This morning, early in the AM, a buddy calls me and tells me he is at an estate sale, and they had a set of pipes. He knows I enjoy pipes, sends me a video of the set. In the video, they all look in pretty good condition so he tells me a price the guy is asking. I tell him my max for the lot. He haggled and got them significantly less than my price. I'm over joyed that I was about to add 4 new pipes to the collection. I meet up with him; out of the 4, there is one that is beautiful. Silver ring, sand blasted and in great shape and I'm really excited. We Have a couple beers and I thank him for looking out for me. I drove home, excited. I get home and start to inspect them and start to clean them up. Two of them have seen better days. The previous owner chewed the stems quite hard, hard enough to put a hole in the stem near the button. Not a big deal I think to myself, I can fix that if I like how they smoke. I inspect the other one. At then bottom of the bowl there is a largish spot that looks like it's the start of a burn out, and the finish has definitely seen better days. Ok, but still not a huge loss if it burns out and I can just strip the finish, but I like the shape and it probably will be a good smoke. Then my excitement swells. I go to remove the stem from the sandblasted one. It's in pristine condition, no char around the rim, the finish looks well kept, this must have been his favorite pipe. The only flaw I can see is the stem is badly oxidized. Not a big deal. Nothing oxiclean and sandpaper cant fix. I try to remove the stem. It barely budged. I'm thinking to myself, ok its stuck on there good. Go slow, dont use a lot of pressure. She starts to turn ever so slightly and it starts to separate from the shank. I sigh a sigh of relief. I turn it a hair more. SNAP. I hear a wooden clank on the ground. I look down, I have the bowl in my right hand, and the stem in the other. On the floor, is a chunk of the mortis. I wheep softly.