Not So Fast

I sometimes catch myself thinking or saying, “If money were no object I’d buy so many more pipes.” But then I catch myself. Would I really?

It stands to reason that given the small number of hours in a day, the more pipes one has, the less often one can smoke any particular pipe. But a pipe smoked infrequently is an unfamiliar pipe. You have to get to know a pipe to appreciate it, and you have to smoke it to appreciate it.

So, yes, I’d buy more than I do, but not as many as I sometimes think.

The same goes for tobacco.

What We Bring to the Table

Kipling

We’ve all experienced this: one day a particular pipe or tobacco is pure heaven, the next day, not so much. What’s going on? I’m convinced that pipe-smoking, like so much else, is a combination of objective and subjective factors. The pipe and tobacco may be the same day to day (although not necessarily — moisture can fluctuate), but we individually are not. A pipe-smoking experience can be shaped not only by the external factors but by internal ones as well, such as our mood; what kind of day we just had; how long ago we’ve eaten; what we ate; how much or little rest we got; how the weather makes us feel; what are we expecting for tomorrow; and on and on.

We bring a lot to the table each time, so don’t be discouraged by a less-than-perfect smoke. And don’t think about trashing that tobacco or pipe. Relax. There’s always next time.

More from Morley

Christopher Morley

I found this quotation in Rick Newcombe’s In Search of Pipe Dreams, a book I highly recommend. The words were written in 1916 by pipe-smoking enthusiast Christopher Morley, author of The Haunted Bookshop, for which the Cornell & Diehl tobacco is named. (C&D’s Morley’s Best is named after the author himself. I like both blends.)

I define life as a process of the Will-to-Smoke; recurring periods of consciousness in which the enjoyability of smoking is manifest, interrupted by intervals of recuperation.