Wednesday, April 22, 2020


One thing I've noticed on my forays out of the house to smoke is that the street people by and large do not have masks. And because masks are now strongly recommended -- many stores will not let you in without one, public transit might not let you board, and people in elevators justifiably balk at the non-masked -- you can see the problem immediately. So when I left the house for the second pipe of the day I had a packet of masks in my coat pocket. Three pavement Americans, six masks, in addition to whatever else. Can't buy booze, ciggies, or food without one. Besides, you're less likely to frighten the transplantees from other states if you wear it.

Mind you, I like the concept of Americans from elsewhere kacking their pants on the streets of San Francisco. It's because of them driving up the rent and reducing housing stock that we have so many street people.
But that won't help the indigents in question.

Fittingly, the pipe I was smoking was what I fondly call my starvation pipe. Took three months of eating 25¢ packs of noodles to pay for it. As at that time, I was not fully employed, or employable.
But it was worth it.

It was nearly a decade before I started eating any noodles regularly again. As I did for lunch today: soupy noodles with grilled sausage and leafy greens, curry paste, chili sauce, and a squeeze of citrus.

At the time I purchased this Dunhill, I still smoked Balkan blends. The most famous exemplars of Balkans then were Balkan Sobranie (hence the name for the type), Dunhill (various fine mixtures), plus Rattray's, McConnell's, McClelland, and Drucquer tobaccos. It was before the internet, so nobody had even heard of Presbyterian, and several other products were equally unknown. About ten years ago I switched to Virginia & Perique blends, flakes, and nice compounds of various flue-cured leaves.

Nowadays I eat noodles fairly often. Easier than rice, and with the right meats and vegetables, very convenient. Plus I like my own cooking.

What I smoked in the Dunhill this morning was something I had mixed about eight years ago. Nicely aged at this point, mellow, complex. Guaranteed to offend fastidious people. Whom I do not know.


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