In the late 1800s, it was common opinion that if a man chose his pipe tobacco poorly, chances are his judgement would go astray on more important matters. For the last 15 years, I have smoked Ebony Gold Maryland, a custom blend from Ed’s Tinder Box in Santa Monica, CA. Most of my decisions involve what song to play next, and I feel I make wise choices a majority of the time. Though I was once asked by Sting’s assistant to discontinue playing U2 records while he was present…
Smoking a pipe adds an air of eccentricity one’s person, and being aloof by nature already, it fell nicely into step with the person I envision myself settling into. The ritual relaxes me and I accentuate the important points I make with deliberate jabs of my pipe. Just ask Stonerokk.
I started smoking pipes with a rusticated Billiard that my father gave to me. Seeing a natural fit, my mother shortly after presented me with the smooth Pot my late grandfather smoked. But pipe smoking is an individual sport, and I soon found myself investigating a variety of manufacturers and styles.
In the recent past, I came into the possession of a Longchamp leather-bound Apple estate pipe. And I fell in love. This was the pipe for me, though pipe scholar Richard Carleton Hacker claims that wrapping the bowl in leather is simply hiding flaws in the burl. Regardless, my hunt began.
Last week, I came into possession of this:
In this amazing set, there’s a pipe for every day of the week, encouraging the cleaning process that’s so imperative for the pipe’s longevity. Just turn to the author Mark Twain for further insight on that issue. And while I don’t favor wine, I can envision myself entertaining guests, demonstrating the charm of my leather-clad ceramic humidor, while I open a bottle of 1996 Lupicaia, which is a Tuscan uber-blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, aged for 18 months in French oak at the Tenuta del Terricio estate.
Pipe dreams, they say.
I recently swung by the MGM Grand to retrieve DJ Roctakon. He inquired as to why the Jaguar smelled like “camping.” I indicated the Gefapip Signature resting in the ashtray and he nodded his understanding. But an image stuck with me: that of a man, at home in the woods, away from the bustle of his every day life, simultaneously one with himself and nature, enjoying a bowlful of Cavendish blend in an old blackened churchwarden, as the last embers of his camp fire fade to black…
Pipe smoking is a hobby, not a habit.
Big up to the Confrerie des Maitres-Pipiers de Saint-Claude.