I suppose it’s something that was on my bucket list, only I forgot to put it on there until after I did it. There’s something about smoking a pipe that appeals to me. Could it be the aroma? The nerdy sophisticated Englishman look? The tobacco? The pipe itself? The rebellion against health and good Christian living? The desire to join my friends in a lunch break smoke?
All of the above?
I wanted to try it and that’s all there is to it. And I’m going to do it again too – every now and then on my Wednesday lunch breaks. Or when I’m reading a good English classic.
We exchange names at work for Christmas gifts, giving gift suggestion lists. The top two things on my list were a pipe and tobacco. My co-workers have heard me say this on occasion, “I want to try a pipe.” I was, and remain, serious. I want to try a pipe.
Last week a patient promised to make me corn-cob pipe. He is a woodworker and makes snowmen and different things for his church and at home. He said that it would only be decorative, but he’d apply cotton to simulate tobacco smoke. How sweet is that? I will smoke both fake and real pipes. With the one, I won’t need to invest tobacco money. With the other, I’ll get real smoke. It’s a win/win situation!
So last Tuesday my coworkers and I met at Crimson, a local American grill/bar/restaurant to eat and exchange our gifts. They saved mine for last, and I have a feeling most of them knew what was in the bag.
Oh my goodness, I was so happy to uncover a pipe, two kinds of tobacco, and even coconut rum from mounds of tissue paper! Thank you Dr. D! I couldn’t wait to get to work the next day and try my first smoke at lunch. But it was a crazy morning. I had to spend most of my lunch break working on patient progress notes. There was no time to smoke. I was so disappointed. That night I was exhausted and didn’t have the energy to try it out at home. The next night I was brewing up a sinus cold, but with Jason’s encouragement and help with packing the pipe and lighting it, I bundled up and went outside for my first smoke.
Here is where I wish I could smoke indoors. It was cold and rainy outside that night. I felt discriminated against, being shunned. I wanted the State to re-instate their non-smoking restaurant policy. It’s not fair that us smokers can’t smoke in the cozy comfort of indoors. I thought about how it’s going to be, smoking outside in the winter during my lunch breaks, wishing that I could smoke right in the waiting room instead. Why not? Everyone should smoke.
So I lit up, knowing that in all likelihood, it would go out. Multiple times. The guy in the video tutorial told me not to give up. It happens every now and then. He told me that I could get tongue bite. But that I should not let that stop me. He taught me how to hold the pipe, how to pack it, tamp it, and light it. He was very encouraging.
I can’t really say I got tongue bite and I only inhaled, accidently, a couple of times. Pipe smoking is an art and you can’t rush the finer points. I need to work on my longevity, I don’t want to have to relight every few minutes. Maybe I’m not packing it tight enough and too much air is getting through? I don’t really have the right pipe tools. There’s something that packs it and something that aerates it and something that lights it. I used my Chapstick lid to pack and matches to light. It’s not the best set-up, but it works somewhat.
Now all that I need to go with my pipe (besides pipe tools) is a big library with wall to wall books, a big walk-in fireplace, a large wing-back chair, and scotch in fancy crystal glasses. That’s the life my friends! Here’s what I got: a camp chair with a cup holder on each arm rest, a picnic table, a big beech tree, and my Kindle.
That’ll work too.
What do you call a cross between a Redneck and an Englishman?