Last midnight I was grocery shopping -- like many bachelors I tend to put off buying food only when there is no more food at home, and even then often only after it's been about sixteen hours since I last ate anything. (Married men live longer for a reason, you know, and I doubt it's on account of reduced stress.) So there I am, walking over towards the dairy section from the meat section (I don't believe in food pyramids -- it's man against animal in my book, winner take all) when my phone rang. There aren't a lot of people who have my number, and even fewer who would be calling at such an hour, so I had a pretty good idea who it would be even before I managed to shuffle the stack of beef I was carrying over to my other hand and fish my phone out of my jacket pocket.
Sure enough, it was none other than my nearest and dearest friend, full of seasonal cheer -- the 80-proof variety, by my initial assessment. He was indeed clearly very pleased about something, and so I asked him, "Andrew, are you drunk?" "Yes!" he replied, "But not very. About medium-drunk. I have different levels." Though I suspected that the level he had actually attained was affecting his calibration, I knew we weren't going to get anywhere if I insisted on standing there holding steaks and arguing about it. I doubt very much of any importance at all has ever been accomplished by debating in front of an audience of sausages, even when everyone involved was sober.
Over the next twenty minutes or so, my friend explained his reason for calling in considerable, if not particularly continuous detail: The Christmas package I had sent him had arrived; A silver-banded bent Billiard, a tin of Old Dark Fired, several Nicaraguan puros, an old vinyl recording of Winston Churchill's speeches, and a large, hardcover monograph consisting exclusively of photos of Cold War-era nuclear test explosions. They say the quickest way to a man's heart is through his stomach, but in my experience encouraging eccentricities works better (assuming you have an eccentric to work with, of course), and likewise does contributing to the enjoyment of habits frowned upon by those who would set themselves up as the nannies of grown men.
They will be thankful, and if you happen to write about tobacciana for a living, there's a good chance they'll manifest their thankfulness in a manner that will provide you with plenty of material. Andrew was, naturally, smoking his new pipe and new tobacco when he called. His girlfriend called out from the background to suggest that if they had guests, they were unlikely to care for its particular fragrance. Andrew in turn good-naturedly suggested that in such a case, they would be her guests, not his.
And now, for the update: Today we have for you fine artisan briars by Peter Heding and Rad Davis, as well as selections of pipes by Ashton, L'Anatra, Randy Wiley, and Poul Winslow, plus plenty of Nordings, Savinellis, Petersons, and Brighams. There's plenty of estate pipes as well, of course -- a full eighty-four in all. Finally, we also introduce the handsome Executive Series humidors by Savoy.
Eric Squires: Copywriter