Reactions to pipe smoking in public are always fun and rather unique outpourings of expression. There are two specific types of reactions however that are fairly consistent. These are # 1 – The expressed disgust the non-smoker shows when having to smell English blends and # 2 – The absolute joy the same non-smoker experiences when getting Aromatic blend smoke wafting their way. It is these opposing reactions and their associated emotional extremes that they go into, which bring a mild curiosity to me.
When the average non-pipe smoker gets a whiff of some of my favorite English blends, those people tend to both contort their faces in a performance of nasal smelling disgust & they also often feel comfortable to throw some rather rude obscenities my way. Something along the lines of ‘how could I be so horrible to subject regular people to such a foul stench in public!!’. I have had nearby windows slammed shut as loud as possible and a whole assortment of ‘running away’ activity occurring all around me, when an English blend is cooking. Definitely and without a doubt, to make the non smoking public around you scatter, start puffing an English.
At the same time however and I can only reference this memory from my early pipe smoking days, when the non-smoker gets a whiff of a sweet Aromatic blend, the amazing result is that out come the kindest and most thoughtful expressions of very personal, long forgotten, pleasant memories from these exact same people that were cursing me moments ago. They become so moved by the wonderful memories the aromatic smell evokes that they begin to shower me with stories about pleasant grand-father interactions from the past and other such pleasant associations from the long lost time when pipe smoking was in abundance. The non-smoker experiences this trip down memory lane courtesy of the smell factor which triggers their memory banks and they end up thanking me, for the thoughtful gesture I have taken to bring them back these memories.
Two more opposite types of reactions could not be better scripted!
So I can understand the disgust one can have with a foul stench as I am sure all of us can. The point though is to look at the inadequate balance and misappropriation of personal opinion, at such two extremes, love & hate, with virtually the same subject.
Much like the bulk of social decision-making, it seems that those people who use this unique form of confusing justice, extract whatever small detail which that themselves at the specific moment in time and they focus on those details alone and they forget about everything else. When an English blend is out and smoking and a non-smoker, who maybe moments earlier was showering me with pleasantries while I was doing the same thing, smoking, everything that happened up until that point is forgotten. Right now, it’s a disgusting blend and all bet’s are off for them. It’s not even a polite form of ignoring ‘other facts’, it’s more like convenient ignorance. A very selfish view that considerably narrows their big picture perspective which is unfortunately not surprising.
I can only use my neighbor as a directly applicable guinea pig type reference. I received and had to listen to an: ‘unacceptable and you have to stop this immediately’ (“warning”) when the English blend was being smoked. Yet I also received the sure fire heart warming story about her grand-father and her child-hood memories of playing with him & his pipe when his Aromatic was out and smoking. Since I no longer smoke Aromatics you can easily guess the type of current feelings my neighbor consistently expresses for me. I dare not ask my neighbor for their thoughts on pipe smoking in general or if they would be perfectly happy if I only smoked Aromatics. It is never a good idea to bring people face to face with their ignorance.
One would assume that some sort of middle-ground to the problem of smoking in public could be found that much easier, when we know that someone can enjoy the smoke from an Aromatic. The assumption is that if they can love one form of tobacco smoke, perhaps they could, at least partially, accept another version? The Aromatic, one would hope, could act as a sort of medium, to bridge the gap between smokers and non-smokers and heal the sore wounds and provide a certain level of understanding towards our plight.
To be sure, it seems like the public relations benefits from Aromatics being smoked around non-smokers could be taken advantage of, by us pipe-smokers. After a large enough group of non-smokers get exposed to the Aromatic smoke and the associated pleasant memories it triggers for them are experienced, I can easily see throngs of non-smokers, united and together, marching down the street holding signs with “Give Pipe Smokers A Chance” or “Pipe Smokers Give Back” written all over them. Those non-smokers would both be fighting for our smoking rights and their own old time memories. I can envision the large amount of goodwill the non smoking public would have towards us if we could engage all of those long lost pleasant memories they have stored inside their minds. It would be a tremendous outpouring of love in our pipe smoking favor. They would be joyously clapping us along for the pleasant trips down memory lane our smoke would offer them.
It would be a nice image to see together, all of those non-smoker smiling faces with all of our pipes lit up and blasting a heap of smoke in the air. Puts a smile to my face just thinking about it.
Changing gears…at this point though, we still have the problem with those who only smoke English blends, me being one of them. It seems like the only good solution here is to give my side of the pipe smoking crowd a taste of some of that ‘public love’. Therefore a call to action for tobacco blenders, to immediately start the research & development on the smile inducing smoke potential, of our dear English blends.
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