Life Skills, Pipes

The Secrets of Pipe Smoking

It was hard to come up with a title for this.  Here are some ideas I toyed with:

  • Why Smoking a Pipe Makes You Cooler
  • Why Losers Don’t Smoke Pipes
  • If You Want to be 79% More Classy, Smoke a Pipe.
  • Why your Grandpa Smoked a Pipe and Why He was Cooler Than You
  • Why Pipe Smoke Smells Awesome and your Cigarette Smoke Smells like A$$
  • etc

But I went with “The Secrets of Pipe Smoking” so as not to offend too many people at once.

The truth of the matter is that a fine gentleman (that’s the title you get just for smoking a pipe, by the way) named Marcus wrote this article and summarized most of the matter.  It was truly one of the most true and enjoyable articles I’ve read on the topic.  In fact, it may have been the very first article I’ve read on the topic come to think of it…

I wanted to take a few minutes and elaborate on some of the issues Marcus hits on in his article by using it as some kind of authoritative reference manual, if you will.

Pipe smoking is an art that requires thought and dedication; the rituals of loading your pipe, then lighting and tamping to produce a wonderful smoke, take patience and practice. In time, as you become accustomed to your new briar friend, you develop your own rites of preparation and puffing to achieve full smoking enjoyment.

Yes!  This is true.  Just two weeks ago I won another pipe convert.  He was a cigarette smoker who wanted to quit.  I simply stated that if he wanted to quit smoking the very ignorant, unsophisticated and cocaine-like drug of cigarettes, he would need to start smoking a pipe.  I pulled out my pipe holder, all my paraphernalia, loaded two bowls, handed him a box of wooden matches and instructed him to follow along.  Within 10 minutes he was taking selfies and posting them to his friends around the globe. He looked 71% more classy right away.  Cigarette smokers are typically unable to convert because they lack the patience or understanding.  To smoke a pipe, you must view it functionally.  You must find your ‘why’. There are many functions you may choose:

  • Fashion accessory
  • Cigarette quit-tool
  • Testosterone increase mechanism
  • Mosquito repellent
  • Air freshener
  • Forced smoke break-time extender (lasts 4 to 5 times longer than a cigarette)
  • Wisdom generator (you gain 41% extra wisdom with each year you smoke a pipe)
  • Adulteror Repellent (my 90 year old great auntie always said “A man who smokes a pipe is faithful to his wife”  Until my wife told me what it does to my breath I didn’t know why…)
  • and more

To a cigarette smoker, their ‘why’ is “I need nicotine in my blood. NOW, you !@#!!!!”

Yet, recently, I was at a red light and noticed the people in the next car staring at me like I had a fork sticking out of my head

This is a good point.  Smoking your pipe in your car will yield lots of interesting looks.  It may also become a point of contention as an officer might try to ticket you for ‘use of electronic device’ if you take both hands off the wheel to light it…

In the early part of the last century, pipe smoking was the norm — men actually considered their pipes to be part of their haberdashery. Tobacconists would fit the shape of the pipe to complement a gentleman’s face structure and choice of clothing. Many high-class clothing stores carried pipes, not only for smoking pleasure but also as a distinct fashion statement.

And such is still the case.

Don’t rush and buy the first pipe you see.  You will certainly have buyers regret.  For some reason, the shape of the pipe and material is very important.  I favour the sherlock holmes style but as small as possible.  Although once in a while I will use a straight pipe, I always come back to the droopy Holmes.  I also prefer rough wood rather than smooth if I have the choice.  Again, I don’t know why but I’m glad I have it.  In fact, this might be the only addiction related to the sport – the fact that you’ll have to buy a bunch of pipes to find the right one and there will always be a nicer and newer one out there – But Jesus didn’t promise us a bed of roses, did He?

During this incredible Boom, cigar clubs and smoking rooms sprang up all over the country, and cigar dinners became a big attraction. Unfortunately, the same could not be said for pipes. My guess is that, when a bunch of guys have big, fat cigars in their mouths, they will inevitably start talking about women and sports, whereas a group of pipe smokers might become engrossed in the topic of the economy in Zimbabwe or the declining quality of tweed elbow patches, which would make for what most would find a very boring evening

Pure literary genius and perfect scientific research!  This is *exactly* what happened.  There has been a significant decrease in thoughtful males, corresponding to an equal and opposite proliferation of meat heads.  I would give the cigar smokers one level higher credit, though, and suggest that perhaps they were talking about sports and weather, not women.  Only cigarette smokers degrade women.  I would also add that if there was a pipe smoking room in your neighbourhood they would also be talking about how to overcome the invasive presence of the government in our personal affairs as well as how to overcome the predatory tendencies of monopolist-capitalists.  But it wouldn’t end there.  I suspect they would also look their fellow pipe-smoking brethren in the eyes and ask how things are with his wife.  He would then, with the most genuine care and taste, share his wisdom that he gained by smoking his pipe, to help improve the marriage.

Another reason for the pipe’s decline may be its lack of appeal to women.

No. Sorry.  Piping has always been a predominantly male sport.  Although I would welcome [with excitement] any woman of any age to join me for a bowl and conversation, I will not wait around for them, nor spend the energy trying to convert them.  Men are from Mars, and so be it.

Maybe the knowledge that a pipe is no longer the “chick magnet” it once was has led to a serious decline.

Yes. This has indeed played a part of the decline.  But, the root of the cause for the decline is not this.  The root is the sudden and serious disappearance of the male’s self confidence! If the male piper was convinced [as I am] that smoking a pipe is both right and good, then he would simply not allow the pursuit of women to destroy this greater good.  The pipe-smoking male should be able to light a bowl, walk to a mirror, look at himself in the mirror and say “Verily dost thou look refined.  And a fine female of the highest quality will agree with me whether I needs travel the entire globe to find her.”  Can you imagine the adventures you’d have along the way?  Chin up, men.  Light the bowl and don’t succumb.

As for the pipe itself, I recommend a low cost corncob or 10 minute briar style, just to see if this hobby is for you. Corncob pipes may look funny but they smoke cool right from the first puff, and the sweetness of the cob brings out the entire flavor of the tobacco.

I disagree.

Don’t start until you find the pipe that matches who you are.  Rarely does a corncob pipe match anyone, nor do they smoke the way they should.  Sorry Marcus, I’m going to have to disagree in the most gentlemanly way,  but I will one day talk about this with you over a bowl.

Marcus’ top 10 reasons why he smokes a pipe:

10.  It keeps me from chewing on my pen.

9.    It is relatively inexpensive compared to other forms of smoking.

8.    The variety of tobacco blends and flavors are endless. Endless!

7.    It makes me feel calm and relaxed.

6.    I can just stick it in my mouth whenever I get the urge for a chocolate bar.

5.    It makes me look smart even when I can’t remember where I left my glasses.

4.    Taking a few extra puffs during an argument gives me time to think before I say something stupid.

3.    I usually don’t get asked to put it out.

2.    It keeps my dog from licking me in the face.

1.    I already have a wife so I no longer need to try and appeal to the fairer sex!

A great list and all valid, too.  I suggest every pipe smoke make their own list.  Here are my top five:

  1. It keeps mosquitos away
  2. It generates new and creative thoughts
  3. It forces me to take at least a 20 minute break from my home office
  4. It goes so well with coffee which I also love
  5. It goes so well with amateur radio which I also love

On behalf of Marcus, whom I have never met, we would like to encourage you to join us and discover for yourself the hidden secret of pipe smoking that has been locked away for years.

I had to somehow tie it in with my title…




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3 thoughts on “The Secrets of Pipe Smoking

    1. This is most definitely an honour, sir! My friend Joe forwarded me your article. I say let’s do something notable for the pipe cause. You look like you may very well be in a different continent. Thanks to the world wide webs, not all hope is lost. Where to begin? I will send you an email to start. Have a fine day and a good bowl.

  1. Eponymous Marcus and “admin” alike, I’ve enjoyed both your writings on topics pipular. I’m tossing my hat into the group once again after getting used to cigarettes all over again, and finding my way back to the bole. Thank you for the topics here, and don’t forget, an opinion without 3.14 is just an onion.

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