Sunday, June 13, 2010


Whilst on a mission to purchase some filets de bouef at the venerable meat purveyors in the basement level of Great World City (having broken from his reverie in the British India store at Raffles Shopping Centre, only to find another outlet here) E@L chanced upon, in the window of the wine and cigar shop opposite, an impressive display of Dunhill pipes (two).

Cast your minds back, gentle blog-readers, and remember those heady days of manufacturing monoculture, before they started making pens, clothes, aftershave, watches and suitcases, when Dunhill used to develop and deliver cigarettes and other tobacco related products? Ah, how the Brand has taken over, diffusing the legitimacy and honour of good old reputable expertise and specialisation across a plethora of divergent OEM product lines purchased on the open market and which bear no distinguishing features from competing products other than the embossed or adhesive brand-name.

As E@L has mentioned on several occasions, he would no more buy a watch branded as Dunhill, as he would a cigar (or a pipe) allegedly from Bulova (or Timex).

Now, one of these distinguished pipes bore a remarkable resemblance to the hooked bent curly model so favored by Sherlock Holmes. A severely serious model in dour dim brown wood (one hoped), it was not quite the exotic Meerschaum model that the apocryphal amateur logician favored. But it looked cool, with the attractive aura of the carcinogenic, that suggestion of risk-taking, of extreme smoking...

Hmm. E@L contemplated rewarding himself with one of these venerable handheld hookahs. He ruminated over checking the price, but one shock per day is enough.

He humorously imagined himself suffimigating his friends, colleagues, acquaintances and a quadrangle of strangers in the designated smoking area with the wafting miasma from some noxious shag or other (such was Holmes' mix, so irritating to the good Dr Watson) from his kudos-earning micro-incinerator.

Smoking. What a distinguished history!

And the fiddling about with the mechanics and rituals of pipe smoking would give his hands something else to do on those long lonely Singapore nights when the CPAP machine (promising a wonderful night of complete rest) keeps him awake. It might help him loose weight and therefore lower his risk of heart disease. Of course it would also RAISE his risk of heart disease. And cancer.

Nicotine bad.

Plus, there is a downside other than the promise of a painful and protracted death; he might start talking like an arsehole.

Like maybe a senior-high English teacher. As a completely random example, say. No reference to "Jock" McM, St Josephs, 1975.

Non whatsoever.



savannah said...

pipes are lovely to look at, aren't they? there's something so old worldly about the feel of one in your hand...absolute pleasure. until, some yahoo lights up an inferior tobacco, pollutes the air and gives pipe smokers a bad name! there's is nothing so delicious as the smell of a really good pipe...xoxoxox

DanPloy said...

If you just want a noxious shag, couldn't you go to Geylang? Cheaper than the pipe I would expect.

expat@large said...

Sav: not my teacher's noisome mix. Putrid stench. I like the flavoured ones, like Port Royal. Wth leather patches on the elbows of my corduroy jacket and a pipe, I could do reasonable 'old wordly' I think.

Also good for incinerating the evidence of a batch of whacky baccy afore the cops raid the place.

Dan: I wondered who would comment on that ambiguity there. Now I know. ;-) I was in Geylang yesterday or my taxi was, as I came home from Mike's place in Joo Chiat (never heard of it, somewhere in the old heartlands) where my hangover, amongst other things, had prevented me from enjoying a game of D&D.

savannah said...

unrelated to this post, but i did export everything (content, comments and all pics, etc.) over to wordpress, sugar! i'm not sure if i'll truly cross the street, so to speak, but at least i have a plan b xoxoxox

expat@large said...

good idea, what with the MJ debacle! Been meaning to post bout that...

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