A young fellow passing by complimented me on the pipe. For which I thanked him. He was about the age I was when I came back to the States, or slightly older. Precisely when a young man should be smoking jaunty numbers that look spiffing.

When one has eaten well, is filled with caffeine and enjoying the day, there's naught finer.

Even if a man is now considerably older.

As they say, 'mature'.

What I now realize is that someone remarking on the pipe is a perfect opportunity for one to be a crashing bore. Or, conversely, fascinate no end. It's an opening. And I should discuss the pipe with the young man (or young woman). Satisfy their undoubted curiosity.
"Thank you, sir (or miss). This pipe is rather like the very first pipe which my father purchased when he was at Beverly Hills Highschool. I borrowed it for a few months when I was that age. It reminds me of sunlit afternoons after classes, the back courtyard with books and a pot of tea, and scenes described in the novels of Vladimir Nabokov and Simenon. The company that made it, Kriswill, closed their doors years ago, but you should be able to find a Comoy just like it. The shapes to search for are Liverpool 233 or 436, Lovat 210 or 212."

"I'm smoking a medium Virginia blend. Do you like the smell? It's evocative. May I suggest Peterson Flake in the blue and white labelled tin, which is actually Dunhill Flake re-branded after the copyright holders decided to disassociate the name Dunhill from tobacco. Or Orlik Golden Sliced. Both are excellent flakes, and pretty much the standards for their type. There are also fine flakes by GLPease and Cornell & Diehl. Just as great with tea and a book."

Anyone who compliments a person on his pipe is manifestly a kindred spirit.
Which is exceptionally rare these days.

Three people did so yesterday in Chinatown.
Two men and one woman.


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