Sunday, July 10, 2022


Today was the meeting of the local pipe club, and I have absolutely no idea how the subject of tiger penises came up. Fortunately, I can describe them, especially if they're dried. And in a silk lined presentation box as if suitable for gifting. As they once would have been in certain social strata in East Asia. Imagine, if you will, someone handing over a handsome box and thus expressing the wish to Old Wong that he get his dander up. It would have to be a very near and dear friend or relative, because otherwise it might be considered far too forward. The implication being that Old Wong might not have enough dander, and how would anyone know unless a partner in his dandering activities had been indiscreet?

I do not wish to know about Old Wong's dander, thank you.
Tiger penises, when dry, look evil and spikey.

An old friend passed away years ago, and I helped his adult children with cleanup of the house with a view toward putting it on the market. "What the heck are these?" "Oh, those are dried tiger penises ..... in a nice gift box." "Eeeeew! You can have them!" That, more or less, is how I ended up having two dried tiger penises for a few years, until I gave them to a friend who was moving back to Massachusets. As conversation starters, such things are not very positive. They don't create a favourable impression. And hell would've probably frozen over before I stuck them in a large glass container filled with cognac and ginseng.
That would've been a waste of good brandy.

And that reminds me; how come we don't have Chinese American members of the local pipe club? I know that there are Chinese American pipesmokers, over the years I've met over a score of them, and some of them were alive until fairly recently too.

The sad thing is that pipesmokers do pass away eventually. I have told my fellow members that I am of two minds about my tobacco stockpile. If I have it torched as part of my funeral pyre, they'll be weeping at my funeral, whereas if I'm buried with it, at least they'll visit my grave. Of course I plan to keep on living till all of it is gone, so I'll probably die an old brown dessicated fossil by the time there are less than a dozen tins left, looking for all the world precisely like a ropey dry spike-covered tiger penis.

On a far more positive less-phallic note, the president of the pipe club has recovered from Covid and has his taste back, and two members I hadn't seen in years showed up again. One of them wished to know what I was smoking. With the back story. In detail.

"This Parker Billiard was the last pipe smoked by Captain Redbeard the pirate before he was hanged two hundred years ago. It was stolen from his coat pocket by a British Officer, whose family passed it on for three generations; I had to arm-wrestle one of his descendants for it, only winning that contest by breaking his fingers so that he lost his grip; the tobacco inside it today is a very spiritual pressed Virginia made by the last voodoo queen in Tortuga, according to a recipe straight from Middle Earth. Tolkien particularly liked it. It's the same tobacco that Clark Gable put in his pipe in that famous photo of him relaxing with book. In that picture he's smoking a Comoy Squat Bulldog, shape no. 351 -- a classic of the type -- of which I have three examples myself, and I do look mighty devilish and dashing when I smoke them, precisely like I'm going to take off and do a bombing run on Bremerhaven any moment now. But I have this billiard with me today. It always reminds me of when I traded in my peg leg for a fancy Japanese robotic Borg limb. Sony, I believe."

That was the best I could come up with on a moments notice.
Into every life a little poetic license must fall.

Actually, I bought the pipe from Marty Pulvers twenty years ago. The tobacco was a red Virginia product from Cornell & Diehl. With a bit of age on it, it is very nice indeed.

Tobaccos which were mentioned:

1Q. Ick poo.
Esoterica's Penzance.
Greg Pease's recreations of old Drucquer and Sons mixtures. Levant and Trafalgar are very nice, very old-fashioned nicely balanced.
Gawith & Hoggarth, various products including Chocolate flake.
Lakeland Dark, by Samuel Gawith.
St. James Flake, by Samuel Gawith.
Palmetto, by Cornell & Diehl. Which brings back different layers of memories for me. It's a stellar product. Jeremy Reeves must have been speaking to the last voodoo queen of Tortuga. Maybe he sold his soul. Don't know. Not going to ask probing questions.
Sun Bear, by the same company. Which smells awesome.

The other pipe I smoked was something which Tiberio had given to me several years ago after I cleaned up his Comoy Blue Ribands for him.
I didn't smoke very much today. I was hepped to the eyebrows on lots of tea, good company, and a very nice selection of cold cuts and cheeses. Neil knows meats.

To the best of my knowledge, none of the members present are dander-impaired.
But I didn't ask. I'm sure they would have said something.
It was a good meeting, with fine discussion.

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