It was a dark and stormy night…
But seriously, someone in the Gentleman’s Pipe Smoking Society, being proud of their acquisition at the Chicago Pipe Show, posted a picture of this really incredible reverse calabash cob; it’d been burnished black and finished with some sort of lacquer. It was made from two pieces of corncob, a button of wood, a small wooden straw, and a nicely formed plastic bit. From the moment I saw it, I was in love and I just had to have one.
So I cried out, at the top of my lungs, “That’s fricking incredible! Where can I get one?!”
Well, it goes to show you how much I wanted it, because I was actually loud enough that he heard it on the other side of the continent.
I know this because he immediately added to the post, “If you want to get one, contact Marilyn at Missouri Meerschaum, as there are very few left.” He then proceeded to post the e-mail address for customer service at Missouri Meerschaum (firstname.lastname@example.org) for our convenience.
Well, I tell you, it was the fastest one finger e-mail scribbling that you’d ever seen, and by the time I was finished and had sent the e-mail (a total of about 7 nanoseconds) I was struck with an inspiration!
I’LL PHONE THEM!!
Unfortunately for me it was still the middle of the night, and early Monday after having returned from a pipe show; to be honest I didn’t expect much response, so I didn’t phone them right away.
I did, however, phone them first thing in the morning. I am certain that Marilyn was just getting into her office, and hadn’t even put down her purse, when the phone began incessantly ringing.
Marilyn answered the phone herself, I’m not certain if that’s the usual but it was absolutely first thing in the morning (I’m confident they were just opening) and she was cheerful and chipper and lilted in that beautiful Missouri accent.
I am positive that she could hear the desperation my voice and she was very gentle and reassuring when she told me through my broken sobs that they were sold out, but that I could be put on a wish list.
You see, that’s why Canada has gun laws; to keep tetraplegics from shooting themselves when their hopes are absolutely dashed over getting the coolest pipe in the world.
Through sobs and wails I manage to convey my information to her to have her put me on the wish list. You see how good they are there? Marilyn is a true gem!
Well, a few weeks later I opened my e-mail to find a letter addressed from Marilyn. She said to me that, as per her e-mail two weeks before, a two toned Limited Edition 2015 reverse calabash corncob pipe, number 216, had become available and that my grace period of two weeks to decide would be up on Monday.
Well, I freaked! How could I be such an idiot that I could miss that e-mail? Now, here I am at just before 2:00 PM (1400 hours or four bells of the afternoon watch) Friday afternoon and Missouri is 3 hours ahead of me.
So, I burst into my wife’s office sputtering like a madman, and fell to my knees to worship the ground she walked on and beg her to allow me to get this pipe (you see, I have to ask her, she has the credit card).
When she said yes, I nearly leapt out of my skin and prosthetic and immediately punched the numbers on the phone to contact Missouri Meerschaum at their international number. Again, Marilyn answered the phone.
She knew immediately what I was talking about, and was ready to take my order.
No fuss, no muss, the whole process took about 10 minutes for her to take my credit card information and address.
I then stopped to consider how lucky I was; if I hadn’t got a hold of her then, I would’ve missed my opportunity as I was going to be out of town on Monday.
When I received the tracking number, I watched excitedly, every day, to see the progress of my pipe getting to me. It went from Washington, Missouri to New York to Ottawa, Canada back to the U.S. in Seattle across the border into Vancouver, Canada and finally to my mailbox.
Well, I patiently waited as we went about our errands last Tuesday until we finally stopped at the mailbox on our way home.
The pipe was everything I had hoped it would be. Light and sturdy, the construction is everything you’d expect of a Missouri Meerschaum cob; rugged and solid.
The chamber is absolutely huge. Easily the largest chamber on any pipe I own, it’ll hold 2 ½ flakes, or 3-4 bullseye flakes (Peter Stokkebye). And the draw is so easy that you could forget you are smoking a pipe.
The first reverse calabash pipe that I own, I was surprised by how absolutely cool the smoke is. Even traditionally hot tobaccos do not produce mouth burn with this pipe.
Overall, I would say this is the absolutely best pipe and I own, that I have ever owned. After a full week of smoking the pipe, it is still ready to be smoked and has now built up a great cake.
Quality is what I’ve come to expect of Missouri Meerschaum, and this pipe delivers quality and more.
If you ever have a chance to deal with Marilyn at Missouri Meerschaum, I recommend you do so, she is a delightful lady to work with and Missouri Meerschaum is a great company to deal with.
That’s my little adventure;
Smoke ‘em if you got ‘em!