There was a time when many people used to smoke a pipe. It was quite a task cleaning the pipe with those wire type brushes and penknife thing. Then you take some tobacco from a small bag or pouch and put it in the pipe. Lighting it was a joy to see. Puffing away like a steam locomotive and filling the room with smoke as everyone has tears in their eyes and difficulty breathing.
Some people used to have a pipe in their mouth but never light it. It was there as an ornament more than anything else.
Pipes make a person look distinguished. Learned. Pensive and serious. Like a professor, or a private detective from times gone by, sucking away at the pipe and solving complicated scientific problems or dastardly crimes.
When you smoke a pipe you need to have the vocabulary for it. In England you would say things like "By Jove" or "Don't you know!" and "Old boy!" You need to have the mannerisms too. When someone asks you something you don't answer straight-away. You stop and think for an hour or so, you puff at your pipe, and then say something.
Pipes are good as a prop. Like a walking-stick or a monocle. You could be walking in the street and someone asks you for directions. You take out the pipe from your mouth and point left and right like an index finger, "go straight ahead ... then turn left ... and then right!" You must be careful though you don't hit the other person in the eye with your pipe. Best practice in front of a mirror at home. Your wife may think you're an idiot but what does she know about style?
Pipes can be used as a greeting when you meet and recognise someone. You walk down the street, probably the same street as the one mentioned before. You meet someone you know. You take the pipe out your mouth, raise your hand in the air, and say, "Hello Frosdyke! How are you old boy?"
A bit like lifting your hat. Best do one or the other. Don't raise your hat and your pipe. It also helps if the other person has an unusual name like Frosdyke, Rowbottom, Marchmant or something like that. It doesn't work with just Fred Jones. So ignore him if you meet him and look the other way.
I think I'll take up pipe smoking. I need to practice first. When we were young you could buy little licorice pipes with a few red sweets at the end to simulate fire. They tasted nice too. I wonder if they still make them.
You can't find any good licorice these days. They all taste of tarmac. Probably made of tarmac I shouldn't wonder. Not that I've ever tasted tarmac.
I asked a friend to buy me a pipe. He got me a ten-foot long drain-pipe. My wife thinks he's just as much an idiot as I am.