Tuesday, December 13, 2022


Gentlemen smoke pipes, race track touts and petty criminals huff cigars (as do shrunken old men who live in Florida, go forty miles in the fast lane, smell of tunafish sandwiches, and have their slacks cinched up the sternum), and Americans puff ciggies.
If you have been to Oxford or Cambridge, or Leiden if you're Dutch, you must smoke only a pipe. That's the law. The rebels in the jungle will string you up by your balls if you don't, and take turns whacking you with long bamboo poles.

This, of course, is not strictly true. But it's sort of the idea. It goes along with marmalade (educated British bachelor), gentleman's relish (an unreliable sort with too much money), strong tea (Scotsman, Hongkonger, Yorkshireman, and gorhelpus the Irish), and the full English breakfast (mostly Americans).

Most of the pilots I've known (many of them military service men) smoked pipes. And all of them were gentlemen.

I still have my father's pipes. Only two of which I smoke.

This one is not one of them.
Loaded it up with Old Gowrie and smoked it after lunch in Chinatown. Kind of cold today. Few tourists. Dropped by my favourite provisioners for snackipoos, happily noted that they still have tonnes of the brand of funglei sou I like, and I'm so glad their business is thriving, headed down to Grant Avenue for the bus. Home by tea time.

I've had the pipe since the days of the old company. Bought it shortly after we moved to the new building. A very pedestrian shape, but a good smoker.

Years ago there was a pipe tobacco which I liked occasionally; medium Virginia flake with a bizarre topping like the aftershave lotion sold to wannabee playboys in the eighties. Quite good. Very degenerate. It would have been lovely today. It's not made anymore.
It was a church interior kind of fragrance.

While aromatic blends are often derided as ladies tobaccos, almost none of the women pipe smokers I've ever met liked them. So it's almost entirely men of very doubtful tastes who end up smelling like grandad, that sickly sweet vanilla caramel aroma which hides the reek of formaldehyde and urinary incontinence. As well as young men who haven't a clue.

Decent people, of whichever gender, will smoke good quality pipe tobacco that whifs of terpeneols (Latakia mixtures) or carotenoids and bread (Virginias and Virginia Perique mixtures), and has only the slightest of toppings if any. Their coffee is not flavoured with syrup or sprinkles, their tea is real tea, not one of those herbal concoctions, and contains no balls, pearls, squiggles, chunks, or fruit fragments. If they reek about of vanilla, it's because of their perfume; maybe their nose was plugged up that day, or they were half asleep when they applied it. It splashed. They'll do better tomorrow.
And it goes without saying that there is marmalade and sambal on the premises.
As well as at least one large teapot ready for use.
And they own lots of books.

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