Like many hobbies and interests, pipe smoking is something you never learn once and for all. Definitely not. I’ve been at it for some time, but I never tire of talking to pipe smokers, no matter how new they are to the endeavor. This is one reason the YouTube Pipe Community (YTPC) and the various Facebooks groups and online forums are such welcome institutions. (Another reason is that they are just fun.) Individuals may have many interesting tips to pass along about how they pack their bowls, puff, or break in and clean their pipes. I’ll talk about such things in future posts.
Any random pipe smoker, no matter his or her age, may be a source of helpful ideas. The reason for this is well established in other matters: the natural combination of imitation and innovation. The word serendipity comes to mind.
Here’s what I mean: a pipe smoker may observe another pipe smoker doing something the first had not seen or heard of before. So he tries it out: maybe he packs or breaks in his pipe differently than has been his custom, but in the process, makes a “mistake” — doesn’t imitate quite as accurately as intended — and unwittingly does something slightly different from what he had observed. Nevertheless, the accidental “innovation” has pleasant results. Viola! A new technique perhaps is born. Serendipity! There is no end to the possibilities.
So keep puffing, watching, and learning. You’re bound to enhance your pipe-smoking pleasure.