Personal Preferences

I was at my desk the other day, smoking a Jody Davis saddle Billiard and replaying Bugs Bunny cartoons in my head (Foghorn Leghorn: what a hoot) when my colleague, lead copywriter Truett Smith, happened by to talk about one of my pipe descriptions for the website. "Y'know," he said, "I don't recall seeing, 'This is the ugliest pipe on the planet' as a description before now. It's an audacious declaration."

"That pipe is the ugliest on the planet. If you find uglier, I'll happily amend that text to 'second-ugliest.'"

"But it's a subjective assessment. Everyone is different and someone will love that pipe. It would be a monotonous hobby if everyone shared your personal interests. We'd see nothing but Lovats and Billiards."

"And I commend others for knowing what they like, but they should understand that non-Lovats are conspicuously grotesque abominations."

Y'know," he said, "I don't recall seeing, 'This is the ugliest pipe on the planet' as a description before now. It's an audacious declaration."

"Even if that were true, it isn't really our style to criticize other people's preferences."

"Listen, I am very old and very wise and have been writing about pipes since—"

"Oh yes, I know; we all know. You've mentioned that before. But maybe we should describe pipes in celebration of the variety of pursuits in the pipe community. A little more context, perhaps?"

"Seems pretty self-contextualized to me."

"Even so, it might benefit from some nuance."

"I am very old and very wise—"

"Yes, yes, God knows we all know that. But about this pipe—"

"If you doubt that I'm an expert on ugliness, you're mistaken. I dare you to look me in the face and tell me I don't know about ugly. I had a pipe so ugly that a neighborhood toddler did a double backflip when he saw it and started quacking like a duck. Poor kid couldn't speak for months and still squawks like a mallard when he gets flustered. Don't talk to me about ugly; believe me, I'm qualified."

"I'm just saying—"

"I am very old and—"

"Yes, that's been established, but this pipe—"

"I once dated a girl so ugly—"

"No, no more stories about your dating years, we're talking about how—"

I had a pipe so ugly that a neighborhood toddler did a double backflip when he saw it and started quacking like a duck.

"My family had a bald, toothless goat so ugly—"

"Animal husbandry is not pertinent to—"

"I owned a '61 Mercury Comet so ug—"

"Please. No cars either. It's time to stay on topic."

We leveled neutral gazes at one another in a ponderous moment of silence.

"My dad's three-legged hunting dog was so—"

"Honestly, I don't know how to communicate with you. It seems like a simple thing, but when—"

"I am very ol—"

"Y'know what? Never mind. Let's leave it." He moved on, shaking his head in amused exasperation.

I returned to the antics of Foghorn Leghorn, but after a reasonable delay I rewrote the description. Truett and I had adequately entertained ourselves, and besides, he sure knows how to express a compelling ideology.

Category:   Pipe Line
Tagged in:   Humor Jody Davis Pipe Culture satire

Comments

    • The Antic on February 27, 2020
    • Pipe smoking really is such a personal and spiritual thing. It is funny how some people think that there’s only one correct way to do it.
      Your pipe, your tobacco, your way of holding your pipe, the way you smoke... these are all up to you. Just enjoy.
      I really enjoyed reading this exchange.

    • KevinM on February 27, 2020
    • Pipe preference is so so subjective that designs and styles I liked a few years back, I now look at and ask, “What on earth did I find so wonderful about that??!! It’s one thing to debate with a fellow piper about what’s great and what ain’t. It’s quite another to debate with yourself.

    • Bill Buchanan on March 1, 2020
    • Love to sample several brands of tobacco, I’m mostly smoking a Lanes tobacco now

    • Gary Yovan on March 1, 2020
    • The ugliest pipe shape I have seen is the joint effort of Pease and Roush, something they called the poker hawk if memory serves. So bad it does not deserve ridicule, it deserves to be ignored.

    • Allen Blackford on March 1, 2020
    • I agree with Kevin M. My tastes have apparently changed. The pipe shapes I used to like are no longer as appealing. The beauty of the hobby, I guess.

    • Mark Irwin on March 1, 2020
    • As Foggie says, "Boy, you got more screws loose than a hardware store n'a earthquake." And that's why we love you, lovats n' all.

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