As I lit up my last bowl of Coconut Creme tonight and watched a little tv, the aroma of coconut and cocoa was tickling my nose. My mind started to wander and I found myself thinking of a conversation I had overheard in a smoking room about a year ago. Two gentlemen, both of many years, were sitting across the room from me discussing general topics such as sports, weather, and the occasional joke about wives or ex-wives when I came in and sat down. I packed a bowl of Dan’s Sweet Vanilla Honeydew and did a slight charring light. While I was tamping down the top ash, both men acknowledged me with the standard head nod and continued their conversation. So I lit the bowl up, got a good center fire going and reached down into my backpack and pulled out my latest edition of Foreign Affairs magazine and started reading.
After a few minutes of reading and enjoying my quiet smoke, I noticed that the conversation between the two gentlemen had picked up a little volume to it. I started listening to what the men were saying but never looked up from my magazine. Now I know that this is rude and I shouldn’t have been listening in, but hell, I was just checking to see if there may be a reason to exit the building immediately. You never know what might happen.
As I was listening to the conversation, it donned on me what they were talking about. The point of their conversation had become the difference between aromatic and english tobacco and the kind of men that smoked each. The bad thing about this conversation was they were trying to make it loud enough for me to hear. They were poking fun at me for smoking an aromatic tobacco but did not want to confront me head on with it. Then I realized that when I had stepped in the room, I had picked up a note of english in the air. Now this didnt phase me one bit due to the fact that my Grandfather and Uncle both smoked english at least two times a day. Now being a gentleman and knowing not to disrespect my elders, I kindly waited the storm out and never acknowledged the fact that I had even heard the first word. I could have been spiteful and made a butt out of myself, but sometimes the battle is not worth the war.
I understand there are differences amonst people all over the world. I also understand that we live with these differences everyday, but I absolutely refuse to see a fellow man or woman of the briar in a different light because of what they fill their bowl with. I have always welcomed fellow pipe smokers with a smile and a handshake and even a bowl full if needed. I feel that if you have the common interest of pipe smoking, that is a starting point to a great friendship. We pipesters are a small but proud group, and if we start separating from within, we will start losing what we are really bonded together with. Ladies and Gentlemen, what we have is a fellowship, one that has stood the test of time and survived. We are brought together by a love of the briar and it would be foolish to segregate due to what is put in our bowls.
Thanks for reading my rant.