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Author Topic: Smoking a pipe.
WornOldMotorbike
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Rogin said "Within three weeks you'll have bought a pipe" on the Brighton thread, and it got me thinking. I saw a younger fellow last week, maybe 30 or 32, walking downtown and smoking a pipe. Looked truly and deliberately odd. By deliberately I mean that the guy looked like the sort who'd think "You know, I'd like the look of me smoking a pipe. I think I shall do it." But, I mean, that seems like what you'd have to do to smoke a pipe. It's not like a cigarette, where someone hands you one for a drag, and then you bum a few, and then you're smoking fags full time. I pipe is a real decision. There's a financial outlay, and the time and effort of keeping the damn thing packed, lit, cleaned, etc. I bet the pipe-crafting industry used to employ thousands of people, and now there are probably a handful left, working out of a small cottage in Ireland or something. Or China or Cuba.
Any pipe people here?

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Reed
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A guy who just moved from our office to the New York office often had a pipe in his mouth. I never saw him smoke it, but I think he'd go outside with the cigarette people sometimes. He also wore japanese slippers and some sort of Samurai-style bathrobe over his normal clothes in the office sometimes.

He's also really loud. And gay.

Weird.

My grampa smoked a pipe until he had some cardiovascular problems. Of course, he was born before WWI.

When I was a garbage man, the guy I usually rode with smoked a pipe. He used the high-pressure air-hose in the garage to clean it out. Worked like a champ.

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ursus arctos
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He must have cut quite a figure in Rockville.
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Reed
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The loud gay guy? Yes, he did. I think he'll be less conspicuous in New York, although the scuttlebutt is that the rest of the office is already annoyed at how loud he is on the phone.
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ursus arctos
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Yes, that fellow. BTW, was it a "happy coat"?

 -

I assume the garbageman was in State College.

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Reed
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Yes, and Yes.

BTW, the guy with the happy coat is roughly 30 and not at all Japanese, which adds to the overall picture of oddness.

[ 21.08.2007, 20:58: Message edited by: Reed ]

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WornOldMotorbike
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My pipe guy cut a similar figure: tall and thin, wearing those cheap, black, Chinese-made Converse sneakers, with a shaggy Che Guevara beard and a canvas shoulder-bag. You just know he's reading/writing manifesto-type poetry and enjoys telling people he doesn't own a tv. The pipe was, really, his only accessory option.
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Reed
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Our guy doesn't have the beard, but otherwise, it's the same.
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Rogin the Armchair fan
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If you dig up a handful of soil from any field in the West Country, you'll find bits of clay pipes, that the farm workers used to smoke in the early 1800s. Apparently they were so ubiquitous that they were almost as "throwaway" as cigarette filters are now - smoke one, toss it, reach for another. Amazing really, as they are exquisitely crafted objects when you see one reconstructed fully. There must have been a whole industry built up about making the things, unless people used to routinely make them at home, along with other pottery skills we've long since lost as a society?

Tubby?

[ 21.08.2007, 21:08: Message edited by: Rogin the Armchair fan ]

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fritz in a fez
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They used to have some great pipe adverts didn't they.

There was That Condor Moment.

Then there was a brand called Bruno that caused pipe smokers to be chased down the road by v attractive young ladies.

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Reed
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Are there still Tobacconist Shops? There used to be one, in all places, in our crappy little indoor mall. Right next to the Corn Dog stand and the Kay-Bee Toys.
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fritz in a fez
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Loads over here. they tend to revel in names like Smokers Paradise.
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Amor de Cosmos
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My Dad smoked a pipe from when he was born (well almost) until he was about 70. Always the same kind; a briar with a curve and same tobacco: St Bruno, so Birthday and Christmas presents were never a problem. They're as messy as fuck to clean, gobs of dark brown spittle and bits of charred baccy all over the furniture and carpet drove my Mum up the wall. But I always liked the smell, and associate it with domestic tranquillity. The process of filling and lighting a pipe, or the way my dad did it, was a kind of meditation. Scrape the inside of the bowl thoroughly, a physical almost agricultural action. Invert the pipe and tap it three times in the ashtray. Detach the stem from the bowl and riddle it with a pipe-cleaner, a push and turn motion. Reattach the bowl and blow vigorously down the mouthpiece, depositing emulsified saliva over a quarter of the living room. Open a tin of tobacco and pull out just enough to fill the pipe. Now and this is the sacremental part without putting the pipe down, (don't know why that was important, but it was) shred and massage the clump of moist leaf to just the right consistency. Place it gently in the bowl and tamp down with the index finger, never one of those metal gizmos they used to put on the end of penknives. Then apply a flame, with spill or lighter, not a match. About three short but strong inhalations should start it smouldering. Be prepared to reignite every few minutes. It was his personal tea ceremony.

BTW, was it a "happy coat"?

No, but it might have been a happi coat.

[ 21.08.2007, 21:48: Message edited by: Amor de Cosmos ]

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Reed
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My mother says that my grandfather could handle his pipe, a fishing rod and the canoe paddle all at the same time.

The high-pressure hose at the garbage truck shed did all of those cleaning steps in about two seconds.

Holy shit. I just realized that those little wiry things called pipe-cleaners that we used for various arts and crafts in grade school were actually to clean tobacco pipes. I'm 34, and all this time I thought they were actually just made for us poke into styrofoam balls to make ants and were called pipe cleaners because they looked like the things used to snake a drain.

The things one learns.

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Reed
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If nobody smokes a pipe anymore, than what's the point of a tabacconist? Hardly anybody rolls their own cigs these days, except hippies and Sam Spade. Cigars have their own shops.
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