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Wednesday, October 20, 2021




What ever happened to pipes?  I know smoking in general is not as popular as it once was, but plenty of people do still smoke cigarettes.  Cigars are still somewhat popular, mostly with men.  I see guys lightening up a good cigar on the golf course often. 

I have not seen a pipe smoker in forever.

Pipes used to be popular.  Fred McMurry always puffed on one on “My Three Sons.”  Sherlock Holmes was famous for his Meerschaum Pipe.  My dad smoked a pipe when he was not smoking a cigarette.  My boss used to smoke a pipe, but all that was eons ago.  I don’t think anyone smokes a pipe anymore.

Cigarette smokers used to be the suave and cool people, or sometimes the tough guy.  A cigar smoker was a big shot, successful and full of himself.  Pipe smokers were the intellectuals.

In college you always knew when a student changed his major to Psychology or English Literature.  If they were suddenly wearing a corduroy jacket with elbow patches and smoking a pipe, they had changed their major.

The thing with pipes is they took a lot of work.  They needed constant cleaning, reloading, tamping and relighting.  My pop's casual shirts all had holes in them from flying pipe embers. 

He always smoked a pipe when he took me bowling.  Even today, if I throw a strike, I sometimes get a memory whiff of Captain Black tobacco.

My boss once got confused while smoking his pipe.  He went to put on his glasses but he did not have his glasses, he was holding his pipe.  Damn near put his eye out with it.  I held in my laughter like a kid who farted in church.

When I worked on Wall Street the traders all smoked cigarettes.  One of them once told me that you could tell when a trader was getting burned out.  If he switched to a pipe he would soon be done.  No one can make quick decisions while smoking a pipe. 

A pipe requires contemplating-slow-draws of smoke, a stare into space and a “harumph” before rendering a decision or opinion.

I guess, along with the general distain society has for any kind of smoking, the pace of the world today, what with instant access to data and information, has rendered the pipe obsolete.  People just no longer have the time for the contemplating pace of pipe smoking.

Personally, I gave up cigarettes years ago and am happy for it.  I do enjoy an occasional cigar when Mrs. C is not around.  She hates the smell of a cigar.  Surprisingly she tells me she used to like the smell of a pipe.  She would have no problem if I took up pipe smoking.

I would try it, maybe even enjoy a nice cherry flavor tobacco, except I’d be spending too much time looking for my lighter, tamper and pipe cleaners.  Also, I get distracted too easily.  I might not poke my eye out like my old boss, but I would sure as Hell ruin a lot of shirts and stand a good chance of burning the house down.

Anyway, I’m not sure you can even buy the damn things any more.




  1. Maybe vaping is the new pipe smoking?

  2. Pipe smoking was a lot of work--my brother smoked one--but they really did smell great. They were the vice of the dreamer.

  3. My grandpa smoked a pipe and I inherited one of his.

  4. I absolutely hate the smell of cigarettes but for some reason I don't mind the smell of a pipe. My Uncle was a cigar smoker and my older brother is too. Since I loved my Uncle to pieces and I love my brother as much, I will tolerate a cigar smoker...outdoors of course! So pipes are just so sophisticated and I would smoke one if it made me look smarter...Nah, forget it.

  5. Yes, you can buy them. Sweetie smoked a pipe on occasion when we met and married. Then he had to have that special surgery on his ears and he is no longer even allowed to be around smoke at all.

    Pipe smoke has a very nice scent to it most of the time.

  6. My dad smoked a pipe in the house, and cigarettes in the car. I much preferred the pipe. He mixed Kentucky Club and some kind of cherry tobacco. It smelled better in the can than burning in the pipe, but the pipe wasn't that bad.

  7. You can still buy pipes at any Tobacconist. My younger son has one and smoked it for a while, but I think he prefers cigarettes, they're quicker to get going and don't need all the care of a pipe. i'd prefer he gave up altogether, but that's up to him.

  8. I used to smoke a drain pipe. Cost me a fortune in tobacco.

    Now I have a regular pipe; a Sherlock Holmes type. I don't smoke. Just use it to look intellectual. It is also good at pointing when asked for direction, "turn left at the next junction ... then right ... and straight ahead!" Also, when I meet someone in the street I take the pipe off my mouth and raise it to say hello. Better than raising my hat in salutation.

    I don't put tobacco in it. I put a little fresh flower every day. A small rose, a daisy or something small sticking out of the pipe ... like a little man made of Lego bricks.

    It certainly attracts attention. And keeps people away from me on the bus or train.

    God bless.


  9. interesting read dear Joe

    i enjoyed how your boss mistook pipe with glass lol

    glad you have quit a harmful thing .

    my father smoked cigarette and never quit despite of all the arguments he had with mom over them and lectures how they will make him die sooner .
    one thing he did good ,he knew we hate smell so he would go to front yard or other room ,he cared for us at least
    hea;th ,peace and happiness to you and yours!

  10. My very first proper job was in a small town newspaper office. The editor smoked a pipe and the deputy editor smoked cigarettes. The worked together in a small office. If you went in you could hardly see across the room for smoke - it was like wading through treacle! Very happy memories of my time there.

  11. I smoked a pipe for a year or two in my 20s, around the time I read The Lord of the Rings. Mostly, I just liked the image of reading a book by the fireside, smoking my pipe. I like the smell of pipe tobacco in its pouch, and even while it's lit and being smoked. But I finally decided that the aftertaste the next morning - something like the Russian Army having marched through my mouth - just wasn't worth it. . .