Sunday, November 7, 2010

Saturday at the Hut - 11/6/10

Two weeks ago in this space I made a disparaging remark about Fox News, likening them to a certain German political party of the 1930's. Certain friends at The Tobacco Hut, namely Joe K, took offense to this the following week, claiming that I had called him a Nazi. In the subsequent blog, I clarified my remarks, reiterating only that the Fox News entertainers like Beck, Hannity, et al, were the Nazis, not my good friend Joe. But I apologized profusely to Joe in last week's blog. This week, when I walked in to the Hut, Joe was in the back room, and when he came out...well you had to be there. Needless to say, it was hysterical and we all had a great laugh.

How about some fascinating trivia speaking of Nazis? The National Socialist German Workers' Party did not originate the swastika for their national emblem. In fact, the word itself comes from the ancient Sanskrit, svastika. The ideogram has been used for thousands of years; its first use found in the Euphrates-Tigris valley and in some areas of the Indus valley. The swastika was commonly used in ancient Greece as well. In China, India, and Japan, the sign is mostly associated with Buddha. In the early centuries CE, Celts used the symbol as decoration, but it fell out of favor during the rise of Christianity in Europe, probably seen as anti-Christian due to its association with Buddha. More recently, it was used in nineteenth and twentieth centuries cartography as the symbol for electrical power plants. It was part of the company logo for Swedish electrical machinery manufacturer ASEA until Hitler adopted it for the Nazi national symbol. The Danish brewery group Carlsberg also incorporated the swastika in their branding but discontinued it when Hitler began using it. Finally, it is still widely seen in Finland, and is part of that country's Finnish Cross of Freedom. It was even used in advertising (see image above - click to enlarge).

Now that this week's history lesson is over, we can move on to less important topics. In attendance this week were Joe K, Peter G, and Ed B, whom we haven't seen in a couple months. Last week Vic called promising a visit this week, which I took to mean Saturday. My bad, as he came earlier in the week, so we didn't get to see him. Now that he's retired and living the good life, maybe he'll include Saturdays in his Hut visits.

Steve B wasn't able to make it, but he called. This is all we ask, people! If you can't make it, just call. This allows us to revise the catering order and size of the keg.

As is becoming more and more common lately, we had another crazy walk in and spend some time. This particular nutcase is not a stranger apparently. He's been in before asking to sort through all the change in Lou's cash register looking for the "good coins". This time he made a small purchase and took the chair vacated by Joe as he was heading home for his nap (good timing, Joe!). A college football game was on the TV and after a few minutes and out of the blue Mr. Crazy launches into a play-by-play call of some imaginary game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Cleveland Browns, as Howard Cosell. He fell silent after a minute or so of his "broadcast" but resumed, this time calling a fumble recovery with player "49" picking up the ball and "running through the tunnel carrying Barbara Bush's purse." With that, Mr. Crazy got up and walked out the door.

After Peter and Ed left, Lou and I got down to the serious business of talking about another new pipe tobacco blend. He has had great success with Baker Street, a perfect blend of Virginia and Latakia. Just this week at the store, the first half dozen customers I saw walk in all purchased pipe tobacco, two of them buying the new Baker Street. Shortly before closing, I suggested to Lou that he experiment with a crossover between an English tobacco and an aromatic. My recommendation was to take the existing Baker Street, and add in some Cavendish. I've already come up with a name for it: London Bridge. Why London Bridge? It's a "bridge" between English and aromatic tobaccos. Very clever, right?

Two more quick things before I sign off, both for Lou.
#1: October 16, 2010, Camp Randall Stadium, Wisconsin. Wisconsin 31/OSU 18. Source:
#2: Peter had a great suggestion about putting up a sign in the window advertising Christmas gifts like sampler packs, etc., to capitalize on the new traffic coming in and out of the new Sunshine Groves store next door. Don't forget to talk to Dotty about it!

Until next week...

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