Monday, April 15, 2024


There was just too much yesterday. Pipe club meeting, with two sales reps, a lot of noise, micromanagement, and liver pâté. Plus a tin of Cornell & Diehl's Steamworks: a nice limited edition pipe tobacco, of which I have more than the other members, because I am a selfish opportunist. Anyhow, it is no longer available, although at some point Jeremy Reeves will compound more of it. Apparently the process requires a lot of steam and heat, hence the name. And, being a wetter tobacco than many other C&D products, mold remains an issue, so if you pop a tin go through it fast, OR let it dry a bit. But it's delightful, and I am distinctly pleased that the other members remained largely unaware of it when it was still available.

Ya gotta move fast. When stock goes up, it might meteorically rise, and it's good to be in on the beginning. If the American forces are withdrawing from Oota Bonga, get one of the first helicopters out, rather than waiting till the last possible moment and fighting for a seat when the People's Fundamentalist Puritan Front is marching in and taking over the parliament. Those times that C&D releases a limited edition? Purchase a test tin immediately.
Smoke a few bowls, and if you like it, buy everything in sight.

Fortunately for me, most of the pipe club are my age, give or take a decade, and letting early senescent mental rot take over, cruising through life barely noticing the pretty butterflies and placidly wondering if they should wash themselves this week. Rather than keenly aware of the wildfire at the edge of the yard or the horde of zombies on the horizon.

See, Jeremy Reeves is a ruddy genius. A rockstar.
A Mick Jagger of tobacco, without the lips.
Just guessing about the lips.
Never met him.
There are, in no particular order except perhaps alphabetically, five star tobacco blenders in post apocalyptic America. Per Georg Jensen, Carl McAllister, Russ Oullette, Greg Pease, and Jeremy Reeves.

[There are also the McNeils of that late and lamented outfit in Kansas City, and their guest-blenders Tad Gage and Fred Hanna. Plus one or two others who have done marvelous stuff. But they are mostly quiescent. And Robert Rex is still with us, but he's been doing top-notch wine for nearly four decades now.]

So in some ways, these are the best of times. America was built by tobacco. It gave schools and burgers to orphans, built hospitals and universities, funded libraries, railways, and roads, and supported the arts and public projects. There are many great smoking blends available nowadays that our grandfathers couldn't even dream of in their caves and hovels while absentmindedly scratching their privates. We should remember that.
Credit where credit is due.

Related thereto, I should mention that there are, broadly speaking, four types of smokers, who represent the totality of American society: hobbit wannabees and disgusting perverts who hotbox Aromatic shite, representing the great trailerparked heartland and the solid concrete fundament of the bourgeoisie; flake and Virginia smokers, being scholars and thoughtful writers like Tolkien, Bertrand Russel, and Simenon; Balkan blend aficionados, William Faulkner, Clark Gable, and that bright young collegeman wearing a tweed sports coat who tutored young ladies in Latin and algebra when you were at Harvard you gay young blade; and lastly crusty and grumpy puffers of old-style American economy blends weighted toward Burleys wearing bib overalls with their tractors out doing the back forty.

At yesterday's meeting of the pipe club, the first and last type were not present. We did not miss them. We do not talk about Gandalf, none of us know where the back forty is.
Perhaps in Kansas.

Tasty snacks, Scotch and Rye, and enough caffeine to launch a battleship.
Naturally I went for the first and last.

Anyhow, I'm a bit pooped today.
And my legs hurt.


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