I went down to the village yesterday to sit in the sun and enjoy a coffee.
The strange thing is that I’m not really a coffee drinker despite having a reputation of making an excellent cuppa at home. But a coffee in the village is a wee break from the house and a chance to catch up on local gossip. And Penny loves the place too and is usually bombarded with treats!
There are two general purpose / tobacconists in the village and I tend to think of them as the big one and the small one. To spread my largesse I tend to buy my baccy in the small one and the bulk of cigarettes in the big one.
I had already been in the small one [which is also the Post Office] to draw down Herself’s pension. The bloke behind the counter was very concerned about me – he had been away for a couple of weeks and had returned to find they were out of pipe tobacco. He was most concerned for my welfare and had ordered in a large supply especially for me. Apparently I am his only customer for pipe baccy.
Anyhows I was having my coffee when I was joined by Jack, the owner of the big shop. The subject of pipe smoking came up in the course of random conversation. I didn’t mention that I usually buy my stash in his rival’s emporium but he must have guessed by now. He mentioned that his sales of pipe tobacco were very small. He does a fine trade in cigarettes so there’s no loss on him, but he started naming the people in the area who smoke a pipe. Four or five names! And that included myself.
So that begs the question that no one seems to be able to answer – what happened to the popularity of the pipe? We are becoming as rare as an honest politician. There was a time when pipes were common. Two of our previous politicians were famous for their pipes – Jack Lynch and Neil Blaney. Now it is an extreme rarity to see anyone enjoying a puff. I honestly cannot recall the last time I saw a pipe.
Is it that pipes are too much trouble? Is the cigarette is just too convenient?