I have had a bit of bad luck lately.
As some of you may know, for the last couple of years, I have been getting my pipes from Elie in Belgium.
Elie is three things – an artist, a craftsman and a gentleman. He produces the weirdest and most wonderful pipes that would make an incredible collection. Unfortunately, it’s an expensive hobby, and I just couldn’t afford them.
However, apart from the weird and esoteric, he also produces pipes which are lovely to smoke – cool and dry. Anyone who has smoked a pipe will know how much moisture they produce, and there is nothing worse than burning half way down a bowlful only to find that the tobacco has become moist and soggy and has to be thrown out.
Elie’s EKool is a weird pipe. It has a massive chunk of metal inside which condenses all the moisture into the barrel, where it can easily be cleaned out, leaving the smoke not only dry, but cool as well. It is a lovely smoke, and what’s even better, the tobacco remains dry right up the the very end. No waste. It looks great too, so much so that the Other Fella even robbed it to stick on the top of his pathetic website.
On the first day of my recent holiday, I put the pipe down. Something knocked against it and it fell on the floor. The fucking mouthpiece broke! Shit! Luckily I had a few spares so it wasn’t a life or death situation.
When I got home, I mailed Elie, and he asked me to post him the bits, as it would be quicker to add a new mouthpiece than to rebuild the whole part. The new mouthpiece arrived last Tuesday, and it was a belter. It was a bit stronger than the last one, and he had added a nice bit of decoration too. It was great getting back to the pipe I enjoy.
Yesterday, I went to unscrew the bowl for a bit of cleaning. The fucking thing broke again! This time, a weld had snapped.
I contacted Elie, who was very surprised as he had never heard of this before. He was quite upset about it, and informed me that there is a ten year guarantee on that part which is nice to hear. The replacement is already in the post.
So I’m back to my Elie’s Comrade now, which is a nice pipe, but not quite up to the other.