Written by Puff Staff

Thursday, 05 May 2011

User Rating: / 18

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I remember my first week of smoking a pipe.  Oh what a time I had.  I wanted to see what it was all about.  I’d smoked a few cigars before and enjoyed it, but there was something about smoking a pipe that was, well, different.  It looked so refined to me.  It looked elegant.  And seeing all the people I’d seen smoking pipes previously, it looked easy.  Well, my first week was anything but refined, elegant and easy!

I went to a local mall brick and mortar (B&M) and picked up one of their no-named basket pipes.  I saw the cobs hanging on the wall and scoffed!  “Ha, I’d never be caught dead smoking one of those!”  I remember sniffing the jars of tobacco since they didn’t have any tins.  Wonderful smells, all!  Cherries, vanillas and….something that smelled like a campfire?  What was that?  I figured, it already smells burnt, why would I want to smoke it?  So I told the young man at the counter I’d like a couple ounces of the cherry smelling one and 2 ounces of the vanilla smelling one.  And you know, I enjoy smoked meats and nuts and cheese, I’ll give this campfire tobacco a try too.  All in all, I think I spent about $50 for the pipe and tobaccos.  The young man was a real “go getter” and sold me some pipe cleaners and a pipe tool as well.

I’d spent the previous evening at home on the internet searching for how to pack a pipe and so, now with pipe and tobacco in hand, I was ready to go.  There were several sites that described several methods.  I also ran across some site called Puff or something like that but wasn’t interested in what the general public on a forum had to say about the matter.  I’d watched a video!

So, with the three step method, I load my pipe.  The sales clerk had also tried to tell me to remember, like a child, like a woman and then like a man.  Yeah yeah, pack it like that.  He’d probably never seen the video I saw!  So, after probably a half a million relights later with an incredibly sore tongue and nothing but frustration to show for it, I got back on the internet to re-watch the video.  Yes, yes, I did everything just like he did on the video.  Why is this not working?  And why does my tongue seem to have caught fire better than the tobacco in the pipe?

I’d heard and read that pipe smoking can be a very relaxing and enjoyable hobby.  Not bloody likely after what I’d been through.  So, I cleaned the pipe and decided to try again the next night.  With very similar results that night and the next 2 nights, I was just about to give up.  This hobby was apparently not for me.  But doggone it, I’d spent $30 on that pipe and didn’t want to waste that money!  I decided to go back to that Puff website to see if I could find any advice there.  Maybe someone there actually knew a thing or two.  I started reading threads on the forum.  Seems I’m not the only person to have this kind of problem.  Practice they say?  Really?  Packing a pipe and smoking takes practice?  Needless to say, soon after I began to have some small victories and decided to register instead of just lurking.

Wow, there’s a Newbie Sampler program?  Tins of tobacco?  I must find out how to get some of these tins.  I joined the trade and received so many samples of tobacco.  By that time I was reading reviews and looking around and had actually made my first online tin purchase.  I think it was CAO’s Eileen’s Dream and some Bob’s Chocolate Flake.  I’d heard and seen videos about flake tobaccos.  It was going to be interesting.  Then finally, after about 3 weeks of practicing, I smoked a bowl that just clicked.  I have no idea what tobacco it was, probably an English.  But it was just what I needed that evening.  I was now getting into the “ritual” of packing and lighting.  I hated the job I had and so every evening I came home, immersed myself in the “ritual” and puffed my troubles away.  I can’t really say that smoking a pipe saved me from going insane during that time, but I do know it made it far more enjoyable.


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