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Pipe Stigma?

(57 posts)
  • Started 5 years ago by dannybeans
  • Latest reply from johnscs
  1. dannybeans

    dannybeans

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    I've seen other threads about encountering negative reactions to tobacco in general, but I've run into a couple that seem to apply to pipes specifically, and am wondering if anybody else has seen anything similar.

    The one that bugs me the most is dismissiveness. Since pipes are so popular with the hipster crowd these days, there seems to be an assumption that all pipe smokers are doing it as an affectation. Yeah, yeah, forget what other people think (it's right there in my sig quote!), but it's still a bit insulting.

    The other is the seemingly inevitable question of "so, do you smoke anything else in that, wink nod?" Now, the legality of various smokeables is a whole 'nother discussion (I've got nothing against it, but it's not my scene). But seeing as how it's something a person could get in some real trouble for, I don't like it even being suggested. Besides, that stuff tastes nasty - no way am I gonna let that mix with my tobacco!

    Granted, the pipesmoking culture in my little town is basically nonexistent, so it may just be a provincialism thing. Whatever the reasons, though, it has kept me from smoking a pipe too openly. Has anybody else run into these (or other) negative attitudes?

    "There are undoubtedly some that smoke a pipe to add years to their age. I smoke a pipe to enjoy the years I have accumulated."
    - saintpeter
    Posted 5 years ago #
  2. petes03

    petes03

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    Don't let it keep you from smoking your pipe in public! I get my fair share of looks and negative reactions, but I also get a lot of positive comments. I smoke my pipe everywhere I go, regardless! I seem to get the most mixed reactions in tourist areas though. Every time I go to Gatlinburg it's mostly positive, but back in June I went to Stone Mt., GA and got probably around 65% negative. Here in my home town, it seems to be 50/50! I've been told I look sophisticated, and I've been told I look stupid! I've been told pipe smoking is dead, and that it's only for old men (I'm 30, by the way). I thank people for their complements and I take the negativity in stride. I am who I am! People can think whatever they want, but they can't change me with their opinions!

    Posted 5 years ago #
  3. dannybeans

    dannybeans

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    Oh, for sure - I shouldn't let it bug me. I'm actually in a similar boat, petes - I'm in my early 30s, and don't have the "look" of a pipe smoker (magnificent facial hair seems to be a badge of office - my bog-standard beard just doesn't cut it ). *shrug* I just don't like getting hassled, I guess, so it's easier keep it private.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  4. samanden

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    I think what separates the pipe man from the hipster who has a pipe is that the pipe man carries his pipe wherever he goes. Whether he's working or socializing, fishing or hammering nails, he has his pipe as a companion. People who hold a pipe for affect are clumsy. Their technique is inconsistent and unstable. When I pull out my pipe, the people around me seem to know that I've done this before. A pipe is like a good suit: some men can wear one, more let the suit wear them.

    SamAnden

    ~Slow and steady wins the taste.
    Posted 5 years ago #
  5. allan

    allan

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    I'm out in the Hamptons, n.y. this weekend (can be a snooty place depending where you are) and when my family is shopping at the stores I just hang out smoking, patiently waiting for them to move to the next shop

    Sometimes I see the women with their kids scurry them along to pass by the evil man smoking, other times many take it in stride; once in a long while ill get a gentle nod in my direction from a gentleman passing by.

    What can you do? The anti smoking attitude is so pervasive out here . Hopefully there will be enough of us multiplying and seen around town that we can be more accepted

    I can dream, can't I ?

    Allan
    Posted 5 years ago #
  6. samanden

    samanden

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    Is it bad form to suggest that we also have to be mindful of what we smoke in certain circumstances? For example, if I'm socializing I'll choose a nice aromatic for the evening. If at a cookout, a Virginia flake smells nice. If I'm hanging with the boys, I can pull out something stronger like a VaPer or Cigar blend, maybe an English if we're going to the cigar lounge (let them boys know we pipe men can stink up a joint too). I've noticed people are more receptive to my pipe when it somehow smells appropriate.

    Sam

    Posted 5 years ago #
  7. mso489

    mso489

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    This is really two questions, about the social image of pipes in general, in the public, and about pipes in a small community.
    The great thing about small communities is that everyone knows everyone else, which is also the worst thing about them.
    Your possibilities are limited to the imaginations of the small group of folks living in a somewhat isolated area, at least as
    relates to that place. To his neighbors in Mississippi, William Faulkner was just old Bill, that writtin' fella grampa who got
    too stubborn about riding his durn horse, etc. On a more cosmopolitan level, the hipster association will affect people under
    a certain age. No one seeing me, or anyone else over a certain age, is going to think I'm an aspiring hipster. Clearly, what
    you see is what you get, for better or worse. Younger people will have to sort this out. Pipes don't have that much of a public
    image because you can't smoke them so many places.

    Posted 5 years ago #
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    mannish

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    I am too old to care about the hipster thing but the pipe appears to be less offensive to others than cigars

    Posted 5 years ago #
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    Anonymous

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    I am too old to care about the hipster thing but the pipe appears to be less offensive to others than cigars

    +1
    Sometimes I see the women with their kids scurry them along to pass by the evil man smoking

    Another plus for pipe smoking in my book.

    I am old, decrepit and the last thing people notice is my pipe, lmao.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  10. smokedragon

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    The problem I had while still around campus was that I had a hard time separating myself for the hipster pipe movement. I am 25 and in grad school. Already my smoking a pipe seems suspect. Truth be told I started because my Dad did/does. The smell and the practice was nostalgic. As I start my "adult" life with my wife and our first home, it becomes therapeutic to relax and smoke my pipe while I ponder about how much things have changed in the past two years.

    Rambling aside, I found it frustrating to see other people my age and younger acting high and mighty with their Chinese knock-off pipes that they bedazzled or painted with flames. Try striking up a conversation about tobacco, and they look at you with no clue what an aro or English blend even is.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  11. tarak

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    I tend mostly to smoke around home, but when out in public I do get the occasional "What are you REALLY smoking in there buddy".

    Around people that know me that find out I pipe smoke- its just applied to the general negative tobacco thing- and its also considered weird. There aren't too many hipsters lighting up here so pipe smoking might at best be considered- odd.

    Posted 5 years ago #
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    plateauguy

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    At a family gathering a week ago my sister-in-law made a comment about how awful it was that kids had to be around smokers. I calmly stated that all of her kids and my daughter had been around me while growing up and they were'nt harmed. Her mouth dropped open and she said, "you don't smoke". I proudly took her inside and showed her my pipe collection. She was stunned. Then she said, "well, pipes aren't REALLY smoking."

    When you have this kind of attitude in your own family, it doesn't really surprise you about the public. I'm at the age that I don't give a damn what anyone thinks anymore.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  13. keith929

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    I'm at the age that I don't give a damn what anyone thinks anymore.

    I am in that club. I ignore the smoke-nazis and enjoy my pipe whenever and wherever and obey the no smoking signs.
    I always keep a snappy retort handy for anybody who can't keep their opinions to themselves.

    A smart man learns from the mistakes of others.
    A wise man learns from his own.
    ---Anonymous
    Posted 5 years ago #
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    Personally I don't care what other people think re: the issues the OP mentions. It doesn't really matter much here, because I actually don't smoke much in public except while taking a walk, at a cookout, picnic, etc. In those "social" settings, the people around me simply accept the fact that I smoke a pipe and I usually smoke a blend with a nice room note in deference to them.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  15. sparrowhawk

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    So far I've been fortunate; when visiting relatives in the northern hinterlands of Michigan recently and smoking my pipe on the porch deck to avoid the discussions of the women's coupons and sales, I didn't receive any criticism. However, this might be because I've always been considered the Black Sheep of the family with a mind of his own--I am a writer descended from an agrarian blue collar family after all, which pegs me as "different" and eccentric, and at my current age am not likely to change. I do mention passingly to people who show any interest that pipe smokers don't actually inhale much. This seems to mitigate things.

    There is no beauty without some strangeness in proportion.
    Posted 5 years ago #
  16. kcvet67

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    I had my 65th birthday last weekend so I'm officially allowed to ignore what others think.

    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants."
    -- Thomas Jefferson
    Posted 5 years ago #
  17. cavendish36

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    I'm with roth here, in that I really don't care what other people think. My MIL doesn't really care for the smoke, so I don't do it around her. Otherwise, my wife and kids don't object to the aroma of my tobacco, and people I meet while I am walking the dog seem to find the pipe an interesting thing. I don't broadcast the fact that I smoke a pipe, but I am un-apologetic about it; deferential, but not fearful.

    Only a poor, uncreative mind cannot come up with more than one way to spell a word. - Mark Twain
    Posted 5 years ago #
  18. sothron

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    I didn't realize hipsters had taken up pipesmoking. No hipsters out here, thank God.

    Posted 5 years ago #
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    lordape

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    I am in that club. I ignore the smoke-nazis and enjoy my pipe whenever and wherever and obey the no smoking signs.
    I always keep a snappy retort handy for anybody who can't keep their opinions to themselves.

    My favourite is a joke I heard a while ago.

    As he steps outside, a man pulls out a cigarette, lights it up and takes a drag. A woman who had been standing outside pipes up "You know smoking shortens your life expectancy."
    The man looks at her, takes another drag and replies "My granddaddy lived to the age of 96."
    "Oh," said the woman "And did he smoke his entire life?"
    "No," the man replied "he knew how to mind his own f**king business."

    Posted 5 years ago #
  20. mso489

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    Hmmm. It's an interesting idea that there is a "hipster" contingent among young people on campus and maybe
    in some cities, who take tobacco pipe smoking as one of their activities. Some university students show up at the
    TAPS (regional pipe show) at the Raleigh N.C. Fairgrounds in the spring. They don't seem to be a stereotyped
    group at all. Some of them look pretty serious like they don't cut many classes nor drop many either; I don't
    really know, but that's the impression, serious, articulate college students, maybe some grad students. Others
    look preoccupied with sociability. None looked particularly eccentric, not "hipster" whatever that might be, not
    especially "preppy" nor like fraternity types. Anyway, I've been warned, if I see student age, or recent graduate age
    young folks over-dramatizing their pipes. I don't want to know what they'll think of me; I'll leave that alone.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  21. brian64

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    I didn't realize hipsters had taken up pipesmoking.

    +1 ... I had no idea there was any “hipster pipe movement” until it started being mentioned here on the forum. Earthlings are strange.

    “Bipartisan usually means some larger-than-usual deception is being carried out.” – George Carlin
    Posted 5 years ago #
  22. irwinmetro

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    I took up a pipe when I was 20 or 21 (five or six years ago). I started because my band mates and I thought it was cool, unique and a little different from our contemporaries. Arguably the same reason's as hipsters.

    I still fail to see how this is a bad thing. Here I am today, more involved in this hobby than I ever realized I would be. I still have barely scratched the surface of pipes, tobaccos and techniques. If I hadn't started smoking a pipe because I thought it was a cool thing to do, I most certainly wouldn't be smoking today.

    It's been half a decade, I've graduated college, got a job, got married, had a kid, got a mortgage and I still think smoking a pipe makes me look pretty damn cool.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  23. brian64

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    I still fail to see how this is a bad thing.

    Personally, I don’t really consider it to be bad or good...just can’t relate much...but then I’ve never been very hip. Kudos to you though on sticking with it...but I would venture to guess that you are probably the exception. I’m thinking that the majority who start in that category will probably not explore and experience the fullness of what tobacco pipe smoking really is and stick with it. But then I could be wrong.

    Also, your description of how you started sounds to me a bit more toward the conventional side than the “hipster movement” that has been described by others.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  24. bryanf

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    I really don't care for hipsters for a number of reasons.

    However, if they smoke a pipe, I'd probably dislike them a little less.

    Never noticed a stigma, bit when I smoke, I am blissfully unaware of most of the bs around me, which is why I smoke in the first place.. I smoke my pipe all the time in public, because I smoke my pipe all the time.

    I had 4 pipes with me when I first met my beautiful wife, in a bag with a bunch of tobacco almost 6 years ago. Pipes are good luck, and ladies love them!

    Posted 5 years ago #
  25. tarak

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    It should be noted that contemporary "hipsters" are defined less by "free love" and their political stance, and more by the fact That they just enjoy vintage stuff. "Hipster" is not another word for "hippy".

    Posted 5 years ago #
  26. brian64

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    It should be noted that contemporary "hipsters" are defined less by "free love" and their political stance, and more by the fact That they just enjoy vintage stuff. "Hipster" is not another word for "hippy".

    This seems to be getting more, rather than less, confusing. Speaking only for myself of course, but I did not perceive the hipster reference to be anything like hippies (which is something I can relate to, to some degree) ... but I also did not think it had anything to do with “enjoying vintage stuff”. Oh well...probably better I don’t try to figure it out...I must just be getting old.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  27. pylorns

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    I live in Austin, which has a good number of hipsters. I'm noticing more of them smoking pipes, and while I really dislike them (it's prob. just a generational thing), I do like the idea that it helps the cause of differentiating luxury tobacco products vs. cigarettes in the eyes of the anti-smoker crowd. The more people who are even slightly educated about premium tobacco, and are seen smoking a pipe vs a cigarette the better in my opinion - even if they are of the douchebaggery persuasion.

    Hipster pics to help clairify:

    Beiber pipe fever?

    AND ESPECIALLY THIS ONE...wow.

    Posted 5 years ago #
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    Anonymous

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    I'm in the mid-30s age group as well. I often get funny looks and people even laughing about me smoking my pipe. I also get the comments about wacky tobaccy pretty often. None of that phases me. I am who I am and I've learned not to try to bend myself to fit an image or please other people. If someone is going to single me out for being different, than they ain't worth my damn time. Period.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  29. timely

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    I'm 55, worked hard, do as I please. Bonus is my grandsons think granny is cool.

    Posted 5 years ago #
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    pipinho

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    I get looks but much of it is "wow someone actually smoking a pipe" rather than gauking. I guess because i "look" normal that it surprises them more, I'm not a hipster, don't have a beard or a mustache, and wear normail clothes. I always try not to smoke when there are children around though. As a smoker we have a responsibility on when and where we smoke imho.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  31. effektor

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    I tend not to smoke in public simply because I don't have much opportunity to. I am aware of the D-bag hipster affectation connection, and would like to avoid the connection. There is not caring what people think, and then there is alienating people because they confuse you with a certain undesirable subculture. This isn't an issue past a certain age, but I'm not there yet... at least people don't think so. So like fedoras, people may assume you are "one of those guys"

    I do think one important distinction should be made. People don't dislike the pipe in those cases, it is the person they think they see. The stigma isn't about the pipe, it's about hipsters.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  32. voorhees

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    I took up the pipe at about 40. I had smoke cigars for many years, but the cost was high. I bought a pipe for smoking cigar nubs(terrible results). But something about the pipe rang true with me and I started down that road. I am glad I did.

    Jason
    Posted 5 years ago #
  33. dannybeans

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    effektor: That's exactly what I was going for in the first post. You expressed it much better than I did. Thank you.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  34. foggymountain

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    Much ado about nothing. Hipster pipe movement? Never heard of it. Old ladies don't like it? Who gives a darn?

    Posted 5 years ago #
  35. numbersix

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    FWIW, I hear what you're saying dannybeans. I also refrain from smoking too openly. However, I give major props to those who don't give a damn, but I'm the type that doesn't like to draw attention to himself. So if I smoke in public (not often), I don't make a show of it.

    As he steps outside, a man pulls out a cigarette, lights it up and takes a drag. A woman who had been standing outside pipes up "You know smoking shortens your life expectancy."
    The man looks at her, takes another drag and replies "My granddaddy lived to the age of 96."
    "Oh," said the woman "And did he smoke his entire life?"
    "No," the man replied "he knew how to mind his own f**king business."

    lol!

    "Be seeing you"


    Posted 5 years ago #
  36. leg59

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    My coworkers seem to find it hilarious that I smoke a pipe, and the jests just keep on coming, mostly of the "What are you REALLY smoking?" variety.
    I just keep on puffing. Now if I could just convince the wife to let me smoke in the house...

    Kind Regards
    Posted 5 years ago #
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    Anonymous

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    LOL there are undoubtedly some that smoke a pipe to add years to their age. I smoke a pipe to enjoy the years I have accumulated.

    Posted 5 years ago #
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    Love the briar

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    This is my opinion only. I never ever smoke anything in public, my beloved pipe,cigarette,cigar. I'm not out there to try and look cool while smoking. Smoking around groups of people that don't smoke, are in a smoking environment in my opinion is just very disrespectful Also smoking is very unhealthy and I don't want the first kid thinking to there-self that looks neat, that guy look cool, I wanna do that when I get older. No way no how. I have 4 girls and they have never seen me smoke my beloved pipe are cigar are cigarette. I always smoke in my private layer only. I smoke for my private enjoyment, . If out in public for long amounts of time and I need some nicotine I always carry nicotine gum.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  39. piperl12

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    Love the briar might I suggest you find a new place to troll your negative comments about our hobby. If you are so offended by what we do that you compare it to urinating in the street you are in the wrong place. You are entitled to your opinion by all means, but I come here to share a hobby with others who enjoy it and not to hear the same drivel that can be heard on any street corner these days. Mods please reconsider this persons membership here. I believe we have an anti-smoking troll in our midst. Gents anyone else agree?

    Posted 5 years ago #
  40. northernneil

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    I don't understand this hipster hate today. I'm sure in the beginning I looked like a hipster trying to look cool because I had no idea what I was doing. Unlike cigar and cigaretts, there is a large learning curve when starting out as a pipe smoker. If people are new to the hobby, and are still in the learning stages, does that make them annoying hipster who doesn't know what he is talking about?

    Posted 5 years ago #
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    Love the briar

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    I see a personal attack that needs to be dealt with.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  42. piperl12

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    Interesting how your original post has been watered down and edited since the first post! All of a sudden it's beloved pipe. No more comments about what a vile habit it is???

    Posted 5 years ago #
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    Love the briar

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    I think you might be just a bit on the delusional side buddy?

    Posted 5 years ago #
  44. piperl12

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    And your full of sh@t

    Posted 5 years ago #
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    Love the briar

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    Members cursing other members, man how many times could you possibly stick your foot in your mouth in the same day, lol.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  46. piperl12

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    I'm not concerned I have seen your type before. You will eventually get caught out. Next time I'll screen shot your post before you can edit it. You remind me a lot of a guy that used to sell Meershaum pipes here. Took awhile but his true colours were found out too. Amazing and you have only been here for a week.

    Posted 5 years ago #
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    Love the briar

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    This is great, absolutely. Come get some OORAH!

    Posted 5 years ago #
  49. phred

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    So far, the only real stigma that I've run into personally has been my wife's concern with cancer (which I've done my best to assuage) and her distaste for certain "mustache notes" (particularly English blends, but also Sir Walter Raleigh). Even my most anti-smoking friends were the ones who pointed out a vendor carrying churchwardens at the Ren Faire.

    On the other hand, I also don't smoke around my anti-smoking friends, and I do attempt to sit downwind of my wife when we're out on the back porch. I'm still an occasional smoker, and I tend to make an occasion out of my limited opportunities, so I have not yet gotten in the habit of carrying my accoutrements with me all the time, in case an opportunity presents itself. Once this changes, I expect that I may open myself to some gawking - though once you've appeared in public wearing a kilt and a top hat with goggles, getting a ration for pipe smoking is probably not going to be that big a deal to me.



    "De gustibus non est disputandum."
    Posted 5 years ago #
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    though once you've appeared in public wearing a kilt and a top hat with goggles, getting a ration for pipe smoking is probably not going to be that big a deal to me.

    Right up until they see the Skean Dhus, then the laughing stops.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  51. phred

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    Right up until they see the Skean Dhus, then the laughing stops.

    Well, much as I hate to admit it, many of the events I wear my kilt to have weapons policies - so I carry a "Sgian Bru" to those instead.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  52. dannybeans

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    There are undoubtedly some that smoke a pipe to add years to their age. I smoke a pipe to enjoy the years I have accumulated.

    May I sig quote that, saintpeter?

    Posted 5 years ago #
  53. irwinmetro

    irwinmetro

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    Sorry to revive this thread but I couldn't resist. A friend of a friend of my wife's updated her Facebook status last night:

    Buddy just rode by on a skateboard. Long hair. Plaid shirt. Smoking a pipe. A real pipe. He just made my day. There's to you my pipe smoking neighbour.

    When this person found out (via my wife and her friend's frantic texting) that it was me she added this:

    That is the sweetest person I've seen in a long time.

    Perhaps there is hope for our passion yet. At the very least it's further proof that chicks dig pipes.

    Posted 5 years ago #
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    I couldn't resist it.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gx9PD8cSwSU

    Posted 5 years ago #
  55. brian64

    brian64

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    @saintpeter: Those songs/videos are hilarious...especially Fighting Trousers. I’m glad there are young hipsters such as yourself here to bring such things to my attention.

    Posted 5 years ago #
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    I’m glad there are young hipsters such as yourself here to bring such things to my attention.

    That makes me happy and even - dare I say it - proud. I should confess, however, the year I was born Dwight D. Eisenhower was elected president.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  57. johnscs

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    I think irwinmetro makes a terrific point. If the nostalgic and cool factors draw potential pipe smokers to our hobby, what's the harm? Even if some people ("hipsters" included) don't take to pipes as most of us have, don't their attempts make pipes more visible and potentially cross-generational? Personally, I don't quite get the anti-hipster biases I've detected, especially when it comes to smoking pipes. If a person who fits a certain age demographic, surrounds himself with like-minded friends, participates in certain kinds of social habits, dresses in a certain way chooses to try a pipe (and maybe even learn to love it), shouldn't we welcome him (or her)? I've crossed paths with other customers in local pipe shops who might fit some of these profile characteristics and who were deeply interested in pipes and tobaccos. A few of them have impressed me with how well acquainted they were with the hobby; I also appreciate their eagerness to share it with their friends. The guys who were new to pipes have understandably seemed a little uncertain at first. I know I was awkward with my pipe as a teenager and 20-something guy (weren't most of us?). Nonetheless, I haven't met a newcomer to the hobby who wasn't really interested in learning how to handle a pipe or how enjoy it over the long term. I think it's a good thing that younger people are showing an interest in pipes and pipe smoking.

    Posted 5 years ago #

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