Dear Bishop Hackle 10/4/17 by Perry Fuller

October 4, 2017

Dear Bishop Hackle,


I’m not always a dick, nevertheless I confess to being a little hard on you in my last letter. You deserved it, of course, but giving a man what he deserves is retribution and I should have been gracious instead.


Consequently I’m making amends by sending you a well-aged tin of Erinmore. This is the genuine article, my dear Bishop, produced by the Murray Sons & Company LTD in Belfast over a dozen years ago.


Erinmore Mixture ceased production in Northern Ireland back in 2005. Unfortunately the brand is now a Deutschland knockoff, and not worth buying anymore. However, tins of the Irish original are still available for a rather steep price. Grace can be costly!


Pack your Peterson full of authenticity and, for the ultimate Celtic smoking experience, dream of fishing the Emerald Island for salmon with your amanchara (Gaelic for soul friend).


Imagine standing in the current of the Faughan River casting big flies for even bigger fish, getting increasingly aggravated all the while because ravenous browns keep interrupting the anadromous action.


Suddenly there's an unmistakable strike, certainly no trout that’s for sure. The rod doubles and so does your heartbeat. An enormous silver-side missiles high and then tail-dances across the entire pool. Somewhat fearfully you carefully keep a tight line. But the Atlantic runs hard, intending to tow your ass clear to the ocean if necessary.


Praise God for a disc drag reel. After twenty minutes of tugging against its resistance the leviathan finally tires and you begin maneuvering into position for a landing. Wishing to share the experience with your faithful soul friend, you ask him to handle the net. He starts for the scoop, but does something unforgivably stupid and whacks the salmon free.


You nod to your ghillie in silent agreement: ashes to ashes and dust to dust, decomposition, the fitting end for such a “friend.”


After a memorial prayer you pull out an old Dublin briar and light up a bowlful of Erinmore. Eminently pleased with the exquisite taste of sweetened Cavendish and Virginia tobaccos, you puff away appreciatively as the aromatic plume calms a conscience aroused by loud cursing over the loss of a record fish. The blend is extraordinarily excellent.

Fortunately, the day is still young and there's always fresh hope in the next hole. Better move along. You reluctantly finish the bowl and amble down to the water's edge. One good cast is all it takes.


Enjoy the smoke,


Father Felim McAllister