My most triumphant Christmas present this year - bought by me, not given to me - is a pipe. Tobacco, not the other kind.
My father used to smoke a pipe. It drove my mother mad because he would put it in the back pocket of his shorts ("When you're wearing shorts and a t-shirt," my father says, "there's nowhere to put your pipe") when it wasn't properly extinguished. Mum said she'd see him walking down the hill from the house, smoke curling up from his back pocket, and think 'any minute that man is going to jump a mile.' Also, they wore the same shorts (as you do when it's the 70s and you're in love) so she had to deal with the pocket-holes.
I asked Joff if there was anything I should buy to go with the pipe. He said, "Pipe cleaners! Turns out they aren't just for making animals," which was something I'd never really thought about. He also said, "A smoking jacket." Luckily, I already have one of those! But I'm keeping it. It belonged to my grandfather, and after he died I claimed it. It is gold and brown and has an embroidered dragon and quilted lining and it is Awesome.
I called Dad to ask if there was anything I should buy to go with the pipe. He said, "Pipe tobacco." I have only come across pipe tobacco once before, when I lived in a rather povertous flat - one of my flatmates had acquired a half-packet of pipe tobacco somewhere. The poor-studentness of the flat was confirmed one winter evening when I came home to find him smoking a cigarette made of pipe tobacco, rolled in an expired bus ticket, with a cardboard filter. He was having a fucking horrible time. And that, my friends, is addiction.
Here I am getting into the spirit of Christmas, with a tree. I really need a haircut.