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Accosting a Pipe Smoker In The Wild

(45 posts)
  • Started 1 month ago by odobenus
  • Latest reply from folanator
  1. odobenus

    odobenus

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    I mentioned in a previous forum about pipespotting that an older pipeman frequents the bench behind our vendor's tent at the farmer's market. Despite a general adherence to one of Gary Shrier's edicts about pipe-smoking etiquette ("A smile or discreet wave of the hand is good form when acknowledging another pipeman's presence" pg. 31, Confessions of a Pipeman), and in spite of the many pronoucements by forum-members here that they would prefer to be left alone when smoking in public, I became overcome with curiosity about what he was smoking, particularly since I found it odd that I couldn't smell it. Also I wished to acknowledge him and let him know, if tacitly, that he should smoke near my tent as often as it pleased him. So I chose the dubious route of circumventing the aforementioned social restraints by having my 6-yr-old son accost him as he walked away.
    Ned, the son in question, caught up with him and with as much grace as a 6-yr-old person can muster, which is to say not a whole hell of a lot, he demanded, 'What kind of tobacco are you smoking?!'
    The man looked a little shocked, but he stopped, peering way down at Ned, and grumbled 'Carter Hall.' Then he resumed walking.
    It remains to be seen whether he will return to his accustomed bench after this somewhat rude inquisition. However, the productive end result is that my son now understands the nuanced definitions of OTC and 'codger's blend.'

    Non Serviam
    Posted 1 month ago #
  2. cortezattic

    Cortez

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    Cute little story. Why didn't you approach him personally and, overcoming the "social restraints", strike up a conversation? Maybe those restraints aren't as pervasive as you imagine.

    I find myself sitting idly on the line dividing past and future,
    as if I could kill time without injuring eternity. -- Thoreau
    Posted 1 month ago #
  3. jpmcwjr

    jpmcwjr

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    Nice story!

    I know that you believe you understood what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.
    Posted 1 month ago #
  4. railman

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    Fun story, kids say the darndest things don’t they!

    There’s an old timer I always see driving around town with a pipe in his mouth, sometimes a straight and sometimes a bent. I’m still hoping for a chance encounter with him at some point but no opportunity yet. I would deduce he’s also a CH smoker as the grocery store in my little town always has one or two boxes of CH on hand, and that’s it. I would presume it’s for this one guy.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  5. sablebrush52

    sablebrush52

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    I steer clear of them. Pipe smokers are all nuts.

    It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt. - Mark Twain

    It is pointless to argue with a fanatic since a dim bulb can't be converted into a searchlight. - Jesse Silver
    Posted 1 month ago #
  6. hawky454

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    Lol, I enjoyed this story. You should gift him a bit of one of your English blends as there is a good chance he’s never even heard of Latakia and all he’s ever known is Carter Hall, not to say that there’s anything wrong with that but you might just blow his mind.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  7. odobenus

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    Ha, I don't think someone who has dedicated his life to Carter Hall wants anything of mine. I keep trying to get my old farmer buddy to try something new -- he only smokes Sir Walter Raleigh -- but he always declines. He won't even smell the tin.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  8. brian64

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    I steer clear of them. Pipe smokers are all nuts.

    Big +1 to that.

    And everyone else are even worse.

    “Bipartisan usually means some larger-than-usual deception is being carried out.” – George Carlin
    Posted 1 month ago #
  9. alaskanpiper

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    Great story!

    I will follow the rules in the future, as my only attempt at approaching another pipe smoker in public resulted in my wife and I fleeing from a semi-sane unintelligible homeless man. I don't think he gave chase, but we didn't turn around to find out.

    It was probably one of you guys.

    "We are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well that death will tremble to take us." ---Hank

    "Yeah, well, you know that's just like, uh, your opinion, man..." --- The Dude
    Posted 1 month ago #
  10. redglow

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    Get a pouch of CH and have your son give it to him the next time you see him.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  11. mikethompson

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    Well he has been scared away for good now.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  12. weezell

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    Thank God your son didn't get bit...

    "the weez"...
    Posted 1 month ago #
  13. verporchting

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    Better yet, have your son join him on the bench with a corn cob pipe and a pouch of Carter Hall and then ask for a light.

    He might want to talk then.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  14. danimalia

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    I will follow the rules in the future, as my only attempt at approaching another pipe smoker in public resulted in my wife and I fleeing from a semi-sane unintelligible homeless man. I don't think he gave chase, but we didn't turn around to find out.

    Next time make sure the pipe is made of briar instead of glass

    Get a pouch of CH and have your son give it to him the next time you see him.

    Yeah! Great idea. Or even send him over with another burley blend he might like... Lane/Edgeworth RR, Solani 656, HH Burley Flake, Watch City Slices, Classic Burley Kake... Something like that.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  15. weezell

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    Yeah! Great idea. Or even send him over with another burley blend he might like... Lane/Edgeworth RR, Solani 656, HH Burley Flake, Watch City Slices, Classic Burley Kake... Something like that.
    For Gods sake the guy would probably keel over dead thinking you're trying to make him smoke something else...

    Posted 1 month ago #
  16. danimalia

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    Send your son over with some sherm! Turn the farmer's market in a madhouse!

    Posted 1 month ago #
  17. didimauw

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    Loved the story! I've been seeing more pipe smokers in public lately. Next opportunity I have I will make the first move. Harder than trying to talk to the opposite sex! Haha

    "I don't know half of you half as well as I should like, and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve."
    Posted 1 month ago #
  18. chasingembers

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    pipe-smoking etiquette

    Myth.

    You actually sent a six year old after a total stranger for nothing more than a tobacco inquiry?

    I like coffee exceedingly.
    - H. P. Lovecraft
    Posted 1 month ago #
  19. mikethompson

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    Are all pipe smokers in the wild like Cosmic's neighbour, who doesn't want anything to do with him? Probably not. But I've only seen 1 man smoking a pipe around here my whole life so I have a limited sample size.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  20. pappymac

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    I saw a pipesmoker in the wild once.... then I realized it was my reflection in the window.

    Seriously though, I have occasionally seen signs of another pipe smoker in my small town. The local cigar shop I visit has expanded the number of pipes and accessories they have on display and has a good selection of bulk blends. I'm sure they wouldn't do this if someone wasn't buying the products. I've also seen a couple of different vehicles with pipes sitting in holders on their dashboard.

    Of course, I can drive to the B&M 32 miles from my house and see pipe smokers anytime I want to as that where our pipe club meets.

    I am glad we have a good admin and responsible moderators.

    Heave to you dark colored ship under sail! Prepare to be boarded!
    Posted 1 month ago #
  21. odobenus

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    pipe-smoking etiquette

    Myth.

    Solid point, Duane! My own personal pipe-smoking etiquette involves a heavy fug of Turkish and Latakia that clings to my clothing and hair, small pieces of shag stuck between my teeth, ashes on my pants and shirt, black tamper-shaped smudges on everything I own, and matchsticks falling out of my pockets. It is undoubtedly off-putting to all but few. Or at least that's how I intend it.

    You actually sent a six year old after a total stranger for nothing more than a tobacco inquiry?

    He is like a good heeler. Send him after the stray calves to nip and set them running, then recall him.

    Posted 1 month ago #
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    blues4goose

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    I've been told enough times that I'm doing it 'wrong' because my pipe is polished and clean and my tobacco costs more than $15/lb, that I just don't want to approach smokers in the wild anymore. I've never met any kind of smoker in the wild other than a codger, and me being young and looking even younger doesn't help. I even try to offer samples of what I'm smoking and I've always been met with an upturned nose.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  23. frankrem

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    Yea finding a pipe smoker is a bit like finding a four leaf clover around here. I have heard rumor of them but never really seen one out in the wild yet. Can I interest anyone in a bit of snipe hunting?

    Posted 1 month ago #
  24. odobenus

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    Sidenote: I honestly thought snipes were fictional until about 6 years ago, and I am 40. Now I am surrounded by them.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  25. jpmcwjr

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    I see a pipe smoker every month or so where I live. But I spend a lot of time on the golf course, where it appears I am the only one who partakes.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  26. timelord

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    I've met a few ex-pipe smokers when I've been sitting in the park smoking. They usually come over and say they used to smoke pipes and ask what I'm smoking and we've had a pleasant little chat although one fella pointedly told me he had stopped and couldn't stand the smell of pipes anymore. Whilst I was trying to think of suitable - and non antagonistic - response he walked off. I've had a few other non-smokers talk to me about the pipe but only ever in a friendly way.

    Leaving church after the Christmas vigil mass (aka midnight mass) one of the readers came over as I was lighting up and said he'd been a pipe smoker for many years and missed it and he was glad to see that there were some still about - his wife didn't appear so keen though!

    Oh, and I've had the strange person who starts the mock coughing when I am standing downwind and the pipe isn't even lit...

    ...but seeing someone else actually smoking a pipe; very rare.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  27. chasingembers

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    black tamper-shaped smudges on everything

    I've got one pair of jeans that those never wash out of!

    Posted 1 month ago #
  28. husky

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    Can I interest anyone in a bit of snipe hunting?

    I honestly thought snipes were fictional until about 6 years ago, and I am 40. Now I am surrounded by them.

    Does snipe mean something other than a small bird here?

    Posted 1 month ago #
  29. odobenus

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    Nah, just the bird. And a non-stop chorus, certain times of year, of their tail-feather winnowing/drumming, which I love.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  30. autumnfog

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    In my town, I've seen three or four pipe smokers in five years.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  31. chasingembers

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    Does snipe mean something other than a small bird here?

    A wild snipe hunt is a prank where you ask someone if they want to go snipe hunting, take them into the woods, tell them to hold a bag open so that you can chase a snipe into it, and leave them there overnight.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  32. frankrem

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    Yea its just a prank you pull on friends. Basically having someone out looking for something they are never going to find while you and your buddies laugh at their expense.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  33. alaskanpiper

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    their tail-feather winnowing/drumming, which I love

    This is such a unique noise, I love hearing it as well.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  34. husky

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    Yea its just a prank you pull on friends. Basically having someone out looking for something they are never going to find while you and your buddies laugh at their expense.
    Ok. I only know about snipe because they are the origin of the term "sniper", a person who is good at shooting snipe and therefore a very good marksman.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  35. 5star

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    I saw one pipe smoker in the wild during the last 3 years. I was driving past him and he was about to head into a store. If I had been near him & on foot I would’ve said Hello.
    On the other hand, I often see vapers out there. The first time I saw one, I wondered what the heck kind of cigar he was smoking. The cloud of smoke was prodigious.

    "You are remembered for the rules you break." - General Douglas MacArthur
    Posted 1 month ago #
  36. cshubhra

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    I had a scary encounter with a ‘Pipe Smoker in the wild” last year. I was taking an UBER to office and on I-78 towards Holland Tunnel, a car wildly swerved into our lane. Somehow the UBER lady avoided hitting him. Later on when we passed him, he was lighting a pipe.

    Posted 1 month ago #
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    szconrad

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    I've yet to really smoke in public. I've tried smoking at a local park, but since I'm not quite sure what the community rules are involving pipe smoking and smoking in general, I tend to feel more comfortable to smoke at home. I did see a pipe smoker a few weeks back in downtown Savannah. He moved with purpose and was wearing a flat cap. I appreciated seeing him out in public like that, but I also didn't feel the need to accost him in any way.

    Posted 1 week ago #
  38. tulsagentleman

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    My wife and I were on a cruise last spring along with around 5000 other passengers. One of the designated smoking areas was outside next to the rooftop swimming pool and I wandered up there several times each day to smoke a pipe. Only once all week did I see another pipe smoker. He was an older gentleman puffing on a clenched half-bent pipe while he read a paperback book. I was so pleased to find another pipe smoker in the den of cigarette fiends that I went over and sat down across from him. I waited until he looked up at me and told him it was nice to see a fellow pipe smoker. He scowled at me and muttered something unintelligible then went back to his book. After a moment I left him alone. We pipers are a solitary lot it seems.

    Posted 1 week ago #
  39. hugodrax

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    Yeah, honestly better not to try. It is the equivalent of walking up to another guy and pointing out you're both wearing the same shoes. Not really the deep connection you might think it to be.

    Posted 5 days ago #
  40. cosmicfolklore

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    Not really the deep connection you might think it to be.
    BINGO!!!
    That, and most questions people ask me while I am smoking are usually stupid as shit.
    Questions that I have gotten by other pipesmokers while minding my own business smoking my pipe...
    "What kind of pipes do you smoke?" ~This was the most moronic thing I had ever heard from someone who claimed to have been a pipesmoker.
    "Have you tried (insert a tobacco brand name tobacco here)?" ~Why would a stranger care what another stranger has tried?
    "Have you ever tried breathsmoking? ~as I set there breathsmoking. I just assume they've watched one of the dumbass videos on Youtube, and they have no clue about anything.
    "Do you want to try my blend?" ~Egads!! Dear Lord, NO!! Please go away. I don't trust some stranger wanting to put their shit in my pipe, and... go away from me.

    "Have you ever been to the Briary?" ~Finally a smart question, but I lie, because I don't want some beginning pipe smoker asking me a bunch of questions.

    Most of the time, they are really neophytes wanting to learn something, but I am not a teacher of these things. There are already too many pipesmokers in my area, especially my town.
    But, sometimes it is just some jerk that wants to test whether he knows more about something than me. Life is too short for these types of morons. I usually just send these types to this website.

    And, I can tell the guys who just want to make friends, because they may walk up with their own pipes, but keep the conversation on other things.

    But, most of the time when I hear that they are a pipesmoker too, it is like hearing, "I have the same haircut." Who cares?

    You guys who live in places where there aren't other pipe smokers to bother you with this inane bullshit... I'm jealous.

    Michael
    Posted 5 days ago #
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    anotherbob

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    I don't mind dumb questions. In fact I like being able to spread a little joy with my pipe. And anything is better then the dirty looks old woman often give me.

    Posted 5 days ago #
  42. cosmicfolklore

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    Earlier in my pipesmoking, I thought the same. But, after years of being the pipesmoking guy who walks his dog in town every night, and the local fish wrapper did a whole article on the "pipe guy" that pissed off a few other folks in town who wanted to be the town pipesmoker, including our mayor and fire chief. With the Briary in the next town over and an ever growing large pipe community... I stopped going to pipe club meetings because they were getting so large that it was like a party, and I don't do parties, or large groups. At this point if I haven't done my part to increase pipe smoking, then so be it. Besides, why would I want to increase the amount of competition for my favorite blends?
    At this point my suggestions to people are to return to cigarettes or try cigars. Pipes are just too hard for the average person. I really really don't want more competition for my favorite blends. It's fairly obvious that these companies will not increase production to keep up with demand. So... screw off, go away, don't smoke pipes it's not good for you, don't set next to me, and go f&^% yourself.

    But, at one time, I was all unicorn farts and rainbows. That was before I couldn't set in peace and enjoy my pipe in the parking lot while my wife shopped. Now, it's all, "what kinds of pipes do you like?"

    Posted 5 days ago #
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    anotherbob

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    we all have our crosses to bear.

    Posted 5 days ago #
  44. warren

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    I'm asocial and do not suffer fools gladly. It's not a cross to bear. I won't intrude on a stranger's solitude and ... expect and demand the same consideration from others. I have enough acquaintances. I have enough friends!

    A man without a shillelagh is a man without an expedient.
    Posted 5 days ago #
  45. folanator

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    Earlier in my pipesmoking, I thought the same. But, after years of being the pipesmoking guy who walks his dog in town every night, and the local fish wrapper did a whole article on the "pipe guy" that pissed off a few other folks in town who wanted to be the town pipesmoker, including our mayor and fire chief. With the Briary in the next town over and an ever growing large pipe community... I stopped going to pipe club meetings because they were getting so large that it was like a party, and I don't do parties, or large groups.

    I kid I kid....

    Posted 5 days ago #

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