Introducing Maj. Edmund Thaddeus Browning, Retired
(Editor’s Note: The following is intended to be taken with tongue firmly planted in cheek and with the funny-bone well primed. Taking it in other ways could result in abdominal cramps, psoriasis, talking purple dinosaurs, and flatulence.)
Sometimes I think that technology has so surpassed the common public knowledge of its advancement that I wonder that we’ve come as far as we have. I hope you’ll pardon the oddity of that thought, and possibly the oddity of its phrasing. You see, I’ve been corresponding, over the past few weeks, with a rather extraordinary individual whose patterns of speech have been rubbing off on me more than a little.
One of our mutual interests is vaping, of course. It came as quite a surprise to me when he told me that he’s been vaping for several decades; of course, I told him that was impossible, as the electronic cigarette only came to prominence in the last half decade. In the end, we chalked it up to different technologies progressing at different rates in different places.
Recently, he confessed to being an avid reader of Spinfuel; of particular interest to him are the comments we often receive. He also made it known that he is frequently asked questions about vaping, from the basic to the advanced, at the gentleman’s club of which he’s a regular patron. (There was some misunderstanding on that point; when I told him I was surprised that someone of such high station and obviously refined discernment would watch exotic dancers, he thought I meant Hawai’an girls wearing leis and doing the hula.)
After he learned a little more about what I do here at Spinfuel, and about the challenges faced by new and veteran vapers alike, he suggested that he would be more than happy to field questions from our readers on any and every vaping-related subject under the sun.
Naturally, it was on me to find out just what his background is and share that information with you, Dear Reader. So it is with great interest, and for your reading pleasure, that I present this interview with the distinguished Major Edmund Thaddeus Browning, Retired.
JC: Major, it’s a pleasure as always to speak with you.
ETB: To correspond, I think you mean. Precision, dear boy! Precision! Make it your watch-word — mark it, now! Make precision your watch-word and you shall go far.
JC: Yes, of course. I’m sure our readers will have quite a few questions for you, but before you come on board, I think it’s important to get questions specifically about you out of the way so that you can address their vaping-related questions right away. Not that you aren’t welcome to share your experiences as things occur to you, of course, but we want to try to keep things focused. Can you tell us a little about yourself, specifically about how you made the switch from tobacco to vaping?
ETB: I would be only too delighted! It was on a particularly dreadful afternoon. I had been straddled the previous few days by a schedule of engagements I would not have wished on the Devil himself. When at last I found a mercy-ful hour’s respite at my customary club — I would not be so uncouth as to name the name of the establishment, but I will confide in you that it is located on St. James Street near Whitehall — I found my snuffbox to be empty of all but a skeleton crew of grains.
And although I had, as is my custom, my pipe resting nicely in the pocket of my waistcoat, fain would I have ventured out of doors in such a downpour as was just then rattling the windows with a fierceness.
JC: Isn’t pipe smoking allowed at a fancy club like that?
ETB: I should think not! It’s a matter of courtesy, you see, that a gentleman does not intrude upon his fellows uninvited. In the courtyard, a merry band may enjoy, among themselves, a new and exciting flavour; but indoors, smoke would prove a disrupting invader into the other fellow’s senses. I shall illustrate: If a gentleman fancies the scent and flavour of whisky, but his associate prefers the decadence of rum, how much right has the first to pour his dram into the other fellow’s glass? At best we must think it a wicked sport; at worst, it might escalate to fisticuffs!
JC: That makes sense. Is that how you discovered vaping, finding yourself in a situation where you couldn’t smoke?
EBT: Just so. It was as I stood there at the window in rather a dreary mood that my good friend Sir Reginald Hornsby happened along to inquire as to the source of my sullenness. And, by Harry! What did I see rushing past his lips in a race with the words themselves? Great billows of rolling smoke!
Needless to say, I was aroused to ire. Here I was doing without, and along came Sir Reginald fully fitting the mould of the scoundrel! But before I could muster the words for a proper scolding, I noticed a thing exceeding queer — the smoke had no odour! I shan’t find any need to explain to you, of course, that it was not smoke a’tall but vapour.
Well, Sir Reginald and I passed what remained of the hour in companionable colloquy as I sampled several flavours of liquids fashioned for devices he described as “personal vapourisers.”
JC: How long ago was this? I think you mentioned decades. As you know, this technology was allegedly developed originally in the early 1960s but never really went anywhere until a Chinese company called Ruyan began exporting their version in the mid-2000s.
EBT: There are some things, dear boy, on which I may say only that you ought to satisfy yourself to think of as ‘mysteries.’ How I came to possess this wondrous device so much earlier than you did must be consigned to their number.
Let me provide you with my sincerest assurance that my experience is fulsome, my tastes discerning, and my guidance tempered by kindness and magnanimity toward those gentle souls who shall have for me questions on the most delicate matters of technique, selection of accoutrements, and discretion in their chosen pas-time.
JC: Well, Major, I think I’m suitably impressed, but why don’t we leave the question of your joining us here in the hands of our readers? If the response is positive, we’ll make the necessary arrangements to bring you aboard. And if not, well, I certainly hope that you and I will stay in touch. I’m looking forward to more stories of your experiences.
So, dear readers, shall we bring Maj. Edmund Thaddeus Browning on board as the Spinfuel ‘Ask A Sir’ columnist? Would you like to have such an expert at your beck and call, so that you can submit a question about any faucet of the world of Vaping? Let us know in the comments section below. Maj. Edmund Thaddeus Browning, (retired) needs a job. Should we hire him?