Customs: Between Clenched Teeth

Ceremonially blowing smoke to the four winds, Mayan priests puffed their pipes to please the gods; the Sioux passed around the calumet to seal the peace; 16th century Frenchman Jean Nicot (whose name is immortalized in the word nicotine) promoted pipe smoking as a sure cure for ulcers; and 19th century authors rhapsodized like Bulwer-Lytton: "A pipe, it is a great soother, a pleasant comforter. Blue devils fly before its honest breath. It ripens the brain, it opens the heart, and the man who smokes thinks like a Samaritan."

But despite the perennial popularity of Sherlock Holmes, dripping shag tobacco...

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