Old Books, Old Pipes, and Aged Whiskey
I recently received some news which was cause for a small bit of celebration. In my early-to-mid-twenties, this would most likely have involved frightening amounts of Irish whiskey, and engaging foot-races with a good friend, dodging between large numbers of modestly alarmed pedestrians, over considerable distances from one dimly-lit drinking hole to another to see who was going to pay for the first round upon our arrival. Perhaps I'm more mature now; perhaps it's simply that the friend most commonly volunteered for these nights of competitive public disturbance now lives hundreds of miles away, in a small town outside of New Orleans. Either way, on this occasion I celebrated by purchasing a hundred-year old couch for sixty-five dollars, from the same consignment shop mentioned in a previous newsletter.
As you might expect, sixty-five dollars is not the kind of price that gets one a well-cared for antique. For a cost on par with an estate pipe which, although originally produced by a particularly respected marque and of desirable vintage, had been subject to a great deal of, shall we say, character-building experiences, I received a piece of furniture that was, indeed, very much the equivalent. I love it. Decaying grandeur is still grand, as they say. The back may be long gone, and whatever the wheels may have been made from appears to have at some point crumbled away to dust, leaving only their bare iron axles and castors, and yet it remains wonderfully comfortable. It's become my new favorite thing to lie on while I smoke.
Naturally it now resides in the extra room I've set aside to serve as a "library"/smoking room. Thus far, the scare quotes are well justified: I've as of yet completely failed to acquire any proper shelving. At this point, I'm wondering if I should bother; an ancient, much abused couch underneath my posterior, teetering piles of books everywhere, and an over-reamed and smoke-darkened Dunhill older than I am stuck in my mouth -- what more does a man need? Women argue, cats won't leave me alone, and a few fingers of scotch combined with a copy of The Man Who Was Thursday provides more entertainment and less annoyance than just about anything I've ever seen on a wide-screen television.
So here's to old books, old pipes, and aged whiskey; may we never be without... And yet, there are future generations to think of. How will they, our progeny (assuming we've used a proper degree of discretion regarding where we declare such things as "women argue", self-evident as they may be [saying this in the wrong place, at the wrong time, is the surest way to see it proven right]), continue such traditions, if we, their predecessors, fail to establish and maintain for them a good supply of briars which will have achieved a proper degree of character by the time they come of age? Our duty to them is clear: we must acquire new pipes, and we most enjoy them thoroughly. The very future of our hobby depends on it!
And look here! What's this? Why, new pipes -- lots of them. What luck; what complete and total coincidence! Gian Maria Gamboni, Rad Davis, Rinaldo, Radice, and Castello -- all here, now! And there's even more coming up behind them: Petersons, Savinellis, Chacoms, Stanwells, Tsuges, Sebastien Beos, and Butz-Chouqins, dozens after dozens. There's even estates, as well, and a new pipe reamer (use it well, and future generations will thank us). And for a bit of something different, there are even new cigars by Ashton. Onward, then, for the sake of the pipe aficionados of tomorrow!
Eric Squires: Copywriter
No comments found.