Pipelines : Pipes and Tobaccos Magazine


No Thumbs Tom
In the not-so-quiet pirate community of Blagery Dak (see “Black Friday Pirate Plunder” entry in the Musings area of Oompaul.com for more information), there were many, many characters of all sorts and shapes. Some with good (relatively speaking) hearts, some with cold ones. Some with hearts that may have looked like a chunk of ice if you had a peep window direct to it. This, however, is a story of a fellow with a warm heart: No Thumbs Tom.

Please don’t confuse No Thumbs Tom with Tom Thumb from nursery songs or Barnum ventures. This is a very different character to be sure. No Thumbs Tom was a slender man who often wore striped socks with his knickers and went by many names. Here is a small collection of such appellations that I know of: No Thumbs Tom, Tommy no thumbs, Thumbless Walter Savage, Soots, Sooty, Sooty Tom, Tom Tom Tinker man of Nary a Thumb, Blagery Black Tom, Black hands Timmy, Black hands Tommy, Tom Soot, Sans Thumbs Tombo, Sans Tubs Toto, Jim Fish, Charred Handy, Ol’ eight fingers, Ol’ eight, Mister four and four, Timothy Charrington, Tom Char, Charred Bill and I’m sure a few others.

Tom loved fishing and he loved his pipe. Some say they remember him as minuscule as two stone, perched on the beaches of Blagery Dak with pipe and pole. Even as just a wisp of a lad, he was already off to cast and puff. Many a sun blossomed out yon with Tom already fishing from the beach. Many a sun did sink in the drink the same way. After all, there was fishing to be done and tobacco to be lit, so there he would go each day to do his duty of each of those godly tasks.

So it was said that some strange-looking fish began darting around the coasts of Blagery Dak one season when Tom was near 10 or 12 years on and still had his thumbs. A violet-colored fish with a smear of rouge just under the lower lip. Tom, being more than a seasoned fisherman by this point, landed the very first two of these odd creatures and was excited to show them off to his family and whoever else might want a peek.

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Category: Pipe Lines, Spring 2014

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