Monday, August 24, 2009

BUYING MY FIRST PIPE...AND SECOND...AND THIRD...(ALSO KNOWN AS P.A.D.)

So...I hit ebay after reading several postings that suggested that you could get really outstanding pipes at a fraction of the cost of a new pipe. All I can say is that this can be dangerous... I can say I now understand the term P.A.D.(Pipe Acquisition Disorder).

First I bought this fantastic Peterson #999 Meerschaum...then a Savinelli Churchwarden...then a...then a... MAKE IT STOP!!!

Needless to say, I am awaiting the delivery of several good quality pipes. I have no idea what I am in for as far as making them ready to smoke, but I am eager, and I feel like I have ample resources to deal with it.

In the mean time, I figured I would do some research, and get myself some good tobaccos. Here in Victoria, we are lucky in that we have two (2) Brick and Mortar shops downtown. Old Morris Tobacconist and Goodfellas. Old Morris is a staple in Victoria, and has been in the paper recently as there has been a ban on the public display of tobacco products. They have a lovely big display window out front, that has been reduced to showing off chess sets and shaving kits. Or rolled up kraft paper in a cigar case...sad.

I went in and was greeted by a young fella at the pipe counter. He said he had a pipe and smoked it, but I was clear from the drop, he was no expert. He didn't have much interest in what I was doing, what I was interested in or where I was coming from. He made some suggestions based on what he liked, which as far as I could tell was all about how much nicotine he could suck out of a bowl, and was totally not where I was headed. He was a nice guy, but as far as salesmanship and knowledge of pipe smoking. He needed some work.

I'll go back there I'm sure, but here is some advice...to both tobacconists in town. Start working on the smoking culture. With the internet being so available and used, and with smokers being attacked in real time, you need to collect your customers in community. It can be done via the internet. When a customer comes in, ask them if they are tourists or locals. Get a little note book and ask the locals to write their email addresses in it. Send them messages about deals, workshops or gatherings. Spread the word about informative websites, good tobaccos or new pipes. You only stand to benefit.

Next, I went to Goodfellas. This place was swamped, there were A LOT of people there looking at cigars and smokes of all types. Unfortunately there was only one staff person in the shop. He was a youngish gent sporting a trim beard. He was managing the crowd well, and without any anxiety. When he asked me if he could help me, I told him I was looking for a good example of both English and Virginian tinned tobaccos, as I was new to pipe smoking. Although the store was full, I felt like I had his full attention. In the end we settled on a tin of Peterson's Old Dublin, and a tin of McClelland Virginia No. 22. I also bought myself a little pipe tool, which my studies have revealed to be indispensable. Since then, I have been opening and playing with this tobacco every night (I am not kidding) as my pipes have yet to arrive. I am loving the smell, and I am just DYING to smoke them both!

Last night, I ordered a bag of "Shortcut to Mushrooms" from Just for Him in the US. I am curious to see what the shipping, duties etc. end up costing me. If you live in the US and travel to Victoria with any frequency please let me know. You have just been nominated my new best friend:)

I have now decided to put a freeze on all acquisitions...except that one pipe I am bidding on...until I actually start smoking something. I am about $300 in now...and I haven't even had a puff. I own 2 Petersons, 1 Savinelli, 1 Wally Frank...and am committed to winning this current auction. I haven't seen a single pipe yet!

To be continued...

4 comments:

  1. A truly delightful blog, sir! I, too, am new to the pipe, advancing from the occasional cigar to the wonders of a pipe. Why did I wait so long!
    As a fellow Northwesterner (I live in Western WA), I appreciate your frustration with the anti-tobacco, PC idiocy.
    A question for you. I somehow got my hands on a tin of Dunhill Early Morning - not realizing how difficult it is to aquire this blend, and thoroughly enjoyed it. Perchance are you aware of any equivalents?
    With a hardy salute,
    Drew in Gig Harbor

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  2. Thanks for the comment Drew, I sure appreciate the contact...I was beginning to feel like the last pipe smoker on earth...and I only just started. I can't say I've tried EMP but tobacco reviews and several other places speak highly of McClelland's AMP (A.M. Pipe) as being a good substitute.

    Rumor has it that a new distributor will be supplying the US with Dunhill weed in September, so you may only need a tin or two of the McClelland to tide you over. Then again, who knows, you may even like it better.

    Other suggestions I found were the pipesandcigars.com blend called Daybreak, and Cornell & Diehl's Good Morning.

    Let me know if you are ever coming over the border...I'd love to share a bowl together.

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  3. Dear Old Wizard,
    I also have only recently joined the league of respectable single Gentlemen and I am looking to acquire a sophisticated vice, namely smoking pipes.
    I am however not just looking for an ordinary pipe, I would like to acquire a Peterson or Savinelli Churchwarden, but I am dubious about buying one on-line, I want to personally choose my pipe/s, can I do that anywhere in Victoria?

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  4. I've seen Peterson Churchwardens in a couple of shops in town. Goodfellas on the outside corner of Market Square and also at a little cigar and flower shop on Fort Street near the Auction house. Good luck, and do let me know how you do!

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