Great Treats and Shenanigans
This is a special time of year for us, what with office parties, plus employees and customers sending in snacks full of sugar and spice. While Sykes has been over in Japan, having fun visiting pipe makers, he's missed out on some really great treats and shenanigans (all of which are quite customary). Leila surprised everyone with a tray of home-made goodies on Monday. Not only is she great at sales, but her expertise at baking rich concoctions of sugar and butter is beyond question. Bill was giving her particular praise for her caramel-swirled, chocolate-covered pretzel sticks, and when I took my first bite of one of her home-made English toffee candies my eyes rolled back in my head with delight. It was a real strain not to lick every single piece on the tray and send out a mass email notifying what I had done, just to secure these candies from everyone else in the office. Then, yesterday, a very generous customer treated us all to pizza for lunch (which was greatly appreciated!).
Doing my own part, this morning there was a small chocolate-covered cherry on Lisa's desk. The addition of a little bit of vodka in the center balances the sweetness, I feel, though as it turns out, also makes faces nearly as cherry-warm as the sensation on the tongue. Ted didn't seem nearly as surprised by this addition, but then he came over to my home last weekend and sampled a piece of my fruitcake. A good recipe including half a bottle of Ron Zacapa rum (for flavor and embalming) makes for a weak-in-the-knees dessert that people actually like, I find. Between the vodka chocolates and fruit cake, I feel I've gotten employees pretty well inspired today in the office. Even Eric is getting in the spirit of the season. The man in black, as always, went into the kitchen with the intent to whip up a batch of eggnog for everyone. Like most men that would rather figure it out for themselves instead of taking directions, he looked up the definition of "nog" online and read: "any beverage made with beaten eggs, usually with alcoholic liquor". A horrible concoction of refrigerator ingredients such as beer, red wine, and mustard (to make it yellow) were shortly whipped up with eggs and fresh hot coffee. Experiences like this are probably why Eric usually sticks to cooking red meat in a cast iron skillet.
For once, we did a pretty good job of leaving Sykes' office alone. Aside from white packing peanuts crumbled and strewn all about floor, a busted Rudolph piñata full of glitter, and a punctured aerosol can of pine cleaner left on his desk, everything is pretty much the way he left it.
Tonight you can check out some pipes from Maigurs Knets, Tom Eltang, and Former. Don't forget to peek through new pieces from IMP, Ashton, L'Anatra, Randy Wiley, Winslow, Cavicchi, Nording, Savinelli, Peterson, and Stanwell. Rounding our the section are sixty fresh estates!
Adam Davidson: Quality Control & Pipe Inspector