This morning, as I was first rolling my chair up to my desk, I realized that in the course of the unusual rush with which I had had to leave the office yesterday evening, I had left one of my pipes out and untended. This was a gross violation of orthodoxy! Or, you know, failing that, just my personal habits, as I typically return my pipes to their allotted places each night (for rotation purposes, you understand). Upon inspecting the lone, forgotten, neglected briar, I found as it was prostrate upon the broad and desolate plain of a clean desk, I became aware of the fact that I had only really smoked about half the bowl, and that I would be faced with one of two choices: dumping out the remaining contents in favor or a fresh load, despite possibly compromising the development of the bowl’s cake (which I confess is a bit nit-picky) or finishing it, regardless of how ashy and rank the tobacco might taste initially having been half-smoked and left to cool and grow bitter, alone and isolated from its brethren, overnight. Naturally, this got me thinking about the Delayed Gratification Technique.
DGT, as it’s commonly referred to by pipe guys, is fundamentally a method by which a pipe smoker will deliberately smoke less than half a pipe’s bowl of tobacco before setting the pipe down for an indeterminate period of time with the express intention of finishing it later. The notion suggests that by purposefully deferring the impulse to smoke the whole bowl the pipe smoker will enjoy it more once he returns to it. Many feel that in employing DGT, aside from the benefits of self-inflicted mind-trickery, the bottom of the bowl is actually imparted with a fuller, richer, stoved taste, and that because much of the tobacco’s moisture has already burned off, the smoker can expect, and should experience, less bite. As you might imagine, the underlying ‘methodology’ can vary wildly from smoker to smoker and club to club. Some suggest waiting hours before relighting; others days. Still, most prefer to let the pipe rest overnight. By and large, it seems smokers fair best here with Virginias, and then blends with Latakia, and not so much with heavily flavored/sauced/cased blends. Some guys love to do this. Some guys hate it. Others think the whole thing is straight-up poppycock. (Even if you find that DGT doesn’t do anything for your tobacco, there’s bona fide, interesting science behind Delayed Gratification: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delayed_gratification) Personally, I don’t normally think about it very much.
But I sure mulled the Delayed Gratification Technique over this morning. Like I said, I’m not ordinarily faced with such a conundrum. To waste tobacco or to not waste tobacco? That’s pretty much the bottom line for me - even working at a place like Smokingpipes, there are some blends that are difficult to come by, and, in much the same vein, you never know when a particular favorite might disappear from the market.
In the meantime, we’ve got a stupendous update put together this afternoon. We’re rolling out new work from Rolando Negoita, Maigurs Knets, Randy Wiley, and Claudio Cavicchi, as well as fresh meerschaums from IMP, and fresh briars from Ashton, Nording, Savinelli, Peterson, and Stanwell. Also, we’re adding 60 estate pipes to the site. Be sure to browse thoroughly!
Ted Swearingen: Vice President, General Manager