One of the signs of a civilised society seems to have vanished almost entirely from the landscape.
I refer of course to the Tobacconist.
I’m not talking about the sweetshop come newsagent that sells fags as a sideline. No. I am talking about the shop that is dedicated to that bastion of the cultured world – the smoker.
There was a time when you could walk through a town in the sure knowledge that you would come across a tobacco emporium. These shops sold cigarettes, of course, but they also had a wonderful selection of pipe tobacco, cigars and snuff, and the walls would be lined with glass cases containing pipes, lighters and other delightful items.
I remember once coming across a shop in Tralee, in Kerry that was a haven for the smoker. It was a tiny dark shop, with an old woman behind the counter. The aroma in the shop rivalled the smell of freshly cut hay. That shop sold just about every known brand of cigarette or tobacco known to man and beast. It was a wonderful place. Sadly, as far as I know, the only remaining outposts of the smoking world that remain are in the city centre, and I ain’t goin’ there.
Smoking a pipe isn’t just about sticking it in your mouth and puffing it. It has to be lit, and cleaned as well. Walk into any modern shop and ask for pipe cleaners, and you’ll be met with a blank stare. The only lighters available are those horrid disposable yokes.
I am tired of those disposable pieces of crap. I would like a decent refillable lighter, but where do I get one? Decent lighters are surprisingly rare these days.
I suppose I will have to resort to the Interweb again.
I hate to buy things I haven’t seen with my own eyes first.
There are times when the modern world is a massive pain in the hole.