How to smoke a pipe

Just discovered this article on my hard-drive--written when I was trying to come up with a classy reason to keep smoking. Don't worry, I've pretty much stopped smoking, for no reason at all.

How to Smoke a Pipe

If you are a tobacco smoker looking for a change, or if you are a non-smoker who would like to affect tobacco addiction, pipe-smoking may be for you. It's easy, pleasant, and nicotine-oriented. Yum!

You Will Need Five Things:

1. pipe tool ($1.00)
2. pipe ($7.00)
3. tobacco (c. $5.00/oz)
4. wooden matches ($.25 box)
5. filters (pipe screens, pipe filters, and/or the fabled pipe cleaners)

If you're using one, adjust the pipe-screen in the bottom of your pipe bowl by using your pipe tool to mold it into a cup-shape to hold the tobacco. Next, scoop up some tobacco with the bowl of your pipe. Mash it down with the flat part of your pipe tool, then scoop a second time. The ideally filled pipe should be about a quarter-inch from the top of the pipe, and tamped down with the pipe-tool so it's firmly in place, but still springy.

The test of proper tamping is lighting. Light a wooden match and hold it above the bowl of your pipe, then inhale. You are not supposed to inhale the smoke into your lungs, but instead puff it, hobbit-like, into your mouth and then blow it out. Suck and puff out a few times until the bowl is lit, then discard the match. If the bowl goes out, repeat this process. The correctly lit pipe will stay lit as you smoke it, which takes about ten minutes. NOTE: if you are accustomed to smoking cigarettes, pipe-smoking will take at least twice as long to complete, and is about twice as satisfying. Resist the urge to inhale, although it probably won't kill you (right away) if you do. While you are sucking on your pipe, contemplatively, think of all the pipe-smoking greats such as Gandalf, Sherlock Holmes, Jean-Paul Sartre. Meditate. Suck. Exhale. Enjoy.

After about ten minutes you will know you are done because the pipe will stop providing smoke. Do not take this personally; instead, begin the cleaning process. With the scoop part of your pipe tool, scoop out the ashes and any unused tobacco from your pipe bowl (I scoop them into the sink). Remove the pipe-screen and filter (inside the stem) if you are using them. Poke a pipe-cleaner into both ends of the pipe, then put it back together for next time. For those who truly enjoy pipe-smoking there are a variety of pipes and tools that you can buy.

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