On a lighter note

There's an old chestnut that pipe smokers spend more time lighting their pipes than they do actually smoking 'em.

That's probably true.

I probably spend nearly as much on lighters and their associated materials as I do on tobacco.  And the problem is that I have yet to find a really decent pipe-lighter.

Naturally all our friends across the pond will start screaming about Zippos.  Well, yiz can shut up because I have one, and it's the one I am using at the moment.  However it has some drawbacks.  For a start, I seem to spend my time filling the damn thing and every time I fill it, the liquid goes all over the place, including me.  While I am prepared to suffer for my cause, self immolation is not my idea of fun.  Also it isn't that easy to light with one hand which means I have to put down my pipe [or take both hands off the steering wheel] to light the pipe.

My preference would be for a gas lighter, and thus I got myself a rather nice Vector lighter.  Apart from the fact that it broke, it has a very small gas tank so once again I have a daily routine of having to fill the damn thing.  It does however come with a handy little trio of pipe tools for cleaning out the bowl but I could buy those separately anyway for a few bob.

The shop in the village used to sell some very nifty lighters – the Ronson Slyder.  They were brilliant in that they were cheap, refillable and had a large capacity so would last for ages.  Eventually they would go wonkey but by then I had really had my money's worth.  Unfortunately I didn't think ahead so by the time the shop stopped selling them I only had a few around the house and they are all now resting in peace.  Maybe I'll try persuading the shop to stock 'em again but I would probably have to promise to buy the lot.

I hear tell of a lighter called a Corona Oldboy, which looks nice but is a tad on the pricey side for something that may or may not be suitable.

So the question is….

If you were buying a lighter for a lovable old pensioner, what would you get?

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On a lighter note — 19 Comments

  1. Is my memory playing tricks or was it possible to use the lighter fuel that came in the yellow tin with a nozzle as a source of fuel for model steam trains?

    • The Zippo I have is a pipe version.  Pretty much the same as a normal except that the flame guard is different – designed to be held sideways.

      • I always thought that, same as with cigars, petrol lighters were a no-no because they tainted the flavour of the tobacco. I was always taught that matches were the only way to go. For us common cigarette smokers of course it doesn't matter. Us plebeians wouldn't notice the petrol fumes anyway. And I actually rather like the smell of petrol….

        I use a disposable Bic, by the way. As long as it sparks it up, I couldn't really give a fuck about the source of ignition.

    • Geez there are stacks of them – and that is the whole problem! 

      That video should have a health warning!  I got tired of watching him showing off his fucking $3000 pipe [they saw him coming] but did pick up a possible answer – the Thunderbird / Zippo insert.  Could be interesting?

  2. In a way the time spent lighting and keeping a pipe alight is part of the joy smokers seem to like. Lighting up can be an art, and artistic skill is to be encouraged. It is more constructive than twiddling aimlessly with an iPhone, as I observe so many people doing on buses and trains.

  3. My grandfather smoked a pipe much to my Grand mothers irritation. He lit up using a bit of newspaper poked into the fire. Obviously he did spend a lot of time sorting out the pipe and trying to find the best one ever. 

    The worst thing he would do is spit into the fire. At times he'd miss and the spit would sizzle on the fire frame thing. He did it one New Year and the spit sailed over the "clootie dumpling" which was settling in the hearth awaiting being eaten by the family. We all suspected some spit had maybe hit the clootie dumpling. Luckily Gran was out of the room at the time. She was surprised that we were not that keen on having a bit of dumpling!

    • Welcome Tedious [if I may abbreviate?]!  My father used to cut up old postcards into strips and keep them in a pewter mug on the mantelpiece.  He used to light the pipe [or cigarette] and then flay the spill around to quench the flame which used to spray sparks everywhere and drive my mother mad.  He never set the house on fire though.  Nor did he spit!  I wonder what happened to that pewter mug?…

    • You're a sound man!  Not sure what I'd use a cigar punch for but what the hell…  I've just been spending like mad over the last couple of days so will wait a week or two before placing an order.  Also I wouldn't want the package to get lost in the Festive Mayhem?!

  4. I'm glad you think the thing is a worthwhile investment. I'll expect a full report on performance if you decide to order one.

    Meanwhile, we've got a 3 day storm in progress here, it's currently "snaining" outside and I have to get up bright and early to whatever snow/ice/snush is laying on the roads and take one of our cats to the vet to have him castrated. I always look forward to watching them wobble around afterwards. Says a lot about my life doesn't it?

    Now what that has to do with pipe lighters I haven't a clue. I just thought I'd mention it.

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