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by Mark Irwin

Where were we? First Law—pipes are for use. Check. Second Law—every pipeman his pipe. Yup. But now it’s time to get into the politics of pipe-smoking, where taste and opinion become creed and dogma faster than a speeding bullet and schisms over COM marks and makers grow up in the twinkling of an eye, turning even the mildest-mannered Caspar Milquetoast into the member of an angry mob. So fasten your seatbelt, try to relax and watch that chuffing or you’ll end up with tongue-burn at the end of this thing. Read more

by Mark Irwin

As I put on my stuffed shirt this evening, I feel just a little like Robert Benchley (1889-1945), the immortal American humorist and member of the Algonquin Round Table, probably best known these days for his incredible series of M-G-M “miniatures,”  including How to Sleep (1935), which won him an Academy Award, and Sex Life of the Polyp (1928), which is still required viewing for film students at the University of Virginia.*   Read more

by Mark Irwin

The summer before last, Charles Mundungus and I were sitting in my back yard one evening drinking some Texas-Russian Imperial Stouts, smoking McClelland 2015 and swatting mosquitoes. We noticed that the more smoke we generated and the more Stouts we put away, the less bothersome the mosquitoes were, at which point Mundungus proposed a natural law to account for the evening’s findings, something like  “MP(t) =MPo e ˆ - rt,” where MPo is the initial population of mosquitoes in the backyard, MP(t) is the time we sat down in the back yard with our beers and pipes, -r is the decline rate and e is inverse to natural log. As you can imagine, from there the conversation became progressively more ridiculous until it ended with an observation Mundungus frequently makes (being somewhat of an outlaw and somewhat intoxicated): “If the law supposes that . . . the law is a ass!” –citing Mr. Bumble in Ch. 51 of Oliver Twist. Read more

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