Tuesday, June 27, 2017


Naturally this blogger likes to mansplain, whitesplain, and goysplain. In addition to Chinesesplain, Filippinosplain, Dutchsplain, and foodsplain.
I am a knowitall of monumental proportions, which was pointed out to me on a discussion forum where I very rarely comment anymore, precisely because a few months ago Barnaby Y. called me a notorious troll and Ariella A. sneered that I was a typical ignorant Ashkie control freak.

That was back in April, and since then I have largely ignored them.
Eff it all, it's not worth it, and who cares what those people think?

Fortunately, what with being a dislikable middle-aged single white grumpus of the Gentile persuasion, there is still ONE subject on which I am totally qualified to splain like Topsy. It's a field where all opinions are within the realm of possibility, and only totally neurotic people take everything including their own selves seriously.

No, not baseball! Feh!

'Pieces of briar burl carved into functional yet aesthetically pleasing shapes for the purpose of combusting tobacco leaves that have been processed in a multitude of ways guaranteed to piss off large Berkeley earthmoms of either gender and every age.'


In addition to all my other flaws listed above I am also a pipe smoker.

Every rational human being needs three to twenty pipes. It depends on how often you smoke, how Spartan you wish your life to become, and how neurotic you are. If you smoke habitually, eschew Spartanism, and veer towards excess on that last measure, you may need more.
If you live in a cave and practice meditation, less.

A previous opinionated post on this subject can be found here: HOW MANY PIPES DO YOU NEED?.

Since then, nothing has changed.

All I would add is that you should have pipes which are comfortable to the hand and pleasing to the eye, of a reasonable dimension irrespective of gender, which perform well and which you keep clean.

There are a welter of briars within easy reach as I write this. As a battery of such things should be. You may also wish to have a plurality of teapots, as well as books.

I would also argue for a comfy throw rug, as well as a fake Persian carpet or two, but that, really, is a personal decision. I shan't judge.

Only dingoes and gun nuts smoke aromatics, however. Civilized individuals always veer toward either Oriental / Balkan / English mixtures, or Virginia / Virginia & Perique blends. These have the most pleasing taste, complexity to excite the intellect, mood associations, and ever more iridescent connotative facets.

Realistically, the occasional pipe smoker needs about half a dozen briars for rotational purposes, the regular smoker will probably require ten or a dozen. This is so they can be rested after use, which allows the tars and resins deposited on the inner wall and in the shank to dissipate and break down into simpler chemicals -- they will be there even after you use pipe cleaners -- and the carbon layer inside the bowl to stabilize. If the same piece is smoked too frequently the 'juices' get boiled into the wood, the nasty stuff burned into it, and pretty soon the pipe smells like a sewer.

This goes for women too. Chemistry does not respect gender.

Rotate your pipes. And use your throw rug.

Summer in SF is cold.

I am currently enjoying a bowl of three year old Escudo, in case you were wondering. The tin was hiding on my bed under a pile of books.
Lovely reeky little discs.

In short, the bare minimum anybody needs is this: three to six briars, a tamper, a bundle of pipe cleaners, matches, at least one tin or jar each of a Virginia compound or flake and a Latakia mixture, one teapot, a throw rug, a book, plus an ashtray or a small saucer for any detritus.

Avoid all large Berkeley earthmoms.

Life is too short.


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


Nebraskaman said...

What do your parents think of your smoking habit? Do they approve of it??

Did they approve of it back when you were a teenager?

The back of the hill said...

My mom gave me a long lecture about the evils of smoking. Receding hairline and gums, bad breath, incontinence, stunting of growth, trembling hands, emphysema, heart palps, possible infertility and falcidity, mental disorders, rotting teeth ..... she laid it on thick.
She huffed three Kent Filter Kings while doing so.

My dad lowered his paper, disdainfully handed over the tin of tobacco they had found, and said "son, good pipe tobacco does NOT smell like a Turkish whorehouse. Please smoke good stuff."

The newspaper went back up, my mother's jaw damned near hit the floor, and what I heard was "please smoke".

The next week I asked for an increase in my allowance, because 'good stuff' costs money.

Got it, too.

The back of the hill said...

Both of my parents are no longer with us, btw.

Nebraskaman said...

Oh. I assume they died of smoking?

The back of the hill said...


The back of the hill said...

Nebraskaman, do you have an agenda?

Nebraskaman said...

An agenda? Certainly not. I care about pure knowledge for its own sake!

Do you know about "vagendas"?

The back of the hill said...

Didn't know about 'vagendas' till you mentioned them. Now I cannot get what I read out of my mind.

Why do you ask?

Nebraskaman said...

Well, you asked about agendas, so I asked about vagendas. Association.

Anyway, you once mentioned that you had a straight three-month period, as an adult, when you didn't smoke a tobacco even once. When was this, in the 1990s? And what was your motivation? Did you feel guilty that you weren't fulfilling your father's instruction to "please smoke"?

Nebraskaman said...

I'd still like to hear about that, pleeze.

The back of the hill said...

It just happened. Nothing deep, no motivation, no subtext.

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