Occasionally we will find a story that will take us by surprise, something we had never even heard of, and The News On 6â€™s Rick Wells has found a doozy. He reports a couple from Boynton has been both national and international pipe smoking champions.
John Self showed us around what he calls his playroom. He says he always wanted a room where he could put all his pipe stuff. Most of the pipes in his cabinet are gifts or trophies; everything in the room is all about pipes.
"The border, the cover on the futon is pipe related,â€ said competitive smoker John Self.
John and his wife Cheryl are competitive pipe smokers, and the Italian pipe maker whose pipes they endorse has created a line of pipes named for Cheryl. This competitive smoking thing is not new, John's been at it for more than 30 years, and heâ€™s got a coach.
"Anywhere I go to smoke he goes with me,â€ Self said.
His wife has one too, and theyâ€™re good at it.
â€œWe are like seven or eight time international champions,â€ said Self.
Both were international champs in 2003 and national champs in â€™05.
How it works is pretty simple, competitors get identical new pipes, 3.3 grams of the same pipe tobacco and two matches.
â€œThe only way you can get an extra match is if both your matches break,â€ Self said.
And there are rules, even books to teach you how to get good at it, but there is no secret. For Self itâ€™s pretty simple.
â€œI just put the tobacco in and light it, Iâ€™ve had great success,â€ he said.
He calls it a slow race. The object is simple; the smoker whose pipe burns the longest wins.
â€œIâ€™ve went two hours,â€ said Self.
The current international champ is Paul Spinola. Heâ€™s 97 so John said as long as he can draw a breath he'll probably competitively light it up.
There are no competitions in Oklahoma, not even any pipe clubs, but there is a national pipe club website. If you'd like more information click here
Watch the video: Competitive Pipe Smokers