It had to happen. Europipe is back. The embers have hardly dimmed away since Europipe ’92, but here comes Europipe ’95.
Saint Claude, that French hotbed of pipe smoking, is playing host to the celebrations of fuming from 28 April to 1 May. There is a Salon International de la Pipe, an exhibition called Pipe et Cration, a sort of pipe swop-shop, and, most fascinating, a Pipe Smokers Championship.
And, of course, there is the Grand Prix du Design. Yes, professional designers and amateurs can design a pipe, in both straight and curved forms, for a chance of the FFr15 000 (Ãº1900) prizes.
The eight-strong jury features four matres-pipiers, a designer and three pipe-smoking celebrities. Europipe’s organisers are hoping for 50 000 visitors to the festival, many of whom should take part in the pipe smoking championship.
Imagine a room full of hundreds of pipe smokers, all sparking up at the same time with three grams of tobacco and just two matches each. The trick is to smoke as slowly as possible, the winner being the smoker who makes his three grams last longest without relighting.
Fascinating, eh? Wouldn’t it make a brilliant TV sport? The world record holder, by the way, clocked up three hours, nine minutes and three seconds.
Book your (smoking) seat on the Eurostar this instant!