Tuesday, December 01, 2020


A friend who now lives among the scalawags in the vicinity of The Great Dismal Swamp (the state of North Carolina) was in town and visited me at work. It was disappointing to realize that he voted for the Orange Faced Carpetbagger, but not extremely surprising. He used to live in Marin, and like many people in that fine place was always not entirely moored in reality.
He fits in really well among the Scuppernong eaters.
His republicanism is not nearly as painful as the irreality of another person who still lives in Marin, who approvingly cites Rand Paul, believes that masks are of no use (he read that on the internet), and that all religions and sciences originated in Ur of the Chaldees, which he thinks was founded by Space Aliens fifty thousand years ago. Whom I rely upon for insights into true batshit craziness. The last mentioned gentleman is a cigar smoker.
Many of whom are certifiably insane.
Pig-headed old farts.

Often, the more luftmenschliche narren among the cheroot chomping savages are divorced. Sometimes there are still longsuffering women in the background, who bravely put up with the hardship of living with know-it-all irrealists who are never wrong or to be contradicted, because after he showers and if he shuts up he's actually "quite loveable". Or decorative at least.
Well, bearable. They've domesticated him somewhat.

They've learned not to feed him beans.

I could never be a cigar smoker. I've realized, often, that I am wrong, and manfully admitted it. Both my apartment mate and the capable woman with whom I worked this weekend have been recipients of that admissal, embarassingly more often than I would like to admit. And I should mention that both women are good at mathematics, which may be a factor, and likely has a bearing on their thought methodologies.

Despite there being a fair proportion of self-made men, succesful at business, among the cigar smokers (in other words privileged white males from well-to-do bourgeois backgrounds), as you would expect -- cigars are not affordable to poor shlubs struggling to make it in a white man's world -- there is reason to suspect that mathematical skill, logic, and an appreciation for the scientific method are not strong suits or held in high esteem among them. Certainly the monotonous droning from the backroom gentlemen who now hang out on the porch gives no evidence whatsoever of rigorous thought processes.

There are indeed thoughtful and intelligent cigar smokers, they do exist. Largely they stick to themselves, reading a book or pursuing photography. One or two of them (precious rareties) engage in stimulating conversation. They are actually wonderful fellows.
There are only half a dozen such in the Bay Area.
Idiots are far more numerous.

The pipe club met this weekend. When pipe smokers prefer the non-aromatic tobaccos, they tend to be much more intelligent, more sociable, and more lonely. Good heads acquire good habits, and those pipe smokers who eschew aromatics and smoke carefully and thoughtfully, thus not overheating or ruining their briars with soggy deposits and tar, necessarily tend toward thoughtfulness and perspective. Fans of aromatic pipe tobacco will far more likely be Gandalf imitators, vulgarians, and rather coarse. I do not know why this is. It's a sound observation.
I cannot speculate as to the reasons for it.
And there are exceptions.

Eight pipe smokers were on the lawn this past weekend. At distances from each other. Both Latakia mixtures and Virginia Perique blends were smoked. Good tobacco, without any added flavourings or chemicals. I remained inside, puffing a flake light topped with pear essence. Once the tobacco was lit, the odd perfume dissipated, leaving a solid light to mid range flue-cured compound that rendered down to a soft whitish ash. There was barely any hint of oddness in the smoke. Despite the added fragrance it's a clean tobacco.

If it were not a brand new product from a well-reputed company, I never would have let my curiosity get the upper hand, but I'll happily finish the tin.

The other new product has Virginia, burley, and black cavendish, with a sweet Bourbon sauce added. Yeah, no. Sounds frightful, and that curious I just cannot be. Somewhere there's a slope-browed caveman who will love it.


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Lady Ignatia J. Reilly said...

The abundance of luftmenschen in Boston is why I remain a spinster.

That, and my cigarette smoking, which most in Boston regard as only slightly less heinous than a predilection for screwing farm animals.

The cats factor in, too. Patches, whore that she is, is all over any visitors like bad credit; Zangwill is almost insanely jealous and gives any male visitors the stinkeye despite having his own manhood removed as a kitten; and Asher sheds like crazy all year round.

Add in my literary pretensions, love of foreign cinema, disinterest in local sport, and habit of whipping up Ashkenazi Jewish-hillbilly fusion cuisine whilst listening to yé-yé and other Eurovision schlock - there is no man on the Eastern seaboard who would put up with my quirks.

The back of the hill said...

Sounds like the description of what would be an interesting television show: cats, cigarettes, and Jewish Hillbilly cuisine. With some sharp remarks in foreign languages. Although everything in a Boston accent.

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