Now and again, you'll see a person make a half-a-fuss about smoking their pipe upside-down. Inevitably, this half-a-fuss will be greeted by the full fuss of amazed people seeing it, apparently, for the first time. I figured I'd touch on this whole thing rather briefly.
Firstly, if you know how to pack a pipe well--no--the tobacco will not fall out. Quickly within this stated as briefly bit: at all times (right-side-up times, too) loosely fill the bowl and pack it with the strength of a child, then loosely fill it again and pack it with the strength of a woman. Finally, fill it a third time and pack it like a man. Now cancel yourself because you're ageist and sexist. That bit of ugliness out of the way, wanna hear a bit more about upside-down pipe smoking? Sure you do.
It's not an Irish thing but it isn't not, either. It's a weather thing. Precipitation, and lesser-so wind, are easier smoked-thru with an inverted bowl. How it's an Irish thing, which it's not really, has to do with Ireland's frequent mistings. Fisherman will invert a pipe, too. In fact, I've seen it referred to as a Fisherman's clench. This, I understand less because the water, while you're on a boat, is under you much more than over you. But I suppose it doesn't necessarily shower upwards from the fishes. Mist, again.
Another instance for the inverted pipe was necessitated during WWII London air raids as to not show the light of the burning ash. You wanted yourself and your surroundings to be invisible to the Luftwaffe, see. Another boon with flipping your pipe-over is in lighting. Particularly in wind, it becomes a pain to dip your Bic into your bowl. Many a soft flame likes standing upward. Voila! A word of advice and/or warning will put a wrap on this item. Use a clay pipe.
I know I always bang the clay pipe drum but here are the reasons: heat travels up and your inverted briar or cob can burn out at its bottom when its bottom is its top. Also, the round stem of clay pipes is awesome for this flipping-over. Although watch for any developing pipe notch in your pearlies. I can hear the questions now. Do you smoke an upside-down pipe in the rain, Kap? I don't smoke in the rain. But I have an accidentally-modified (dropped) nose-warmer clay that I'd probably turn to and hide under the brim of my flat cap.
::: very :::
[Note: this was slightly edited for clarity on 3/31]