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7:18pm on Monday, 30th September, 2019:



I saw a man smoking a pipe today.

I haven't seen anyone smoking a pipe for years and years. It used to be a lot more common than it is today — my paternal grandfather was an inveterate pipe-smoker — but it seemed to die out. It always seemed an old man's habit even when I was young, but now it's as if you have to be over 50 to hold a pipe-smoking licence.

Although I dislike the smell of cigarettes, I actually like the smell that comes out of pipes (cigars, too, come to that). Of course, the smell is due to long molecules that give you mouth cancer, so I try to avoid it. I can't imagine the ones they have in vaping products are any better for you either, but at least they probably kill off the fungus you otherwise risk breathing in.

Apart from the billowing clouds of sickly-smelling other-people's-breath that comes out of vaping devices, which are in and of themselves not pleasant, I particularly don't like the interactions. At least when everyone smoked ciggies they all smelled the same; when you have one person vaping vanilla, another one cinnamon and a third one popcorn or mint or wet dog or something, it's something to avoid. Fortunately, it's banned on public transport and inside most buildings, so it's not as bad as it could be.

I wonder if it sticks like ciggy smoke does (it used to be you had to wash all your clothes after half an hour in the pub). Fortunately, I'll never have cause to find out.

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Copyright © 2019 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).