Smoking Adventures

I'd like to try skydiving, but I don't think I can smoke during a dive, so I've not pursued it, though I've explored appropriate windcaps for my pipe. None seem to be designed for the unique turbulence associated with falling from a plane, though. I think if I fell from a plane without a parachute, I'd find a way to have a smoke on the way down, turbulence be damned. But if survival is an aspiration, and a parachute therefore employed, better wind caps will be required before sky-smoking becomes a spectator sport. Once that technological advancement is made, we'll probably see pipe show slow-smoking contests altered to include the skydiving aspect. Imagine participants gliding from the sky down to the Chicago smoking tent to log their times. It would add some excitement.

I suppose alternatives are possible. Perhaps the use of an anti-wind bubble, like a giant beach ball, would provide a better smoking environment for plummeting 10,000 feet to the earth. Still, beach balls bounce, and that potential bounce is intimidating. One could end up anywhere, and the inevitable rolling, down a mountain, for example, may be inhospitable for keeping a pipe lit.

I have a similar problem with space exploration. Because of my remarkable bravery and squeaky-clean, boy scout background, I would make an excellent astronaut, but until they build smoking rooms in spacecraft, you can keep space travel. Buzz Aldrin took a pipe with him on at least one mission, but he didn't smoke it because of the pure, flammable oxygen filling the spacecraft, the wimp. Clearly, Buzz is not the icon we think, or he would have lit that pipe like a real pipesmoker and taken his chances.

While my pipe was a constant companion during my more youthful, impetuous days, now it has become a medium through which I enjoy adventures I could never realistically survive.

Oxygen seems to be a problem for many potential activities. Scuba diving, for example. There's no doubt that by now I would have been a successful, affluent treasure hunter, if helmets would let me smoke underwater. It's a shame that such fine professions are limited by the unwillingness of engineers to accommodate pipe smoking. It's a travesty to graduate engineers without at least a couple of courses in pipesmoking product design, and yet another shortfall of the education system.

In my pipesmoking, clearly, I'm an adventurer. My daydreams are filled with daring exploits of heroism, evading imminent doom with only my wits and my pipe, helping small, third-world countries overthrow anti-tobacco governments, and exploring deep jungles to discover caches of lost Sixten Ivarssons and Bo Nordhs.

I am afforded these adventures through my pipe, naturally. My days of alligator wrestling and civil disobedience are behind me. It isn't as much fun now as it was in the past to get beat up and abused by circumstance. Now my adventures are internal, where it's comparatively safe, aided by the meditative act of pipe smoking.

While my pipe was a constant companion during my more youthful, impetuous days, now it has become a medium through which I enjoy adventures I could never realistically survive. When I'm relaxing with a pipe, my mind drifts with the smoke, often to far places I don't recognize. From my armchair, I discover ancient temples, lost libraries, forgotten treasures, unknown manuscripts, and pursue adventures like I was Indiana Jones.

But I'm only me, and my internal life of adventure makes up for any lack in my real life. To be honest, I don't really want to fight robot mutant gorillas in the jungle; I'd rather sit and smoke and think about fighting robot mutant gorillas in the jungle. Smoking a pipe relaxes my imagination, setting my mind free as I climb paths unnavigable to my actual self, and I commune with the smoke and the daydream, the two blending like fine tobaccos into a flavorful and satisfying adventure of discovery.

Category:   Pipe Line
Tagged in:   Editorial Humor Pipe Culture Satire


    • Michael on January 10, 2020
    • Just an observation, but I’m not sure it’s tobacco that you‘ve been smoking.

    • Chuck Stanion on January 10, 2020
    • Michael:
      Yeah, I can see that interpretation. I get that a lot, actually -- it's usually an indicator that I've sprinkled too much hyperbole into a composition. I'll make some adjustments to my recipe for next time. Thanks!

    • Michael on January 10, 2020
    • Chuck,

      Its hope you know I was teasing and the comment was meant to be I in good fun. I do find that reading your articles are an enjoyable reprieve from many of today’s other concerns. Thank you.

    • Chuck Stanion on January 11, 2020
    • I took it as a compliment, Michael, indicating that my imagination is running at the high idle speed most appropriate for this kind of writing, so thank you! I may have gotten a little melodramatic, though, and I want to work on that. Still learning every day. It's fun to practice my favorite craft and try to improve, all while smoking to my heart's content, seeing some of the coolest pipes in the world, and collecting a salary on top of it. I must have been some kind of saint in a previous life to merit this level of karmic luck. For the next life, though, I'm doomed and will probably be a flatworm. Still, smaller and smaller pipes are becoming popular, so there may be flatworm-appropriate Lovats by then. Flattened appendages crossed!

    • Seth on January 12, 2020
    • Mr. Stanion, if you have not already, then you really need to write a book. Your writing style reminds me a lot of Bill Heavey. I always enjoy reading your articles and often read them aloud to others. You never fail to have me laughing. A collection of your pipe smoking (mis)adventures would be most appreciated.

    • Jim on January 12, 2020
    • Chuck, I would like to second Seth’s suggestion and encourage your consideration of his ideas. I always look forward to your Sunday article as they are a great way to start a day. Your gift strikes me as a “blend” of Bill Heavey and Mark Twain. Thanks.

    • Thomas Duffy on January 13, 2020
    • Mr. Stanion, it's been moved and seconded. I, for one, vote "Aye!".

    • LV on January 13, 2020
    • Congratulations to CStanion for the short stories. Always fun. And JKing for the cartoons that appear when one scrolls down (to search for more CStanion, eheh). Tons of fun and excellent way to rationalise our love for all things pipes and tobacco. I promise to use all of those cartoons in 2020 to show my wife how important pipes are to mankind. Kudos to all SmokingPipes Team, LV.

    • DAVID SOMMER on January 13, 2020
    • I for one of few words of praise, would say our Chuck is indeed one in a million!!!!!! Thank you for brightening my day with your fantastic wit and way with a word!!!!!

    • Fred Neslage on January 15, 2020
    • Chuck,
      Reading your Sunday article starts my week off in the right frame of mind. At age 80 and a avid pipe smoker, I mostly reflect on how difficult it is to find a place to enjoy my favorite blend. You many articles remind me I’m not the only one. All the best Chuck.
      Fred Neslage

    • Jeff M on June 11, 2020
    • Being too old to skydive anymore (made 1,100 before that happened), I do LOVE your stories Chuck and today I just like to sit as you do and enjoy a good pipe and let my imagination memories take over....oh, and read your stories, over and over again!
      Thank you!

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