Monday, January 02, 2023


So the apartment mate asked if I required new rainy weather footgear. Because she doesn't want me to get trenchfoot. "We need to be careful about people your age, what if you get trenchfoot? It's bad for people like you, there you'll be worried about your feet, and 'bang', a sniper will get you. You'll have lit your fag and offered one to your mate, and the snipers will shoot all of you!"

What, there are snipers in this neighborhood?

"There are snipers everywhere!"

According to Wikipedia: "Trench foot is a type of foot damage due to moisture. Initial symptoms often include tingling or itching which can progress to numbness. The feet may become red or bluish in color. As the condition worsens the feet can start to swell and smell of decay. Complications may include skin breakdown or infection. Trench foot occurs due to prolonged exposure of the feet to cold, damp, and often unsanitary conditions.

After the condition has occurred, pain medications may be required during the gradual rewarming process. Pain may persist for months following treatment. Surgery to remove damaged tissue or amputation may be necessary.

Those in the military are most commonly affected, though cases may also occur in the homeless. The condition was first described during Napoleon Bonaparte's retreat from Russia in the winter of 1812

End cite.

I am disturbed by the information that there are snipers everywhere, including this particular neighborhood (the western slopes of Nob Hill in San Francisco).
Further quote (same source: "Advanced trench foot often involves blisters and open sores, which lead to fungal infections; this is sometimes called jungle rot. It is marked by severe short-term pain when feeling returns."
End quote.

Apparently applying whale oil prevents infections.
I suspect that olive oil has the same effect.
If my feet smell like salad, this is why.

This is NOT Vietcong territory OR Glastonbury.
The rebels have been largely contained.
Or expelled to the suburbs.

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


Alcyon said...

Yr average reader is likely complaining: "trench foot? snipers? I came for Balkan Sobranie and pipe smoking, confound it!"

Six degrees of separation, and all that. Your flat mate is slightly confused. Offering a fag to one's comrade won't bring down a hail of sniper-fire, it's the "three on a match" wot does it. Well, according to soldiers since the Crimean War, if memory serves. Part of the lore behind the legend has it that it was either originated by, or promulgated energetically by, Ivar Krueger, the rahther shifty founder of the Swedish Match Co. Which company became, in a complicated business way, a part of the Scandinavian Tobacco Company. The latter provides the blend that I have long enjoyed, and am smoking right now: Stokkebye's PS-41 Cube Cut. It may never enter the pantheon of Great Blends, but I've always enjoyed it.

It seems the suspect ethics of Krueger haven't faded over time. It's odd, given the sensitive, complaining nature of many of we pipe smokers, that I haven't heard a word of complaint about STG and Mac Baren stitching up the tobacco market quite nicely. Buying up online retailers, prices rising -dramatically!- in seeming co-ordination...very odd, indeed.

One day, when I'm feeling particularly contrary,I'll complain about the obeisance, I would contend largely unwarranted, proffered to the leading reviewer of blends.

So there. This entry of yours is indeed pipe-related, there's no cause for complaint.

A happy and healthy new year to you, sir!

The back of the hill said...

Alcyon, the most recent essay isn't pipe related, but instead shows a very handsome handbag ....... probably perfect for packing a pomeranian. Though a man would repurpose a Birkin bag for a pipe. ;-D

An altogether better use of such a frippery.

The back of the hill said...

I'll have to try Stokkebye's PS-41 Cube Cut sometime, even though the leading reviewer only gave it two stars.

Alcyon said...

CC is an exemplar of a "cheap 'n' cheerful" blend. I worked outdoors for a railway for many years, hardly the environment for a subtle, aged blend. But, a medium strength, lightly sweetened and flavoured, slow burning burley/virginia mix in a cob or Falcon? Perfect!

I recently checked out the reviews for Davidoff's Royalty blend. There I found some wag listed butter as one of the flavours. Sure enough, many of the reviewers -though not The Great One- wax poetic about the splendours of butter-infused tobacco! I found it enjoyable for some reason.

The back of the hill said...

Butter? That's how Connecticut wrapper leaf is often described for cigars. I myself have nave experience butter. But a slight touch of firecured in a blend can come across as "creamy".

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