The Secret Life of Melanie O.
Saturday, May 05, 2007
My father smoked a pipe. Somehow, the smell of pipe tobacco doesn't bother me nearly as much as cigarette smoke does. I am not sure why this is - it might be the sweet additives like brandy and vanilla that pipe tobacco has in it, versus the menthol and less than savoury additives that cigarette tobacco has. It might be just because pipe tobacco reminds me of my father. Whatever the reason, I can't stand the smell of cigarette smoke, but I love the smell of pipe tobacco smoke.

Which makes me wonder: why don't men smoke pipes any more? I'm not talking about bongs or pipes used for illegal drugs, but gorgeous burled wooden pipes that my dad used to smoke and from which he blew smoke rings that I'd try to poke my fingers through before they broke up.

In the '90's, pipe smoking gave way to cigar smoking. I can't think of anything fouler. I had to leave a gig early one night (I was singing with my band,) because I got an asthma attack in a cigar bar - the bar where we were playing. It was a Blues band, and the Blues goes well with cigar bars, apparently. Too bad cigars don't go well with me.

I miss seeing men with pipes. I suppose there's nowhere they can smoke them any more, except in the privacy of their own homes. I think that cigarettes should be banned in public, and pipes take the place that cigarettes now have.

Dan used to smoke cigarettes. He gave them up the year before we got together. Funny about that. I wouldn't want to convince him to take up a pipe. Dan spent 20 years of his life addicted to cigarettes and now stays as far away from tobacco as he can get. I'll be content with reminiscing and sticking my head inside a tobacco shop once in a while. And enjoy the absence of cigarette smoke.
posted by Melanie O. at 4:07 PM -
  • At 10:41 PM, Blogger gardenbug said…

    I remember Dad smoking his pipe. It is a good memory. The pipe was so habitual, that the teeth in his mouth shifted, making a little space for the pipe stem. Visiting a smoke shop is a good idea for a quick sniff and a trip down memory lane. The wood pipe was a beautiful object. Actions, like cleaning out the pipe, filling the bowl, lighting it were neat rituals. Too bad there are health hazards associated with it.

  • At 11:36 PM, Blogger LivinginOz said…

    Yeah - I certainly wouldn't want to recommend that anyone take up smoking in any form, but I wouldn't mind if, walking down the street on my lunch break, instead of having to walk past all of the cigarette smokers and come back to the office stinking of cigarette smoke, I could walk past a couple of pipe smokers. I would probably even tarry a little bit.

  • At 12:37 PM, Blogger Mabs said…

    I have that same association with my father smoking, except he was a cigaretter not a piper.

    I enjoy the odd cigarette here and there, probably shouldn't but i enjoy the association

  • At 2:37 PM, Blogger LivinginOz said…

    I know just how you feel, mabs. Isn't it strange how the littlest things can remind you of someone? I remember reading somewhere that the sense of smell has the strongest "memory" associated with it. A couple of other examples are orange blossom perfume and moth balls. Both scents remind me of my grandmother to this day.

  • At 3:05 PM, Blogger Mabs said…

    Oh and taste is just as strong I think. I've been trying to make bauernfruestuck for years and just cannot get it to taste the same way his did.

    About 2 months ago I was housesitting for my mum and I did it. Made for a funny night of me running to the bottle shop to get the perfect bottle of wine to go with it and then a cig to top off the experience!

  • At 10:20 PM, Blogger LivinginOz said…

    I gotta have the recipe! :-)

  • At 6:13 AM, Blogger Mabs said…

    It's easy. Cook and cube some potatoes, dice some bacon and start frying that. Lightly whisk 3 eggs. Add the potato to the bacon and let it heat through. Add the eggs and once the eggs are cooked you're done!

    Easy :) Add some worstershire sauce and it's even better.

  • At 11:03 PM, Blogger Kanani said…

    I don't know. I've often wondered. I think it has to do with carrying the little pouch of tobacco and the pipe, which can break. Men don't wear suits all the time like they used to. A guy in jeans.... well, he'll smash that pipe.

    But it doesn't explain why they don't at home. Wouldn't be easier to set aside, wouldn't it be fun to collect different ones?


  • At 1:28 PM, Blogger Sarah said…

    my father and his best friend (my Godfather) used to smoke their pipes together...those images and smells form some of my earliest memories.

    Dad gave it up for some reason but my Godfather still occassionally smokes his.

    His 21st birthday present to me was a convertible VW Beetle that he got new in 1972 and had held on to long after he could afford way more luxurious German cars. For the first few years I had that car it retained its pipe tobacco smell.

    Then I had it repainted.
    Now it just smells like paint thinners.

  • At 1:46 PM, Blogger LivinginOz said…

    Kanani, my dad had a little collection of pipes. Some were gifts. Others he bought himself. They all sat in a round pipe stand. The lamp table the stand sat on will always have my dad's "stamp" on it. I think my mother still has that lamp stand.

    I work near a tobacconist, so the other day I stuck my head in the shop, and saw a whole big display of pipes! And it smelled great in there. It put a smile on my face for the rest of the day.


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About Me
Name: Melanie O.
Home: Durham, North Carolina, United States
About Me: Female, American health and beauty-conscious professional who has rekindled a childhood love of dolls.
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