Thursday, April 22, 2021

Sherlock Holmes Upon the Distinction Between the Ashes of the Various Tobaccos or, My Cigar Smoking Views on Stacking Dimes & Silver Sheaths

lo-fi & lovely

Sherlock Holmes Upon the Distinction Between the Ashes of the Various Tobaccos or, My Cigar Smoking Views on Stacking Dimes & Silver Sheaths

"I have made a special study of cigar ashes--in fact, I have written a monograph on the subject." - Sherlock Holmes to Dr. Watson, in A Study in Scarlett. It bears mentioning that this is the first book of Watson's recorded Holmes deductions, making it a thing prominently displayed right-off & even employed as part of solving said first case.

Again, this time in The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes: "I found the ash of a cigar, which my special knowledge of tobacco ashes enabled me to pronounce as an Indian cigar. I have, as you know, devoted some attention to this, and written a little monograph on the ashes of 140 different varieties of pipe, cigar, and cigarette tobacco."

Of course, Holmes is famously depicted as a prodigious imbiber of tobacco. IN CANON HE NEVER SMOKED A CALABASH. "I reached this one [conclusion]," said my friend, "by sitting upon five pillows and consuming an ounce of shag. I think, Watson, that if we drive to Baker Street we shall be just in time for breakfast." Penned Sir Arthur Conan Doyle--himself the real-life physician of his Watson character.

While the good fictional doctor denounced Sherlock's use of the harder stuff (which was all legal at the time of the original writings), he put up with and also indulged in cigars with his "consulting detective" friend & flat-mate. He also usually had his own pipe at the ready, with a filled bowl of Arcadia Mixture. Watson, smartly, did not share in Holmes' cigarette use, as I sometimes (lesser-smartly) do. I am the tobacco.

I believe it's when they (Holmes & Watson) first meet to talk rooming together in (again) A Study in Scarlett that Sherlock warns him of his heavy tobacco usage. Also, on an occasion, the Doc does make some mention of Holmes poisoning the air with his briar pipe or some such thing. Before I slip too far down the slope of completely dissecting and disseminating Sherlock's BOTL habits--I must remember alongside confessing, that all this super impressive build-up is just so that I can spew my own thoughts regarding cigar ash. 

I practically promise to at some vague point in the future, write all about Sherlock's tobacco choices.

In the meantime, here's how I'm framing this current thing... I have employed the aid of a popular internet search engine by prompting the likes of "why is my cigar ash..." and allowing this popular internet search engine to do the rest via offering up full(ish) questions in completion of those prompts. I took note of them all and will now answer... er... deduce all below. Not quite a "three-pipe problem" as far as problems go, but should prove a bit of fun infotainment. Finally, I'll be answering five (5) in total--who, what, when, where, why--& we begin! 

The game is afoot!

And begins with a bonus "how."
Would you believe all this is free content???*

"How to ash my cigar?" Firstly, whenever you want, chrissakes. I already hate this fucking game. If the ash clings on to the point of over-insulating the burn, roll it off. If it looks like it's about to dump, roll it off. Roll it off? Sure, I prefer to roll mine off in a tray bottom. At least promise me you'll never flick yours like a Marlboro. In terms of reviewing & rating cigars, I need to see a solid inch of growth in order to deem it A-Ok. It's a thing that speaks to construction. But whatever--you do you. Even if your fetish is carefully-uncomfortably contorting yourself while ruining your entire experience just to chase the longest ash possible. A weird fetish, that one. 

"Who ashes cigar in" ... rest? Ashing a cigar in a cigar rest is a lot like ashing a cigar on the top of a fucking piece of furniture. Henceforth it is #HotTake time CIGAR RESTS ARE TRASH. They are the least important part of the ashtray(the finger/s), minus the tray. The saucer under a cup is a more useful cigar accessory. I need a thing to put my ash in, not lay my cigar on, see? Plus, any table edge can be a 'rest.' That's why Jesus made table edges in the first place. It's in the Book of Mormon. Cigar rests. Phooey. 

"What is the ash on a cigar" ... called? George Washington's white horse was white. Also, Grant is buried in Grant's tomb. Which is to say I don't fully get the question? Unless you're taking a stab at picking up cigar lingo so as to go undercover and infiltrate a cigar organization. n that case, stacking dimes is one cool thing to say. Smoother ash is referred to as a sheath. A silver sheath is when the sheath is silver. Overly white ash tends to flake and speaks to an over-abundance of minerals in the soil. I never had that effect taste, just looks. "Cherry" is the part that burns hot red and should be centered--plus not all that hot red. 

"When..." somehow awkwardly becomes "how often should you ash a cigar" This answer supersedes any other herein as to this sort of thing. Precisely every 10 minutes. I recommend setting a digital timer. Also, a real cigar smoker takes a puff every 60-90 seconds depending on the offering's vitola. Be real. If you can't be real, be Ron Real. If you can be Batman, you're probably not smart enough to be Sherlock.

"Where to dispose of cigar ash?" is a question that was given me from a dissimilar prompt in-fact so dissimilar as to not bear mention. Let it cool in the tray or on your table-top if you insist on using that stupid cigar rest of yours. What's the for real query here? I bet it's how to not let your house smell like cigar smoke. Which is really just 'how do I not piss off my significant other?' I don't play that game. I guess it's common courtesy to your-own self and others that you take the cooled ashes outside and not let them sit in the bottom of your kitchen trashcan for days on end, you lazy sonofabitch. Or so I've been told. Over and over and over again. Sometimes I toss the ashes in my rose garden but only when I'm feeling poetic.

"Why is my cigar ash"... black? Well, it has to do with the mineral (magnesium) content of the soil the seeds sprung from. Higher mineral content yields white-silvery ash. Lesser, and you get your ugly black ash. Beyond cosmetics, darker ash, lesser mineral (nutrient) rich soils--will tend to hit the palate as acidic. Unpleasant, indeed. Also unpleasant is anytime I hear the word "ash" used where the word "ass" should be. As in "Ash Holes" and "Fat Ash." Fuck that. I typically see this behavior run rampant in the same circles as middle-aged men who flip cameras the bird and take selfies smoking in front of no smoking signs.

::: very :::