Dear Dr. Boli: After reading this exemplary missive to pipe smoking at The League of Bearded Catholics, I couldn’t help but remember that Adm. Hornswoggle is both bearded (well, moustached, which is nearly the same thing) and a pipe smoker. Does your esteemed personage have any thoughts regarding pipes and tobacco blends, especially those favored by the Admiral? —Sincerely, Horatio.

Dear Sir: Dr. Boli himself has never smoked either tobacco or any other substance. Setting a fire in his own mouth was a recreation that never appealed to him, though many of his friends apparently derived great amusement from it. The closest he ever comes is an occasional cup of Lapsang Souchong tea (he has it on the authority of the president of the China National Native Produce & Animal By-Products Import/Export Corporation that “Lapsang Souchong” is Mandarin for “Old Cigar Butts”); but in this he does not indulge too frequently, on account of the violent reactions of some of the servants to the fumes. Admiral Hornswoggle has not made any public statement of his preferences, but Dr. Boli has been led to believe that his vice of choice is a bubble pipe.

In his sad ignorance of tobacco, Dr. Boli is nevertheless able to detect one extraordinary thing about the article you pointed out to him. The author mentions a brand of tobacco called Prince Albert; he displays a colored photograph of that tobacco in what is plainly a can; and then—nothing. Dr. Boli is still waiting for the shoe to drop.


  1. Tancho Tique says:

    I started to take up pipe smoking after a stern warning from my doctor who said that I was not getting enough tar.

  2. Tim J. says:

    I was thinking to myself only the other morning (as I conjured a cup of that magic elixir bequethed to us by the 2nd Earl Grey), that there was a great similarity between the Art of the Pipe and the ritual pleasure of making a nice, hot cup of tea.

    Only, I am not normally banished to the porch when I drink tea.

  3. Sean says:

    There is certainly quite the connection between pipe and the Good Earl’s Bequest. Like you though, Tim, the tea does not cause my health insurance rates to go up 12% right off the bat. (If you ever want to see a company nurse become apoplectic, tell her that you are thinking of taking up the pipe right after the launch of a company-wide anti-smoking campaign.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *