Accosting a Pipe Smoker In The Wild

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odobenus

Member
Dec 15, 2018
248
17
Vermont
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.'

 

cortezattic

Preferred Member
Nov 19, 2009
14,806
2,527
Chicago, IL
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.

 

railman

Junior Member
Mar 9, 2019
83
14
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.

 

hawky454

Preferred Member
Feb 11, 2016
3,051
354
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.

 

odobenus

Member
Dec 15, 2018
248
17
Vermont
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.

 

alaskanpiper

Preferred Member
May 23, 2019
2,595
2,535
Alaska
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.

 

verporchting

Senior Member
Dec 30, 2018
423
201
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. :lol:
He might want to talk then.

 

danimalia

Preferred Member
Sep 2, 2015
1,259
1,648
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 :lol:
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.

 

weezell

Preferred Member
Oct 12, 2011
9,962
2,790
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...

 

didimauw

Moderator
Staff member
Jul 28, 2013
3,714
1,217
30
WI
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

 

mikethompson

Preferred Member
Jun 26, 2016
4,346
669
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.

 

pappymac

Preferred Member
Feb 26, 2015
1,842
31
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.