I have never really enjoyed answering questions that ask me to define myself. I find the practice of talking about myself, despite an obvious narcissistic bend, to be embarrassing, perhaps stemming from a fairly negative self-image. Instead of talking about Layne C, I would much rather talk about the life and times of my alter ego, Pope Crisco.
The Pope was born out of boredom one weekend when I was an English major at the University of North Texas and feeling like poking fun at organized religion. That project, dubbed the Church of the Sacred Midget, really didn’t go anywhere, and I dropped the pursuit relatively quickly. While the endeavor didn’t produce any fruit, the self-given title stuck as my online identity.
About this time, well after the age most of my peers began drinking and smoking, I as Pope Crisco began visiting bars after classes, and the smoking of cigars and pipe tobacco became a regular weekend diversion. Being somewhat of a snob, more so than I feel I am now, I turned my nose down at macro breweries, and would only drink beer either produced locally (which at the time Texas, or at least North Texas, had a very limited selection of), and European beers.
Circulating in various forums, generally cigar centric, I began my hobby of reviewing and exploring the discussion of flavors in tobacco, as well as bourbon, other whiskies, and beer.
This conversation via forums lasted until I moved to Atlanta, where my focus from cigars shifted to include pipes and pipe tobacco. This was to bring on another change in the growth of Pope Crisco, as I stumbled upon a group of men celebrating manliness and pipe smoking via short videos on YouTube as part of an ever-growing community. At first my wife was hesitant of allowing me to join these weirdoes, but against her wishes, and a need to create (a yearning my day job has never satisfied) I started posting and interacting with that community.
After a year or two, I became, or at least feel I became, one of the community’s moderate players, offering reviews of tobacco as my mainstay of content in this new context.
In early 2011 I decided I would branch off and begin reviewing beer for a number of reasons. At the time I was drinking heavily every evening for the purpose of medication and not enjoyment. My craft beer selection had deteriorated to Miller High Life, and a change was needed. I decided to ditch the nightly four or five beers, for 2 or 3 craft beers twice a week. Furthermore, while making the decision to refine my drinking habits, I chose to revive the habit of reading and writing, habits that had become soft and lazy since graduation.
In this last year, as well as expanding on my understanding of the craft beer scene, I have also branched off into brewing beer and cider, and obtained a moderate amount of attention for a few of my posts.
As well as continuing Intoxico into the coming years, I am also currently a contributor for The TMR Zoo, a men’s interest website.
I am always looking to expand my audience, and am hopeful that one day Intoxico will become a direct or indirect opportunity to write for a living.
Layne C. / Pope Crisco
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