Carcinogens of love burn in my bowl of joy. From a hobby to a reminder of a dead family patriarch, pipe smoking is many things to many people. Cigarettes are despised, yet aromatic pipe blends never fail to charm. Many times, bystanders just toss a glance of mockery or assume the pipe merely serves as an attention getter.
For smokers who know, it’s not about winning the approval of non-smokers and certainly not a fashion statement. It’s really about the love for the leaf, and a cigar just won’t do. Cigarettes assailed my lungs, and then pipes won my heart.
Switching from cigarettes to pipes is nothing new. After buying my first pipe in 2001, I was told my father did the same in the ’70s. Him and probably most fail at this; I did a few times until my recent success. Pipes are never to be inhaled; also most blends are too strong for the human lung. As smoking goes, cigarettes are pretty lame, but superior at nicotine delivery, filling the lungs with satisfaction.
Pipe tobacco offers nicotine of course, but only that which is absorbed through the mouth lining. The pipes’ true advantage is the smoking experience, not mere addiction.
Common smokers apologize for smoking, smoke “light” cigarettes, and see little else in their habit but feeding a drug addiction. Mostly outdoors, I’m sure. This is one reason why living alone is a must. If you lower yourself to “ultra lights,” you may as well quit and suck on toothpicks. They probably started as part of adolescent rebellion or some such asininity. If this is their idea of smoking, they should just give up. Common smokers have already – at least politically and socially. I have no regrets or apologies. I love the leaf dearly and avidly.
Pipe tobacco is now my poison of joy and for the most popular reason. I live at the poverty line, and giving up cigarettes was my only way out of the hole. Pipe smoking, my favorite smoke, costs me less than 75 cents a day compared to roughly $6.70 on cigarettes. The latter figure is also my hourly wage. I might as well have been swilling Vicodin.
Even before Texas’ latest tax hike, it became clear that a heavy smoking habit was unrealistic even for a full-time worker having no dependents, a car, or cable TV. After cigarettes and bills, I only had $80 a month for food, my cat’s needs and everything else. Cutting down probably wouldn’t help, while any less than 30 a day is just enough to piss me off.
Pulmonary love was dead to me; I no longer needed it. I retired my special chrome cigarette lighter and consulted my pipe rack, a pristine beauty I scored at a thrift store for $2. Prince Albert Crimp Cut is the all-day smoke I crave every day. It’s been around since 1907 and the reasons are clear. The stuff burns well and tastes like pipe tobacco should; this is the real deal. At $3 a pouch, money is no object. At present, that is.
I just “Googled” the Prince’s illustrious name. Oh, my God. Against all remaining decency in the not actually free world, the blend’s image has been unspeakably defiled by present-day vulgarians. Formerly known as a dear piece of Americana, “Prince Albert” is now slang for some goddamn male genital piercing! Damn the purveyors and partakers straight to Hell just so I can watch them burn.
Obviously, “male piercing” is an oxymoron. Jewelry is great; I wear a men’s ring and a men’s bracelet, but there is no damned piercing that a man should wear. Paying to have your penis mutilated only proves you are disturbed in addition to tragically stupid. Put on a dress and go die somewhere, dolt-ass loser.
Freaks obsessively strive to make a statement and always in the most moronic way possible. You didn’t need any piercing; we already knew you were an ass clown. These worthless, degenerate wads of gutter-trash would film a filth fetish orgy on the American flag just to act cute and piss off your mother.
I digress. I couldn’t live without mentioning that. Now the healing can begin.
Quitting cigarettes took a bizarre turn. At work in the produce department, I craved the old surge of nicotine. Not wanting to cripple my transition to pipes, I opted for dip rather than smokes. I’ve always thought of smokeless tobacco as vomitous to witness and only for disgusting losers.
This occurred to me as I spat brown into trashcans in the produce backroom. This became my workplace norm for the week; working front end affords no opportunity to spit putrescence all day. Actually, the “straight” variety is tasty – in a mouthful of poisonous saliva sort of way.
By my second week of dip experimentation, I was dipping at home. By this time, I was looking forward to trying chewing tobacco, thinking this would provide a more intimate relationship with my poison. Sucking on straight, long cut at my computer, I was feeling pretty good. Smokeless gives an even stronger nicotine fix.
A spit that should have been just like any other was “oh, damn!” red with my blood. I spat even more blood into the sink, cleaned up, and swore off smokeless. I’m thankful something saved me from myself, because that was most repulsive and just plain wrong.
The Prince and I are happy together along with my rack of straight brairs. I carry a pipe all day and keep lighting up with my specially ordered solid brass Zippo pipe lighter. Whether I’m taken by cancer or natural causes, smoking is my favorite indulgence and I’m keeping it for life. It’s great to finally be at peace with the right smoke for me. It’ll be damn fine to spend that extra $50 a week – on booze, of course.
Pipe smoking is at least worth a try. You’ve got Internet access, so I recommend researching before smoking. Maybe you’re one of those lost souls who should try quitting – again. Whatever your smoking preference, keep it burnin’.