Tuesday, January 31, 2023


One of the characteristics of cigar smokers is an almost unbearable snooty one-upmanship. Everything they do is special. They have the best motorcars, the correctest political ideas, the most elite hiking shoes, and exquisite tastes, far better than yours. Their cheeses are well-chosen, their liquours oh my heavens how refined.

Great wine. Great shakes. Great Scotch.

It's one hundred dollars a pour.

Because it is noble.

As well as names almost entirely unpronouncable by commoners. Awesome.

Of course, after four fine cigars accompanied by one or two pours each, our happy snob is ready to rumble. Or slide off his silk-upholstered bar stool and call an Uber. Because he knows his insurance would go up if he crashed the Porsche.

I would like to claim that pipesmokers are not at all like that; except that we are. Some of us positively gloat over our fine briars carved by the virgin hands of master craftsmen, and our broad ranging stockpiles of blends, including rare Crimean Gavniyok, not produced since the time of the Czars. As well as this cunning antique pipe tamper that folds out to show Saint Anthony pierced by arrows! The perfectly calibrated prong is a scraper!

It's a bit hard to swallow. You've just set fire to some leaves, and will progressively sabotage your tastebuds for the next forty minutes. As well as social interactions, because people will avoid you. That latter is partly the point of the exercise.

Depending on the person, I do not mind being bothered while I smoke.
Especially if she is nice, and finds the pipe appealing.
But really, that never happens.

NOTE: Less than twenty minutes ago I was outside smoking a Dunhill shell billiard, bent, patent no. 417574/34, which Mark Kaufman used to have. Not a bad smoke, but I seldom take it outside the house. Mark passed away over four decades ago. So it's a memento.
No charming passer-by smiled in happiness at the sight or smell.

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

1 comment:

Alcyon said...

I have become (even more!) insufferable! Your mention of the French government's thoughts of banning Gitanes and Gaulioses cigarettes for being "too cool" has me applying retroactive cool upon my much younger self; I consumed an inordinate number of Gitanes back when, much to the displeasure of anyone downwind. Mind, I was buying them because they were a nickel cheaper than Camels. That John Lennon smoked Gauloises was reason enough for me to never consider them.

I may have slightly exaggerated my family's general distaste for spice (no I didn't!): nutmeg, there is the family nutmeg! I believe there are two and a half whole nutmegs, with grater, in a wee blue glass originally purchased by my grandmother, held by my parents, that will come to me when they pass. Along with a bust of General Gordon. Used only for egg nog, which nobody drinks, they are the eternal nutmegs! The Wikipedia page about nutmeg is rather more exciting than expected; you Heines oughta be ashamed! So should we all...

Preferring Simenon to Tolkien or Doyle is a sign of having one's head screwed on right. I'm sure Tolkien was a decent enough chap, but, whenever I see his name I recall reading of his discussing a new addition to his canon with his academic friends, whereupon one of them ejaculated "not another f------ elf story!". This nameless friend also had his head screwed on right.

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