So, you bought a tobacco pipe over the weekend at Extravaganja. But like any good bowl or pipe, it will need a name that signifies its importance in your life. So how do you go about figuring out that name?
Naming a pipe is like naming a baby; if the name doesn’t fit it just won’t feel right. Sometimes a label will come right to you, other times it may take a while to think of one. Either way, take your time to discover and feel comfortable with the meaningful label you are about to bestow upon your new possession. While it might be funny to call your pipe “tits” at first, you will quickly get tired of it. Just because it was the first thing you thought about after buying it doesn’t mean that should be its name. The best name may take a while but once it fits, you will know you have found its match.
The first thing you should do is check out the color, as this can be a great indicator of a good name. Is it fire red? Name it Phoenix or Charizard. Like most smoking pipes, its form may consist of a mix of colors, so try and find a theme or pattern. For instance, if the colors seem to remind you of an underwater scene, Spongebob or Calypso would make a good name.
If there is a specific pattern that the paint makes on the pipe, take that into consideration. Does it have black and white spots? Honor it with a name reminiscent of a spotted animal, like a leopard. Or, take that idea and come up with something a little more exotic, such as Sex Panther.
So you have a few names in mind based on the color, but none of them really strike your fancy yet. What about the shape? Each pipe is handcrafted glass so try and figure out what the shape reminds you of. Sherlock Holmes is a great name for a pipe with a long curving stem. Or maybe it’s just a big bad smoking machine, and should be given a name like the Terminator or Samuel L. Jackson.
If you’re still not sure, give the pipe a test run. Is there anything particular about the way the smoke goes through? Maybe it hits hard and fast, or maybe it’s smooth like ice. Maybe you can pull a lot of smoke through at once, and calling it Sinkhole would be appropriate. Think about this when coming up with your name.
But maybe that still is not enough. In that case, get your friends’ opinions. Sometimes the best names come after a long discussion over a pipe or two. Maybe if you wander off topic and think of a fun inside joke, it may spark the idea as well. Someone could make a joke about George W. Bush, and you decide to call your bowl Dubya for short.
Perhaps you like a particular movie quote or a certain song strikes your fancy. If you are in the middle of watching The Lion King, the names Rafiki and Mufasa may work for you.
Of course, some names are extremely arbitrary and random. Think of a weird word, such as ectoplasm, and use it. It can make no sense, but may just fit perfectly. Your pipe may just be that random.
The name you give your pipe should be a name you can use as if you were addressing it personally. Remember, any good name will have some meaning attached to it that is significant to you or to the pipe itself; it is the personality of the pipe that counts the most.
Deciding what to call your pipe may take more than a few puffs, but with enough use, a perfect name will come naturally from your lungs.
Tappan Parker can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.