"Scotch and 'baccy for Santa and lackey." Fact! The basis for this wives tale is a little more than meets the eye. Leaving out scotch and some nice tobacco for Ol'e St. Nick will yeild a greater return on your Christmas request. Obviously true, this tradition has been around for many years and can be easily tested and proved. Here's what you may not know. Santa and lackey (aka whoever the head elf is that year) make dry runs all year round. If you leave out Scotch and 'baccy more regularly, your benefit is compounded. As it turns out, the Reindeer are really good at sniffing out good tobacco and single malt.
"The December pipe is a remember pipe." Undecided! The basis for this wives tale is simple. A pipe purchased during the month of December is one that you will be fond of the year through, and many years to come. To test this idea, I've asked my wife to buy a pipe for me, as funds permit, during each December month. I'll tell you this, I can't say for sure if this is true or not as I feel the need for further research is a must. While we have many years of research under our belt, this is serious business and needs careful attention. For now, lets call this one, undecided, and allow the test to keep running for another ten or so years before we draw any hasty conclusions. Yes, I think that's a fine idea.
"Spot three pipes a day to keep the physicians away." Fact! The basis for this wives tale is simple. If you're out and about, you're getting some fresh air and exercise. If you're spotting others smoking pipes, it gives you a good feeling. Like the world is a better place. And if you're socializing with those folks, your heart feels the benefit.
"A Sushi pipe brings good luck!" If I had a dime for every time I heard this one...anyway, Fact! I will admit that there was a study in the 70s that claimed to disproved this saying, however, the supporting evidence was spurious at best. Here at the OomPalace, we've tested the theory on the unsuspecting and found their luck changing for the better immediately after being given any sort of Sushi pipe wether lit or unlit. Not all Sushi pipes are alike, however, the basic proportions and incantations are still available to most any pipe maker willing to investigate. Please see the O. Sylvester pipe named Sushi Vichu for a good reference on what a proper Sushi pipe should look like.
- "A balanced pipe, a stable marriage!" We've all heard this one. If you can balance your lit pipe atop your head during your vows (this has been interpreted to mean while the pipe smoker is reciting his or her vows rather than all vows during the ceremony) your marriage will be as stable as a manger. Fact! This particular superstition (as some might like to call it) has been tested 78 times according to the records in the OomVault beneath the OomPalace.
- Dry tobacco spell: Since the time I was very young, I remember hearing the dry tobacco spell being said by many a pipesmoker just before opening their tin..."Dry, dry, leave my tin, take the next one coming in." This spell would supposedly take keep your tobacco from being to dry upon opening, but presumably cause the next poor fellows tin to go dry immediately. Fact! We've conducted many tests both within and outside the laboratory and this little chant seems to work nearly every time.
- If you drop your tamper, put it on the back of the hand, make a wish and throw it over your shoulder. If it sticks into or knocks unconscious any person, your wish will be granted. Fact! For safety sake, especially at pipe clubs and shows, I had hoped this particular old tale to be false, however, after countless observations, the only conclusion to be made is that this bit of wisdom is indeed true.
- If you count the number of pipes you've bought during a pipe show while still at that show, you will have bad luck for 3 days and find no more good deals. Fiction! Count all you want while at the show, so long as there's not a pipe on the bed you slept in the night before whilst you do the counting.
- Pipes made to represent an elephant's foot or ear bring good luck. Fact! However, it is important to note that the pipe's resting place should be near a door that leads outside, opening to the South if possible.
- Any fish shaped pipe should be made from the head to the tail to secure it's speedy sale. Fiction! This has been proven to be complete nonsense, unless the shape is based on a grouper.
- It is bad luck to open a new tin of tobacco during the month of October. Fiction! This misguided notion has kept many a piper from popping tins near Halloween, however, opening a tin during the month of October is perfectly fine, so long as you do so while standing on one foot, preferably the left one.
- A pipe buried at least a hands length in the soil before the onset of a full moon then unearthed after the full moon will never yield tongue bite and will protect the riteful owner from swamp hags. Fact. It is worth noting that this has no effect on sea hags, but only swamp hags.
- Tobacco resealed with the inclusion of an orange peel will retain the correct amount of moisture and protect from contamination of any kind. Fiction. The pelt of a field mouse however, does yield this result.
- Leaving a lit pipe for any amount of time can bring bad fortune. Fact, but only if it is left out of one's sight. So long as you can see your pipe, you are safe, however, it is when you are out of sight from your lit pipe that the fairy folk or pict people begin puffing on your orphaned companion. The miniscule amounts of fairy breath left behind a quick pict puff can result in stomach sickness, death, or both. It is well known that a popular game with the picts is daring one to another to partake of a human's lit pipe.
- English blend tobaccos carry a heavier punch than any other blends due to the latakia content. Fiction. While English blend tobaccos can make a person feel light headed, this effect is only sometimes felt by persons born in the continental United States, or happens to be a pisces of late February. This effect, however, has nothing whatsoever to do with latakia.
- Virginia tobacco blends are all made by virgins. Fiction. Only the harvesting of the leaves themselves are gathered by virgin men and women (hence the name) as they can still locate the best leaves. All other parts of production can be done by non-virgins.
- Aromatic tobaccos are produced by soaking the least desirable tobacco leaves in flavored medicinal syrups which promote pheromone receptor activity by as much as 400%. Fact. Researchers have found a direct correlation between the smoking of aromatic tobaccos to the randyness of those individuals.
- Sulfur tipped matches taint the taste of your tobacco upon lighting. Fiction. The burning of sulfur, however, does attract witches, which, coincidently, is not a bad thing.
- Santa smokes a pipe. Fact! If there were any doubt, and I don't think there was even a speck, yes, he has been seen on many occasions smoking a pipe. No less than 73 records exist showing either Santa, Mrs. Claus, or one of the elves ordering pipes from various sources. Also note, Mrs. Claus and Frosty the Snowman are also pipesmokers.
- A pipe with holly carved into it gives the owner druidic powers. Fact! The problem with this is knowing exactly what that means (consult local druid.)
- Navy flake can be substituted for mistletoe with equal effect. Fiction! I have heard this one for quite some time now. Our labs at the OomPalace have shown that Navy flake, when held above the head of the one from whom you desire a kiss, causes said non-participant in kissing game to narrow the eyes, bring forth a frown and withdraw from your immediate area.
- A corn cob pipe is Frosty the Snowman's favorite type of pipe. Fiction! A briar poker is Frosty's pipe of choice. The song in question was written by a fellow with ties to the corn industry. Having said that, it is true that Frosty does smoke a cob from time to time.
- An acorn shaped pipe placed at a window will keep lightning out. Fact. I have also tried this with pipes called acorns by the carvers which look nothing like acorns. Even in this scenario it works. Do not try with non acorn shapes or pipes not called acorns by their carvers.
- Smoking an apple shaped pipe once a day can chase off a cold (an apple a day keeps the doctor away.) Fiction. At least 2 bowls from an apple will chase off a cold. Best results are found if the first is smoked before noon and the second after noon.
- A pipe made on a Tuesday is full of grace. Fact. There is one machine made pipe company that knows this very well and only finishes their pipes on Tuesdays. Consequently, they are the best machine made pipes in existance.
- If the first pipe you see in the new year is white, you will have good luck the entire year. Fact. Watch the wise pipesmoker place his meer at his bedside on new year's eve night before bed, or in his pocket if he stays up late.
- If a bee enters your home, it is a sign that you will have a new pipe soon. Fact! The first time this happened to me, a bee of the bumble variety entered my abode, and while unwelcome at first, I allowed his presence once I remembered this truth. The very next day I purchased a fine Ardor pipe.
- To protect yourself from witches, wear a blue bead. Fiction! Wearing a blue bead or smoking a pipe adorned with any blue facet actually attracts witches, which, is a good thing. Especially if one is in need of a toad poultice.
- Do not lean a broom against a bed or else your pipe will sour. Fact! The broom must touch the mattress for this to be true. If it only touches the frame, no problem will arise.
- If you bid a friend farewell while smoking a bridge pipe (one fashioned to show an area of briar spanning over a removed portion) you will never see that friend again. Fact! Bidding a friend farewell should only be done when smoking a billiard, apple, or calabash pipe.
- If a person with red hair is the first to cross your home's threshold in the new year, you will have bad luck that year. Fact! While this is completely true, if that person is either smoking a pipe, or gifts a pipe to you within thirty days, no bad luck will come of it.
- To protect yourself from vampires, smoke a pipe resembling garlic. Fact! Pipe makers living in areas that are heavily populated with vampires know this one all too, well.
- A scotched pot never soils. Fact! However, the scotch used to treat the pipe must be from a variety of distilleries (try the Monster brand for this.) Never try this with any shape other than a pot shape.