Episode VII: Silverware, You Are



Pipe smokers tend to be easy going, but like anyone else, tend to be stubborn at times about asking for directions. When they decide to stop following the force and seek some guidance, the role of little green Jedi is one I find myself eager to perform. One particular fork in the road an enthusiastic but dizzied traveler often comes upon, is the need to meet the horizon they have previously only glimpsed or imagined. Peeking through the forest branches, they see the light of perfection shimmer mysteriously. It instinctively entices them to answer their hunger pangs with more balanced nutrition. How can you have any pudding if you just eat your meat? A steady diet of one’s favorite leaves little room for growth, except perhaps around the beltline, but we’ll walk off that trail and seek a new direction.


When standing at a fork in the road, one can step lightly or move in boundless leaps. Most beginning or restarting pipe smokers meander blissfully through the Aromatic Rainforest. When their appetites for fresh yodagame force their curiosities to the surface, there are two roads that diverge toward the unknown. Balkans to the left of you, VaPers to your right, there you are, stuck in the middle with me. Ere ye pass gracefully through the trails and trials ahead, answer me these questions three. Be ye a spooner? Be ye a cutter?? Be ye gourmet or gourmand??? In other woids (slightly ill) … do you want to be spoon-fed along on your journey? Do you want to knife to the chase? And do you want to savor the flavor or bulk up on bulk?


The VaPer trail is likely the easier of the two start on. The spooner can start with a sip or two from the Hearth & Home Signature Capitol Stairs. If he kinda-sorta likes what he tastes but something isn’t quite right, he can ease on down the Gourmet Road to Cornell & Diehl’s Haunted Bookshop and from there he might choose to press on deeper through the brush. But if he’s an alumnus of  Gourmand U., he might just settle into his comfy tracks right then and there, order five pounds of it, and just keep on packing it right from the jar. The only hope then is that the knife is sharp enough to cut through the growth, or lack thereof, and get our hero to try some Gawith & Hoggarth Louisiana Perique Flake. What the heck, at that point throw in a couple ounces of  Blending Perique and party all the time, party all the time …Mardi Gras! So that’s where that light was coming from!


But the road leads ever on. The fight for an independent freedom to explore ironically leads to the Union Jack. For example, when someone asks for a recommendation to explore a Latakia blend, I can ease them into the dark forest beyond with a tin of Edward G. Robinson, or warp them through the wormhole by handing them a Nightcap. For some, the sink or swim aspect of suddenly going light speed might drown their taste buds and spiral them back through the portal in fear, vowing never to return again. But conversely, if the G-man doesn’t give them a full dose to douse their curiosity, will I be there to rewrite their prescription for Solani Blend 779? They might think that loving Latakia is impossible, and I would be tempted to reply, “that is why you fail”.


But no! Wait Luke, I should have been your father! It is I who have failed you!! I should have thrown Darth Sidious over the railing and into the void  right at the start and sent you on your way with a tin of Magnum Opus in your still human hand!!!