Join 3,374 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Leci n'est pas une pipe
December 1, 2010 2:41 PM   Subscribe

Ever wanted to start smoking a tobacco pipe? Begin by selecting from the many types of pipes available. Next, choose a tobacco type and flavor. Pipe smoking has a long and storied history- many a famous man, woman, or fictional character would not be parted from his or her pipe (link slightly NSFW). Pipes in art. Books about pipes. And of course, there is widely varying opinion on just how healthy pipe smoking isn't.
posted by nzero (111 comments total) 59 users marked this as a favorite

 
I have nothing to add except that I greatly enjoy pipe smoking, even if the occasional inhalation gives me the black lung. I generally give it up in the spring once it's warm enough to ride my bike again and come back to the habit in the fall when the bike goes back up on the wall.

Mmmm... delicious.
posted by tmt at 2:57 PM on December 1, 2010


Also, excellent post.
posted by tmt at 2:57 PM on December 1, 2010


I don't give a rats clacker about "opinion" - that Reason article shithouse. All the others openly acknowledge that smoking is dangerous, just not as dangerous as cigarettes. probably about as dangerous as inhaling asbestos, but hey, you choose the level of risk you're comfortable with, right?
posted by wilful at 3:03 PM on December 1, 2010


Yeah, the problem is, after watching several friends flirt with pipe tobacco, that there's just no way anyone under 40 can smoke a pipe without looking like a pretentious douchebag.
posted by klangklangston at 3:03 PM on December 1, 2010 [14 favorites]


Is, damnit, is shithouse.
posted by wilful at 3:03 PM on December 1, 2010


Hi there,

Pretentious douchebag here recommending pipedia for further curiosity.

And a few more shapes to explore.

People don't smoke pipes to look cool. There are skinny jeans for that. They do it because they enjoy it.
posted by weathermachine at 3:06 PM on December 1, 2010 [6 favorites]


Yes, but can you smoke sticky icky in tobacco pipes without a screen?
posted by geoff. at 3:07 PM on December 1, 2010


Early contender for best post award here.
posted by bearwife at 3:09 PM on December 1, 2010


Yeah, the problem is, after watching several friends flirt with pipe tobacco, that there's just no way anyone under 40 can smoke a pipe without looking like a pretentious douchebag.

this.
posted by nathancaswell at 3:10 PM on December 1, 2010


Great post by the way and nice Magritte ref!
posted by weathermachine at 3:12 PM on December 1, 2010


there's just no way anyone under 40 can smoke a pipe without looking like a pretentious douchebag.
posted by klangklangston at 11:03 PM on December


These days, sadly, I suspect you're right. Yet I love an old photo of my father, taken when he was about 28 (this would be back in 1950). He's wearing a black shirt, sort-of Oxford bag pants, and a trilby. He's smiling, with a classic "Apple" pipe between his teeth. He looks a lot like James Mason, and he looks naturally cool as fuck - far, far cooler and more handsome than I could ever hope to look. It's sort of sad that it's no longer possible to look naturally cool with a pipe when you're a young man, because my God, he certainly managed it.

Smoked that pipe every day of his life, too. Lived to be 85.
posted by Decani at 3:12 PM on December 1, 2010 [3 favorites]


you know, it's possible to enjoy an activity like smoking a pipe or wearing a fedora without it necessarily contributing to other people's opinion's of oneself. you can just do it cause you like it, and other people can go to hell.
posted by lazaruslong at 3:17 PM on December 1, 2010 [28 favorites]


Yachtsman.
posted by run"monty at 3:24 PM on December 1, 2010


God, I love the smell of some pipe tobaccos. Only time I was arrested was for shoplifting a bag of pipe tobacco when i was 14. (I didn't have a pipe, hadn't thought it through very well, eh?)

My wife would divorce me if I took it up now, sadly, and my lungs probably get exposed to enough caustic stuff just working with garage chemicals anyway.
posted by maxwelton at 3:25 PM on December 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


Dammit still have a couple years to wait. Just like buying a playboy and a lottery ticket for my 18th and a bottle of cheap vodka for my 21st I'm buying a pipe for my 40th. Then the question is, what's left?
posted by Ad hominem at 3:27 PM on December 1, 2010


Yeah, the problem is, after watching several friends flirt with pipe tobacco, that there's just no way anyone under 40 can smoke a pipe without looking like a pretentious douchebag.

Just use a glass pipe and claim you are smoking pot.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 3:31 PM on December 1, 2010 [3 favorites]


there's just no way anyone under 40 can smoke a pipe without looking like a pretentious douchebag.

I predict that the moment that marijuana is legalized, pipe smoking will once again become cool.

Hell, I quite smoking years ago, and I've considered getting one ever since that meerschaum post a while back. I just really like the art of the thing.
posted by quin at 3:33 PM on December 1, 2010


quite?
posted by quin at 3:33 PM on December 1, 2010


I had long ago smoked a pipe. My father, too. I played around with many brands of tobacco and then discovered Balkan Sobranie, a bit more expensive than the usual store junk, but so good that I could from time to time inhale and enjoy it and from time to time roll in into cigarettes to smoke. I discovered that Balkan did make cigarettes that were considered so elegant etc that they were even referred to as a reward to someone in a novel by Dostoyevsky.

Not long ago, out of curiosity, I goggled the brand and discovered it no longer existed but could be bought for big bucks on Ebay...

glad then that I had given up cigarettes, chew, pipes, cigars, and snuff....I miss that stuff not at all but do miss a pipe and Balkan Sobranie.
posted by Postroad at 3:33 PM on December 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


there's just no way anyone under 40 can smoke a pipe without looking like a pretentious douchebag.

Well, I waited until I was 30, for more or less that reason. I now have a variety of pipes and tobaccos I enjoy regularly, mostly in solitude, for reasons that have nothing to do with pretension (owing to said solitude).

So I guess what I'm saying is douchebaggery is in the eye of the judgmental asshole. I mean beholder.

Great post, though.
posted by pts at 3:35 PM on December 1, 2010 [6 favorites]


I'm 38 and I smoke a pipe, so I guess I look like a douchebag. A few people I work with are around my age and smoke pipes occasionally too, so I guess I'm in the company of people who occasionally look like douchebags.

These douchebags and I generally observe what we call 'Pipe Friday' here; at 4 o'clock, deadlines permitting, we all shuffle out to the sidewalk in front of our office and smoke our pipes and chat over a cup of coffee or a beer. It generally lasts about 20 minutes, give or take, and sometimes people even join us with a cigarette or just for the chat. One guy brought a bubble pipe once, which was nice. Sometimes people bring interesting or novel tobacco selections to share, and everyone will try a little and discuss it.

So there we are, 4 o'clock on Fridays, near the corner of California and Larkin in San Francisco, enjoying our pipes and each other's company, looking like douchebags. No one has thrown rotten fruit at us so far, but maybe a carload of people who look cooler than us will drive by eventually give that a shot.
posted by Pecinpah at 3:37 PM on December 1, 2010 [9 favorites]


The first young pipe smoker I knew was this skater kid Drew from high school, who we called "Peaches" because he was from Georgia and also because his butt reminded certain female members of our clique of, as we put it, a "Georgia Peach." He smoked a corn cob pipe, something that was undoubtedly an affectation but just so damned random and scrappy that he managed to make it seem really cool.

Subsequent pipe smokers I've met have seemed less cool. For one thing, despite the NSFWish links here, they've always been guys, and always have done it seemingly as part of this neotraditional schtick. In fact, the last time I saw him, my brother-in-law, a dude who has always wanted to be macho despite the fact that it's not really of his nature, appeared at this BBQ with his dead stepdad's pipe. At first, my husband and I did a double take at him stuffing it with stuff from a little baggie ("Jay?!" I spluttered, "Smoking pot*?!") but then he proceeded to loudly exclaim how delicious his brand of tobacco is and I got the drift--this wasn't an act of fun rebellion but of buying into a certain masculine identity: a gentleman of taste and leisure. Or something.

And, yeah, he looked like a bit of a douche.




*FWIW, I love smoking ganj out of pipes. Because pipes are pretty, and you lose less weed than you do with a jay. And of course you don't need a screen.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 3:42 PM on December 1, 2010


I miss my pipes. I sold 'em all after I quit smoking to save up for a new laptop. I had a pile of beautiful hand-carved meerschaums that smoked like silk and a Dunhill briar that was the smoking equivalent of a bespoke tuxedo. God damn you for bringing back my longing.

*cries*
posted by middleclasstool at 3:45 PM on December 1, 2010 [3 favorites]


My dad used to smoke a pipe sometimes. Awful habit, smoking, etc, etc. But that stuff has one of the best and strongest scent associations I have, now. I don't think anything else says "home and safe" to me as strongly as vanilla pipe tobacco.
posted by gracedissolved at 3:48 PM on December 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


Coincidentally, today's Bizarro comic features the famous Magritte painting! With a pipe! And an ironic tattoo!
posted by kozad at 3:48 PM on December 1, 2010


There's quite a crowd of us pretentious douchebags here. We should start a club - though we would of course only do so in the most hiply ironic way possible and never actually meet.
posted by Zero Gravitas at 3:49 PM on December 1, 2010 [3 favorites]


"you know, it's possible to enjoy an activity like smoking a pipe or wearing a fedora without it necessarily contributing to other people's opinion's of oneself. you can just do it cause you like it, and other people can go to hell."

I know what you mean — all of my tastes are similarly undetermined by society or cultural milieu. Everything I do is original, individual and without any context or subtext. I just like things because I do, QED!
posted by klangklangston at 3:50 PM on December 1, 2010 [6 favorites]


This is not the cigar post I was promised. Great job, nzero.
posted by fixedgear at 3:50 PM on December 1, 2010


you know, it's possible to enjoy an activity like smoking a pipe or wearing a fedora without it necessarily contributing to other people's opinion's of oneself. you can just do it cause you like it, and other people can go to hell.

Yes. Is there an Official List of old-fashioned things that unequivocally make a person look like a pretentious douchebag? I'd like to know, so I can find out how big of a douchebag I am once and for all.

How old do I have to be to enjoy single-malt Scotch? Am I not allowed to wear a tweed blazer until I'm 50? What would the neighbors think if they knew I carried on snail mail correspondence with a fountain pen? At least I already know about bow ties.
posted by usonian at 3:52 PM on December 1, 2010 [4 favorites]


I'm 29 and recently started to smoke a pipe. Not "in public" per se; I'm worried I'll look like a douche.

So I sit on my deck or my front steps, usually when the sun's going down, and sit and think and smoke my pipe quietly.

And I noticed this evening that last time I had a pipe I left my baggie open and let my tobacco get all dried up. Guess it's time for a new blend.

(I created an account in order to respond to this post)
posted by Compulsion at 3:53 PM on December 1, 2010 [8 favorites]


Welcome aboard, Compulsion.
posted by fixedgear at 3:56 PM on December 1, 2010


I heartily approve of this FPP, and am eager to began my douchebag pipe smoking sometime in the near future.

Also, just cos one smokes a pipe (yum!), one, c'nest pas necessarily un Douchebag.
posted by Skygazer at 3:57 PM on December 1, 2010


I smoke a pipe to look like this guy.
posted by snofoam at 4:02 PM on December 1, 2010


Of course, in French, douche just means shower.
posted by snofoam at 4:03 PM on December 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


Yes. Is there an Official List of old-fashioned things that unequivocally make a person look like a pretentious douchebag? I'd like to know, so I can find out how big of a douchebag I am once and for all.

How old do I have to be to enjoy single-malt Scotch? Am I not allowed to wear a tweed blazer until I'm 50? What would the neighbors think if they knew I carried on snail mail correspondence with a fountain pen? At least I already know about bow ties.


Hmm. I wonder if part of the perception of douchebaggery comes from the fact that--as I'm grokking from this thread--pipe smokers really like to talk about tobacco brands etc. as part of the ritual of pipe smoking.

Which, to non-pipe smokers, probably comes across a bit as, "Hey guys! CHECK OUT MY JAUNTY FEDORA! ISN'T IT KEEN?!"

Not saying that it's a fair perception. Mostly, I could care less about what anachronistic stuff people do, because I have a lot of weird, dorky hobbies myself. It just feels odd when people draw deliberate attention to them.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 4:05 PM on December 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


Also, it is ceci, not leci, although I guess in the painting it kinda looks like leci.
posted by snofoam at 4:06 PM on December 1, 2010 [4 favorites]


wilful: "rats clacker"

this is the part of the rat that ensures the rat's contents are thoroughly homogenized when the rat is shaken

posted by Rat Spatula at 4:07 PM on December 1, 2010 [7 favorites]


I probably wouldn't have ever started smoking a pipe if it weren't for Rich's Tobacco...

Every winter at some point in time I partake in Rich's "city of roses" blend, paired with some Goose Island Bourbon Stout.

That combo is easily a contender for my death-row meal.
posted by furnace.heart at 4:07 PM on December 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


I opened the Reason link and I was like, heh, it's from 1994. Then I was like, wow, even the banner ad is the original 1994 one! Then I read the text and it said "Atlas Shrugged: The Making of a Movie. December 7, 2010 - New York City - 6:00pm." I guess they never did get any web designers to move into Galt's Gulch. Maybe they couldn't find any who were true Reardental autodidacts, rather than VIEW SOURCE-reliant parasites.
posted by No-sword at 4:09 PM on December 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


To paraphrase an old comment on here; I'm glad that every time I think of trying something new that seems interesting or enjoyable, metafilter is here to remind me that I'm a douchebag and whatever it is sucks
posted by r_nebblesworthII at 4:13 PM on December 1, 2010 [9 favorites]


Stop supporting this crap. Snap out of it.
posted by ServSci at 4:32 PM on December 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


Ever since I can remember, I promised myself that when I turned 40, I was going to start smoking a pipe. As I grew older and my other vices fell away, I looked forward to taking it up more and more, and as my birthday approached, I started doing the research. I read about how to load a pipe properly, what tobaccos to start with, what a good beginner's pipe was, everything I could find on the subject. The day before my birthday, I made a trip to a reputable tobacconist's (I even love saying tobacconist) and had a good talk about how to start up. I purchased a pipe, and a variety of good mild tobaccos to begin with, and a lighter, and one of those cool pipe multitools. I was all set.

And so, the next evening, after going out to dinner to celebrate with friends, I went out on my patio, and I loaded my pipe, and I sat under the stars and enjoyed the wonderful flavor, the delicious aroma, and the feeling of finally, at long last, being an adult.

And the next morning I woke up and my mouth tasted like burnt ass.

No matter which tobacco I tried, I ended up feeling like I'd fried my tastebuds to a crisp for days afterwards. Everything tasted like pipe tobacco, except if pipe tobacco was mulch.

Now, I had smoked pot for years, though I'd given it up a decade before that. I'd smoked the occasional cigarette, and I'd enjoyed the old Gold n' Mild pipe tobacco cigars, as sort of a preview of what I thought would be my pipe-smoking dotage. But the aftereffects of the actual pipe were just foul.

Given the choice of smoking a pipe or being able to taste food, I gave up the pipe, regretfully, for good. As well as the idea that I'll ever actually feel like an adult. It was nice while it lasted, though.
posted by MrVisible at 4:36 PM on December 1, 2010 [11 favorites]


My opinion about pipe smoking matters little.
posted by everichon at 4:49 PM on December 1, 2010 [4 favorites]


An excellent post. Gave me a nostalgia rush.

I was a pipesmoker for some 30 years. Hours and hours of inestimable pleasure.
My favourite pipe was the Petersen inherited from my father though I had several others.
When I was a kid he would smoke Thee Nuns tobacco which was in the form of small discs that had to rubbed in the palm of the hand to achieve the correct consistency. There was a cheaper version - Empire Blend. Both came in satisfyingly sturdy 4 ounce tins. At the centre of each wee disc was a coil of black tobacco that I later learned wastermed Latakia.
A Syrian tobacco cured over slow-burning fires. (Its in the Balkan Sobranie blend too. Postroad) Then came the joys of botanising amongst the Dunhills and Murrays (sic)

An important part of the pleasure of pipesmoking is of course the preparation. Selecting a well-cared for pipe. rubbing out the tobacco, filling the bowl correctly to ensure a slow, steady burn- A good one will last an hour.
It helps if you have a working environment conducive to this form of pleasure taking.
These days, of course its considered even more NSFW than tits on your screen.

As a teenager the inveterate pipesmoker and philosopher Bertand Russell was one my idols. Not entirely sure what douchebags look like. but if Bertie is one, they must have the appearance of scrawny but wellspoken birds of prey.

I realise of course that it's all terribly bad for you not that Bertie agrees, but I do miss it.
Now I'm approaching seventy (me and Mick Jagger) and acquiring the requisite scrawny eagle look I suppose I could take it up again. But being a chef rather than, say a University lecturer its not too practical, not that they allow you indulge anywhere these days.

Forced to be healthy.
posted by jan murray at 4:58 PM on December 1, 2010 [7 favorites]


And I noticed this evening that last time I had a pipe I left my baggie open and let my tobacco get all dried up. Guess it's time for a new blend.

if you go to a proper pipe shop (like a barclay rex in NYC) you can get these little disks that you soak in water. just throw the disk in the bag, and voila! nice moist tobacco. the stuff lasts for years. you can even do it with a piece of bread that is moist enough, just don't leave it in there till it molds.

so, whats mefi smoking? right now i have a baggie of barclay rex marvanilla, barclay rex alkazar, some dark blend i got in copenhagen, a tin of moontrance, and a tin of presbyterian mixture. the moontrance is really delicious, my fave at the moment. the alkazar almost tastes chocolatey!

between all the work i do at work, and at my side business, there are few joys better then packing your pipe, heading out for a smoke, and just relax and look at things that aren't an LCD. after a while, packing, smoking, and cleaning becomes a ritual, relaxing and methodical.
posted by Mach5 at 5:06 PM on December 1, 2010


Don't listen to the haters. If you want to enjoy your ridiculous affectation, go right ahead.
posted by basicchannel at 5:06 PM on December 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


Hmm. I wonder if part of the perception of douchebaggery comes from the fact that--as I'm grokking from this thread--pipe smokers really like to talk about tobacco brands etc. as part of the ritual of pipe smoking.

Nope. It's because it's a big attention-grabbing fashion accessory stuck in your face. It's a self-indulgent and purely aesthetic activity that does nothing but stink up a room* and shout out to anyone around, Hey, everyone! Look at me! I'm harkening back to a bygone era! Aren't I just totally awesome for doing all this harkening???

Also, mouth cancer.

Look, pipes are neat objects, and smoking them in private is fine. A good rule of thumb: One shouldn't smoke a pipe in any situation one wouldn't clack away on a typewriter.

*It's a heavenly stink, but still.
posted by Sys Rq at 5:15 PM on December 1, 2010


Yeah, the problem is, after watching several friends flirt with pipe tobacco, that there's just no way anyone under 40 can smoke a pipe without looking like a pretentious douchebag.

This. but I'd raise the age to 70.
posted by jonmc at 5:17 PM on December 1, 2010


Now I know what I want for Christmas!

Fortunately, merely looking like a pretentious douchebag doesn't necessarily mean that one is a pretentious douchebag. And I'm sure I've looked a lot worse. E.g., tumbling over my mountain bike into a tree last weekend.

Excellent post.
posted by liquefaction at 5:17 PM on December 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


I have around 100 pipes my Dad used to smoke, and some nice burley tobacco still as moist as the day I bought it 3 years ago, some cavendish as well.

There is a time and place for everything, in the meantime I keep my Dad's pipes safe.
posted by Max Power at 5:17 PM on December 1, 2010


Fortunately, merely looking like a pretentious douchebag doesn't necessarily mean that one is a pretentious douchebag.

Well, most of the time....
posted by jonmc at 5:24 PM on December 1, 2010


maxwelton: "My wife would divorce me if I took it up now, sadly, and my lungs probably get exposed to enough caustic stuff just working with garage chemicals anyway"

Breaking Bad, are we?
posted by bwg at 5:24 PM on December 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


Hmm. I wonder if part of the perception of douchebaggery comes from the fact that--as I'm grokking from this thread--pipe smokers really like to talk about tobacco brands etc. as part of the ritual of pipe smoking.
It's like anything... Star Trek, sports, hiking, fishing, etc... people deep into the things they're interested in and will happily talk each others' ears off about them. In the case of things like sports it's accepted (expected, even) but boy if you discuss or display an unusual interest in public it really pushes some peoples' GRAAAR NONCONFORMIST button. (Which really pushes my GRAAAR WHAT ARE YOU IN 7TH GRADE button.)
posted by usonian at 5:29 PM on December 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


but boy if you discuss or display an unusual interest in public it really pushes some peoples' GRAAAR NONCONFORMIST

actually it's more the 'trying waaay too hard' button but whatever...
posted by jonmc at 5:31 PM on December 1, 2010


Yeah. I don't know. I'm not exactly a completely mainstream jock. But, like, I realize, as a noncomformist, that if I wear my Starfleet uniform out to a non-Halloween, non-costume party, people will think I'm weird. No matter how comfortable that jumpsuit is.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 5:37 PM on December 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm a non-smoker, although I've toyed with the idea of a pipe owing to childhood experience with my grandfather; whatever he smoked smelled awesome, unlike the disgusting odor of cigarettes.

Once in a long while I smoke a great Cuban cigar, and although I generally enjoy it I don't like the burnt-paper taste in my mouth after finishing. That and the larger torpedoes take a long time to finish.

I doubt I'll ever dive into pipe smoking, but maybe one day I'll give it a try to see if I even like it.
posted by bwg at 5:37 PM on December 1, 2010


so, whats mefi smoking?

That Presbyterian is some nice stuff, but too rich for my blood. I generally stick with two tobaccos from Grant's: Emperor Norton, and Old Drum. Both are cheep, smell fantastic, and are stored in jars right there next to the register. Once in a while I'll pick up some wild card, or drop some cash on something expensive that smells good; but my two old favorites have proven time and again to do the trick for me.
posted by Pecinpah at 5:40 PM on December 1, 2010


Does this pipe make my ass look fat?
Jeez what's with all the "what will people think of me" comments?
Life is not a popularity contest. You wanna smoke a pipe, smoke a pipe. It's not even against the law.
posted by binturong at 5:51 PM on December 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


Instead of talking about opinions of the health effects of pipe smoking, you could provide some references to public health science*. You won't look like a douche, I promise.

Here's one, for example:

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Although many studies have examined the adverse health effects of pipe smoking combined with other forms of tobacco use, few have included large numbers of exclusive pipe smokers. The prevalence of pipe smoking has declined since the 1960s, yet usage is still common regionally, especially among older populations.

METHODS: Using Cox proportional hazards models, we examined the association between pipe smoking and mortality from tobacco-related cancers and other diseases in a cohort of U.S. men enrolled in the Cancer Prevention Study II, an American Cancer Society prospective study. The cohort of 138 307 men included those who reported, in their 1982 enrollment questionnaire, exclusive current or former use of pipes (n = 15,263 men) or never use of any tobacco product (n = 123,044 men). Analyses were based on 23 589 men who died during 18 years of follow-up.

RESULTS: Current pipe smoking, compared with never use of tobacco, was associated with an increased risk of death from cancers of the lung (relative risk [RR] = 5.00, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 4.16 to 6.01), oropharynx (RR = 3.90, 95% CI = 2.15 to 7.08), esophagus (RR = 2.44, 95% CI = 1.51 to 3.95), colorectum (RR = 1.41, 95% CI = 1.15 to 1.73), pancreas (RR = 1.61, 95% CI = 1.24 to 2.09), and larynx (RR = 13.1, 95% CI = 5.2 to 33.1), and from coronary heart disease (RR = 1.30, 95% CI = 1.18 to 1.43), cerebrovascular disease (RR = 1.27, 95% CI = 1.09 to 1.48), and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (RR = 2.98, 95% CI = 2.17 to 4.11). These risks were generally smaller than those associated with cigarette smoking and similar to or larger than those associated with cigar smoking. Relative risks of lung cancer showed statistically significant increases with number of pipes smoked per day, years of smoking, and depth of inhalation and decreases with years since quitting.


CONCLUSION: Results from this large prospective study suggest that pipe smoking confers a risk of tobacco-associated disease similar to cigar smoking.

* It's taxpayer funded!
posted by sneebler at 5:56 PM on December 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


I'll never smoke, but this post is exactly why Metafilter is the best place on the web.
posted by Huck500 at 5:56 PM on December 1, 2010


I used to smoke a pipe in college and was considered cool by the ladies of my acquaintance, especially when compared with my cigarette-smoking buddies. Definitely was under 30. So there!
Gave it up with the sports car when the kid came along. Think about taking it up again now and then, but it's just gotten so damn complicated. Used to be every mall on the planet had a "Tinder Box" store with a variety of tobacco's of various flavors and price ranges, and I'd just walk in and pick up what smelled right that I could afford. Now finding a tobacconist is real work. $20 cigars can be had at the grocery store, but good luck finding someone with loose-leaf.
Oh, and adding Jolly Sailor to the links of women pipe smokers.
posted by Runes at 5:59 PM on December 1, 2010


bwg and I are tobacco twins, it seems.
posted by maxwelton at 6:01 PM on December 1, 2010


One of our specialist trade sub-contractors appeared at work this week wearing a Bertram Russell T-shirt: 'You want to be a philosopher? You don't even smoke a Pipe.'

"You're wearing a Bert Russell shirt! That's cool."
"Oh yeah, my son gives me T-shirts for work he doesn't need any more."
"Oh. My brother is a mathematician, he studies this stuff."
"That's nice."
posted by ovvl at 6:19 PM on December 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


maxwelton: "bwg and I are tobacco twins, it seems"

Neat!
posted by bwg at 6:39 PM on December 1, 2010


Pipesmoking is a gateway. It's true. I started when I was 15 (yes, 15) because Gandalf smoked a pipe and that was cool, right? I doubt I looked like a douchebag at 15, smoking on one of my fathers castaway Israel Briars, probably more like a stupid 15-year-old hobbit infatuated pretentious geek kid. But I was in the drama club, and my teacher actually let me smoke the damned thing in the theater after hours while we were rehearsing (and I was re-writing) lines for "Arsenic & Old Lace." It didn't hurt that I was dating the drama teachers daughter, I guess. So, being all suave and pipe-smoking at the time was a kick...

Which lead to cigarettes. And worse, alcohol and drugs. And more women. Maybe it was a Hugh Hefner thing, I dunno....

And then cigars, which I got into in my 30's. Even bought a humidor and one of those ridiculous triple-core flamethrower lighters. This was 10 years ago, when a box of Partagas went for $125.

Talk about being a douche... you have to have a certain attitude to pull off a cigar (or a pipe) without looking like a total tool. And you know what that attitude is?

Confidence. You have to do it like you mean it, like it's the most natural (unhealthy) thing in the world. If you crack, and let slip it's an affectation, then you're screwed. Investment bankers in 3-piece suits always look greedy smoking cigars... you're better off in a hacking jacket walking a brace of flat-coat retrievers.

After a couple of years, you get the stained teeth, the wrinkled skin, the withered lungs and you're a smoker, and no one thinks twice about what you look like as you practice your addiction. Because you own it. For better or for worse.
posted by valkane at 6:42 PM on December 1, 2010 [4 favorites]


Then there are those of us who see you as weak creatures who smell of stupidity. I mean how can I trust your judgment if you can't be bothered to stop doing something that makes you reek and turns your teeth shades of ugly. I am left wondering if you burned your bullshit before you tried to sell it to me. It certainly smells that way.
posted by humanfont at 6:44 PM on December 1, 2010


humanfont said: how can I trust your judgment if you can't be bothered to stop doing something that makes you reek and turns your teeth shades of ugly?

I trust people who wear their vices.... it's the ones I can't see that make me nervous.
posted by valkane at 7:02 PM on December 1, 2010 [7 favorites]


Oscar Wilde: 'Do you mind if I smoke?'
Sarah Bernhardt: 'I don't care if you burn'
posted by Daddy-O at 7:07 PM on December 1, 2010 [5 favorites]


because Gandalf smoked a pipe

The inspiration for this post is the smoking scene in Book 3, Chapter 9 of LoTR (It's in the Two Towers volume, chapter entitled "Flotsam and Jetsam"). I'm not a pipe smoker myself, although the visceral experience of it is certainly inviting.
posted by nzero at 7:36 PM on December 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


Then there are those of us who see you as weak creatures who smell of stupidity

There are many benefits of smoking: one of the greatest is that the vast bulk of insufferably stuck-up prigs take it upon themselves to avoid us first without us having to do anything.

Win-win, I'd say.
posted by motty at 7:39 PM on December 1, 2010 [7 favorites]


there's just no way anyone under 40 can smoke a pipe without looking like a pretentious douchebag.

Corncob. Next big thing. You read it here first.
posted by mendel at 8:00 PM on December 1, 2010


In localvore sodomy, maybe.
posted by klangklangston at 8:13 PM on December 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


nzero said: The inspiration for this post is the smoking scene in Book 3, Chapter 9 of LoTR

Close, but no cigar. This scene was more like, whadyacallit, reenforcement. I can't quote chapter and verse (my wizard hat is off to you) but it was really about Gandalf with his pipe between his knees in the Mines of Moria... taking the time to try and figure out what to do next.

Because that's what smoking is, and what non-smokers will never understand. It's reflection, it's a pause in the moment, a break in the timeline. It's unbelievably relaxing (probably due to the drug) and gives you something to do while you think.

And that's why pipes are so freaking cool, because you get to fuss with them, and keep them lit, and point at important places on the map with the stem...

It's a dramatic crutch, I'll be the first to admit, but one that tastes so good. I'm caught up here trying not to condone a bad habit.... but, great post and I've said all I will.
posted by valkane at 8:18 PM on December 1, 2010 [4 favorites]


There are many benefits of smoking: one of the greatest is that the vast bulk of insufferably stuck-up prigs take it upon themselves to avoid us first without us having to do anything.

Isn't smoking "anything"?

/insufferably stuck-up prig and smoke allergy sufferer
posted by Sys Rq at 8:19 PM on December 1, 2010


Close, but no cigar. This scene was more like, whadyacallit, reenforcement.

I meant my post was inspired by that scene...I hadn't intended to say anything, but your comment hit so close to home I thought I'd share.
posted by nzero at 8:30 PM on December 1, 2010


*sigh* My pipe is the one thing I miss about smoking. I'm so glad that I don't smoke anymore but I get a bit melancholy when I think about the evenings sitting on my back porch with my pipe, leaning back, shutting my eyes to the world and drawing a mouthful of my gorgeous Sweet Georgia Brown and letting her scent wash over me, washing all of my troubles away, if only for a moment.

On preview: valkane has it.
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 8:33 PM on December 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


nzero, sorry for the confusion. I really appreciated your post. Because you did get it.
posted by valkane at 8:35 PM on December 1, 2010


If I could enjoy occasional tobacco in a pipe rather than be driven to smoke 1-2 packs of cigarettes a day, I would, but nicotine had a powerful grip on me. I far prefer the smell to any other kind of tobacco smoke, but there is no way to smoke a pipe or a cigar without absorbing the nicotine through your mouth, and once that happens I find the need for something to inhale, maybe less harsh than a cigar with Turkish and American tobaccos, with a filter on the end, so I don't have to cut the tip, in packs ... maybe 20 to a pack for convenience? Yeah, maybe with an illustration of a beast of burden on the front, like a dromedary ...

That's where it always ends up, so when I quit over five years ago, I promised myself I'd never start up again or "cheat," because there is no way for me to have a nicotine habit without it being a very bad habit. And I have stuck with it, with the lone exception that someone handed me a spliff last summer, and I didn't know it was actually a spiff with tobacco and not a joint. One hit didn't get me started down that road, but I stopped immediately once I tasted that very familiar flavor mingling with the sweet taste of hash. It was nasty and didn't feel good at all. IMO a total waste of good hash, but that's a common European way to enjoy marijuana in any form. Can't do it at all now that I quit, even in a spliff, but I don't really want to, either ...
posted by krinklyfig at 8:43 PM on December 1, 2010


Because that's what smoking is, and what non-smokers will never understand. It's reflection, it's a pause in the moment, a break in the timeline. It's unbelievably relaxing (probably due to the drug) and gives you something to do while you think.

That is just the cancer weed lying to your brain so you'll come back again for another hit. You seem to have forgotten what it is like to pause, take a deep clean breath and to stare out over a garden in midwinter and dream of spring.
posted by humanfont at 9:34 PM on December 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


My favorite is Book 2, Chapter 8, The Road to Isengard:

"And here we find you feasting and idling--and smoking! Smoking!
Where did you come by the weed, you villains?"

I lost interest in it before I left my teens. Even the nicest tobacco was foul.
posted by the Real Dan at 9:41 PM on December 1, 2010


While re-reading Tolkien for the nth time back in my 20's was when I started pipe smoking. Smoked 'em for about 5 years, built a nice little collection of briars & meerschum, including a Butz-Chaquon Origine Unie churchwarden that I lost in a move that I still miss to this day. Never really encountered any problems with being labelled a douchebag because pipe smoking requires time and patience, so my smoking was usually done in solitude or among friends (occasionally at the tobacconists and VERY rarely at a quiet bar that was somehow exempted from the the first round of NYC smoking bans in the 90's). Also, FWIW, my favorite pipe tobacco was a custom blend called Savoy from The Bellezia Tobacco Shop in Buffalo, NY. Haven't been there in 8 years, so I don't know if they still make it, though.

Lucky for me, I'm turning 40 soon, so all concerns of me looking like a douchebag for smoking a pipe are no longer a worry anyway. Me looking like a douchebag for a myraid of other reasons, on the other hand . . .
posted by KingEdRa at 9:47 PM on December 1, 2010


Well, I'm one of those exotic female pipe-smokelongSlong with cigars. Have been since high school and I'm in my 40s now. I also co-moderate smokedfish yahoo group.
As time goes on and disposable income allows, I have both junk & collectable pipes, tobacco, and cigars. Three large igloo coolers/humidors taking up my entire hall closet. Custom vintage Cuban cigar tobacco pipe blend from Rich's (Portland OR) Being female, I am intimately familiar with actual douchebags, and looking in the mirror, I in no way resemble one. The dripping would extinguish my attempts to smoke.
I never smoke indoors, including my home, unless invited to. But one of my great pleasures is vintage port or old rye, and my feet propped up comfortably amid a cloud of my own smoke.
Pretentious? Only in the mind of the intentionally seeking offense onlooker.
posted by Dreidl at 10:13 PM on December 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


Re: douchebaggery, yeah, people are gonna smirk at you. So find a good pipe shop with a peanut gallery (if you're ever in southwest Missouri, go to Just For Him in Springfield, quite possibly the best tobacconist west of the Mississippi) or find local like-minded people and stick together. Or, you know, fuck people who smirk. Let them go take pictures of themselves.

Tobacco is absolutely fucking evil. I had a hell of a time giving it up, even after my right lung completely collapsed when I was nineteen. It took a combination of the patch and a bet with my wife (I got a new computer out of the deal -- hey, I'm seeing a trend now I didn't notice before), and even then it was a somewhat bumpy road. I don't regret for a moment quitting my habit, but I do very much miss the feel of a pipe between my teeth, the worn flannel smoke of a good English pipe tobacco (my favorite was a house blend actually named Grey Flannel, and goddamn it, it was).

If cigarettes are Hitler in evil metaphordom, screaming at you to obey, imparting little to nothing in terms of taste or style but absolutely mastering lockstep control over your every move, then a good pipe is smooth-talking, sensuous, tempting Satan himself. It's your crazy ex-girlfriend, the one you took way too long to quit because, just when she pushed you to the brink, she'd seduce you all over again, let you luxuriate in every fold of her flesh, maybe show you a new trick she'd been saving, and it'd be four days before you even realized that she didn't actually apologize for setting your cat on fire.

I adore pipes, and not because I partake of any kind of hipster aesthetic. I abhor affect, and I choose clothes based on whether they are comfortable and make me look nice. I only recently started regularly wearing neckties to work, because I'm 35 and have two kids and felt like it was time.

I adore pipes because my father was a pipe smoker, and smoking them made me think of him. I adore them because they smell to me like a hug that lingers just long enough to leave you with questions. I adore them because the good ones are carved by artists, and art is a thing to be appreciated and admired.

One of the most memorable flings I ever had was with a gorgeous bar waitress, a two-week affair that began with a flirtation when she stole my tamper. How could you not love something that opens such a door.

There is nothing quite like watching the slow coloring of meerschaum, and there is nothing you can do to guide it. It's like watching a very slowly moving painting. There is nothing like the moment you realize you've gotten that briar good and broken in, and you remind yourself that you'll never put an aromatic in that pipe because that pipe is for English tobaccos only and if you fuck up the way it tastes, you'll just die. There is nothing like the combination of pride and shame when you pull three hundred bucks out of your wallet at the tobacconist's because yeah, it's just a pipe, but look at it. How could you not want something with such a straight grain, such a delicately-carved lattice?

So hate the addiction and the cancer and the second-hand smoke, as those are reasonable hates. Hate the smell, if you must. But leave the lazy hipster-bashing two-minute-hate out of it. It's beneath you. Find reasons for your anger beyond some nebulous and undefined cultural monster you've constructed as a justification for your outrage. Sometimes people enjoy self-destructive things because they feel good and they taste good and they are beautiful, and you know what? So do you. People just haven't chosen to call you a douchebag for whatever your little circle of enjoyable hell is. Yet.

Corncob. Next big thing. You read it here first.

I smoked a new corncob once. Once. Hellish experience. Unspeakably bad. I am told that, when they are properly broken in, they smoke like a goddamn flying carpet. I had zero motivation to find out. But, so the (probably apocryphal) story was told to me, Mark Twain used to pay somebody to break in his corncobs for him, so that he could have all of the pleasure with none of the pain.
posted by middleclasstool at 10:19 PM on December 1, 2010 [13 favorites]


That is just the cancer weed lying to your brain so you'll come back again for another hit. You seem to have forgotten what it is like to pause, take a deep clean breath and to stare out over a garden in midwinter and dream of spring.

I'm fully capable of enjoying beauty as I walk among the winter gardens. I love the raw feel of cold air on the lungs, the quiet twinkle of a world at sleep.

And none of that has anything to do with the fact that when I'm with friends, I love to laugh and drink and pull out my pipe and taste the flavors. I like the fussy aspect of keeping it lit and packed as it gives me something fun and important to do with my hands as we talk about all sorts of things. Yes, it's most certainly bad for me, but I smoke rarely, and just like drinking, I only do it with company.

People have usually reacted well to it when I sit around the porch at a coffee shop. Everyone else lights up a cigarette (which I have not ever smoked), but sometimes I'll pull my pipe out of my backpack and enjoy a gentle smoke. Some people ask questions, but I try neither to be trendy or ostentatious with it. It's something old that smells old and is relaxing. Are there other ways to do it, for sure! But it's a vice I enjoy and that none of my friends think less of me for enjoying.

If smoking is not your thing, that's fine. But, hey, if you have a pipe and some patience, come on by and we'll wax philosophical as we try different blends.

(By the way, I just rediscovered a great tobaccoist close to my house. A little area where you can light up your pipe or cigar and enjoy a good chair. Classy place too.)
posted by Lord Chancellor at 10:26 PM on December 1, 2010 [3 favorites]


By the way, Mr. Visible, I just got a long stem pipe and it drastically helps with not burning your taste buds when you use it. I'm definitely enjoying the switch. Also, it makes one feel more like Gandalf and allows you to look at your bowl all the better.
posted by Lord Chancellor at 10:30 PM on December 1, 2010


'Number 31 | Paul’s Pipe Shop | Flint, MI'
Paul is Uber cool. He ordered me a box of Swan Vestas. said nothing would not take my money upfront. Called my a boy scout and got me the Fresh Lucky 7s with a wink.
posted by clavdivs at 11:21 PM on December 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


One of the most memorable flings I ever had was with a gorgeous bar waitress, a two-week affair that began with a flirtation when she stole my tamper. How could you not love something that opens such a door.

That. The wistful, faux-fusty J Peterman catalogue shtick. That's the archetypal pipe-smoker's pretentious affectation. And it is archetypal; damned near every character who has ever been written with pipe in hand is precisely like that. However, I wouldn't say the tweedy pomp makes one a douchebag, but rather a windbag--indeed, with that pipe in your mouth, you may well be the spitting image of the real thing.

All of which I don't mean as a judgment, mind you (I've been known to bag some wind myself on occasion), but rather as a mere observation of the effect of cultural motifs on real people: Both beholder and beheld are beholden to archetype; it's just that, in this case, the latter sees a romantic tradition where the former sees a tired cliché.
posted by Sys Rq at 11:38 PM on December 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


the things that mean things to you don't always mean those things to other people. take your own meanings and impressions and form them into your own worldview, but don't expect or anticipate that the objects of your assessment will subscribe to the same view. people are different. get over it.
posted by lazaruslong at 11:58 PM on December 1, 2010


Who is this "you," lazaruslong? Me?

If I were to rewrite that last paragraph of mine in plain English, I'd probably just cut-and-paste your comment in its place. Same message, different words.
posted by Sys Rq at 12:20 AM on December 2, 2010


Tobacco is a psychotropic - it's the whole reason it was cultivated in the first place by the first peoples. These effects are minimized when sucking cigarette smoke straight into the lungs - mostly you get a mild stimulant rush - but when smoking a pipe, you get the full effect. (Some cigars, too.)

It's especially helpful when contemplating something complex - it has both a calming and stimulating effect, and seems to kick-start the imagination, inviting in odd ideas and perspectives.

I only smoke outside, and either socially with other pipe/cigar smokers, or alone, and I wind up changing my clothes before I'm allowed back inside the house... it is pretty stinky.
posted by Slap*Happy at 2:10 AM on December 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


and I wind up changing my clothes before I'm allowed back inside the house... it is pretty stinky.

Hence the smoking jacket.
posted by KingEdRa at 4:14 AM on December 2, 2010


Because that's what smoking is, and what non-smokers will never understand.

How about ex-smokers? Do you think we understand? If you talked to me five years ago I could have told you all the wonderful reasons why I smoke, and why people should just leave me alone to do it if I want.

Those reasons were all bullshit and it took a few more years for the anxiety they covered to start to bleed out everywhere else. This is bad for you in so many ways, and bad for everyone around you and you know it. What you don't know is where that relaxation you feel is coming from. If you did you'd stop right now. If you knew why smoking that pipe helped you stop and think and enjoy that time on the front porch, you'd stop doing it.

Look at how many people talk about their Dads in the above, don't make your kids smokers, don't promote this garbage. Every teenager who sees you and picks up a pipe because they wanted to be cool...

I get that you think you're so misunderstood but the truth is that there no reason you can give that would justify the damage promoting the tobacco industry does. It's bad. People understand you and they understand why you do it, they just know it's wrong to do.

I really understand the anxiety that the idea of never smoking again causes. I'm sympathetic with everything people are saying but I recognize these arguments: the enjoyment, the relaxing, the refinement, the non-conformity. I recognise them. Trust me you do not stop smoking without the addiction offering every defense... I do like that most people make it clear they never smoke cigarettes... yeah, that would be wrong.

Snap out of it.
posted by ServSci at 5:25 AM on December 2, 2010 [4 favorites]


No matter which tobacco I tried, I ended up feeling like I'd fried my tastebuds to a crisp for days afterwards.

This was one of the reasons why I stopped pipe smoking. I always enjoyed it when I was smoking, but the next day . . . . The real killer, though, was when Ontario implemented the smoking ban. Once I couldn't enjoy my pipe down at the pub, I lost interest.

That and the fact it is undeniably unhealthy
posted by fimbulvetr at 6:30 AM on December 2, 2010


That. The wistful, faux-fusty J Peterman catalogue shtick. That's the archetypal pipe-smoker's pretentious affectation.

It's true. The fact that I have pleasant memories tied to objects I have loved is a pretentious affectation and not at all a collection of pleasant memories tied to objects I have loved. You should see all the tweed I have in my closet.
posted by middleclasstool at 6:34 AM on December 2, 2010 [3 favorites]


This is bad for you in so many ways, and bad for everyone around you and you know it. What you don't know is where that relaxation you feel is coming from. If you did you'd stop right now. If you knew why smoking that pipe helped you stop and think and enjoy that time on the front porch, you'd stop doing it.

Have you considered that possibly not everyone will have the same reactions to things you did? That maybe everyone's experience will not parallel your own?
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 7:04 AM on December 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


Are you asking me if I think nicotine is addictive for everyone?

I'm aware people don't stop until they are ready, if that's what you mean.
posted by ServSci at 7:25 AM on December 2, 2010


No I mean I'm asking if you're aware that the occasional bit of tobacco doesn't have the apocalyptic life-destroying effect on everyone that you appear to believe it might. Your struggles are not everyone's struggles.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 7:30 AM on December 2, 2010 [3 favorites]


Yeah, I have a cigar once every few months, and a bowl or two twice a year at most. I treat it as a luxury, not a habit, as do most pipe smokers I know.
posted by Slap*Happy at 8:12 AM on December 2, 2010


This is perfect timing. I have recently started flirting with the idea of smoking a pipe and was about to start the research. Thanks for the post!
posted by slimepuppy at 8:18 AM on December 2, 2010


apocalyptic life-destruction isn't what I intended to describe. Sorry if that's how it came across. I meant more to describe the unnecessary harm smoker do to themselves and others. I was also responding to a specific claim about:
I can't quote chapter and verse (my wizard hat is off to you) but it was really about Gandalf with his pipe between his knees in the Mines of Moria... taking the time to try and figure out what to do next.

Because that's what smoking is, and what non-smokers will never understand. It's reflection, it's a pause in the moment, a break in the timeline. It's unbelievably relaxing (probably due to the drug) and gives you something to do while you think.
Let's leave aside the fantasy stuff here. I just don't like one of the most prenicious and crappy effects of addiction being described as the main benefit of smoking that "people will never understand". You are right that some addictions are more serious than others, but someone who finds feeding their addiction "unbelievably relaxing" is in a serious place, I think. Don't you? Some people screw around with heroin, but the people who find taking heroin "incredibly relaxing" have a real problem. I may be entirely wrong, it just made for disturbing reading.
posted by ServSci at 8:20 AM on December 2, 2010


Heroin is, by nature, incredibly relaxing. Anyone ever prescribed opiate painkillers can draw that inference.
posted by howfar at 8:37 AM on December 2, 2010


It's relaxing when you haveit. Focus less on how it feels when you are taking your drug, and more on what that means about the period when you are in withdrawal from it, between doses.
posted by ServSci at 8:44 AM on December 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


You are right that some addictions are more serious than others, but someone who finds feeding their addiction "unbelievably relaxing" is in a serious place, I think.

A seriously relaxed place, yes.
posted by r_nebblesworthII at 8:57 AM on December 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


Yeah, the problem is, after watching several friends flirt with pipe tobacco, that there's just no way anyone under 40 can smoke a pipe without looking like a pretentious douchebag.

I believe a wise man put it best when he once said "Fuck yourself, sirrah."
posted by FatherDagon at 8:59 AM on December 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


someone who finds feeding their addiction "unbelievably relaxing" is in a serious place, I think. Don't you?

Well, I mean, when he said non-smokers, I took it to mean "people who don't smoke at all and never have," which sounded (to me) to be harmless enough; it sounds like you're hearing "indulging my addiction calms me and makes the world okay" which is certainly a bad thing for a person to say, but I am fairly certain that what he meant was "I enjoy taking a moment with my thoughts and absentmindedly smoking a pipe."

The word "drug" is maybe the hitch here? I mean, coffee's also a drug. It seemed to me that he was describing it that way in terms of its effects, not its impact.

I myself don't smoke but very rarely (I mean like a cigar maybe three times a year at most), but I used to have a lake house and I found it incredibly relaxing to sit on the porch and watch the ducks and geese splash about while I relaxed in the sunshine with a Montecristo cigar and a glass of scotch. It's not so much the effects of the tobacco as the overall comfort of the experience, if that makes sense. I can guarantee you I was not feeding an addiction on the porch.

Addiction's a terrible thing for certain but I think the amount of unnecessary harm being discussed here is pretty negotiable. I don't know, this seems to be a sensitive topic for you, and that's fine, everyone's got theirs, but here in particular we're just some dorks dorking around about smoking a pipe now and then. Nothing to raise hackles about, and if tobacco's not for you then that's fine, and anyone who tries to make you feel badly about making that decision is probably not worth your time.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 9:08 AM on December 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


Sorry, I'm threadshitting unintentionally. I apologize.

Carry on. You are all cool like Gandalf. I mean it.
posted by ServSci at 9:09 AM on December 2, 2010


"I believe a wise man put it best when he once said "Fuck yourself, sirrah.""

Is that something you hear a lot?
posted by klangklangston at 9:48 AM on December 2, 2010


Carry on. You are all cool like Gandalf. I mean it.

I don't think you mean it.

Anyway, I understand what you're trying to say, ServSci, and like any potential dangerous pastime, it is entirely appropriate to point out the very real risks associated with. However, I think a lot of the people that are talking about their pipe smoking are not regular smokers. I certainly am not. I'm merely a social smoker and usually on my deck at that. I might smoke once a month, and for the last six months I haven't smoked at all because my best smoking buddy was away. Could I never smoke again? Without a doubt. When I'm not smoking and I think about smoking, I don't get anxious or impatient; I merely think "ah, I should do that when so-and-so get back". As someone mentions, to me it is a luxury like eating a dessert that's too fatty or drinking beer, wine, or liquor. I know some people don't fit into this. Some people are habitual smokers, and they might honestly be addicted to smoking. They're problems are real, as are their difficulties with quiting, both in the past and future.

So, I don't want to dismiss your concerns or troubles. They are material. I only wanted to point out that many people have different ways to enjoy something, and some of them are less destructive than others, and that for some of us, smoking takes place less often than Doctor Who specials.
posted by Lord Chancellor at 11:29 AM on December 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


My grandfather smoked a pipe in a completely non-ironic manner, and it smelled wonderful. Back in college I was a smoker but at the same time I kind of hated cigarettes, so I gave pipe smoking a try.

I never smoked outside my apartment (or rather, my porch where I usually smoked) in a public place because it was kind of inconvenient compared with cigs, and I didn't want to look like a pretentious douchebag. Even alone I felt sort of silly smoking it, though the flavor can't be beat.

Now I've quit smoking altogether, but as bad habits go, smoking a pipe is one of the less offensive ones. I've discovered the joys of the hookah, and smoking that stuff is nicotine- and guilt-free!
posted by zardoz at 7:11 PM on December 2, 2010


sys rq, thank you for the compliment, i thought my writing looked awful due to this being the 3rd keyboard i have partially destroyed via the improper handling of beer.

my comment was sort of directed at yours, more of a general one. and i think you are right in saying that your last paragraph and mine were similar.

the one thing is.....you seem to think that the dichotomos feelings you describe are how everyone feels. that's not the case. you agree that people can see things differently, but then tell us how they should feel. i'm saying that there are more way to feel about the issue than romantic tradition vs tired cliche. if we can agree that things don't mean the same thing to everyone, perhaps we can also agree that there are more than 2 possible interpretations of pipe smoking than the ones you listed. and that by extension, putting forth those opinions as fact enhances the disconnect between personal behavior and perception.
posted by lazaruslong at 1:08 PM on December 4, 2010


if we can agree that things don't mean the same thing to everyone, perhaps we can also agree that there are more than 2 possible interpretations of pipe smoking than the ones you listed.

Agreed. There certainly are an infinite number of possible interpretations. I just happen to have never seen a third, is all.
posted by Sys Rq at 12:04 PM on December 5, 2010


« Older The Creation Museum is seeking tax breaks to expan...  |  The "lost" footage of the Crai... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments