Spontaneous combustion : Pipes and Tobaccos Magazine

Spontaneous combustion

 Hand on fire

by Gregory Pease

As pipe smokers, we are living in increasingly turbulent times. For years, even decades, we’ve been on the outside, shunned by anti-tobacco zealots and looked upon as something of a quaint anachronism by those who enjoy their pipe weeds in more convenient forms. We’ve become used to being on the out- side. Even as the cigar trend surged in the late 1990s to its frenzied crescendo a few years ago, with more and more people taking to the things and the industry responding with an increasing number of brands and sizes that began to border on the ludicrous, we pipesters have, for the most part, remained in relative obscurity in the corners darkened by the rest of the tobacco world’s smoky shadow.

We seem to be a tenacious lot. During  the  past  decade,  our  numbers have grown, albeit not as quickly as those of cigar smokers, snuff sniffers and vapor vapers, but sufficiently so that we’ve enjoyed a noticeable increase in our overall population and a more visible presence on social media We have even attracted some small attention in printed publications (other than this one) across the land. And this has happened against some significant odds. We have held our ground against the antis, peacefully protesting their apparent need to control the pleasures  and  pastimes  of  others,  and have continued to stand strong as members of a worldwide coterie that could be a model of behavior for other, often more fractious groups.

We come from a broad diversity of cultures, educational backgrounds, religious  beliefs,  political  affiliations, economic classes, genders and orientations. We  are  scientists,  philosophers,  teach- ers, construction workers, truck drivers, artists, police officers, members of the armed  services,  firefighters, musicians, doctors, lawyers, authors and poets. And for the most part, we get along just fine, united by our love of the pipe, and the tobaccos we smoke in them.

To put it simply, in today’s increasingly divisive world, we pretty much rock.

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Category: Fall 2016, Spontaneous combustion

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