The relationship between gentlemen and timber has been a long two-by-four of mutual respect. Ever since the early cave-gentlemen were able to fell the first trees for writing desks and what-have-you, there has been a certain respect given to all wood and hard fibrous materials.
Wood is an invaluable resource for a gentleman. After being tenderly chopped down it is then fashioned into things such as writing desks, humidors and different sized humidors.
In many ways wood is just like a gentlemen, rigid, well mannered and in the case of a barrel, sometimes full of Scotch. In this way the respect that a gentleman has for wood is that of a brother or golfing partner.
Now you might think that chopping down a tree might be seem slightly disrespectful but I can assure you that it isn’t, not when the wood from said tree would be cared for and maintained by a gentleman.
The respect that a gentleman has for wood can also be used as a litmus test for weeding out gentlemen impostors. Simply see if the person in question uses a coaster when he puts his glass or goblet on your table. However there are more obvious examples of not respecting wood.
The other positive about wood is that it is natural. Just like the tobacco in ones pipe, the leather of ones shoes or the various cat parts in ones racket, wood is a living, organic substance all the way from sapling to pencil.
There is just one problem when it comes to respecting wood and that is what does one do when the host (who assumedly doesn’t respect wood) has not provided you with a coaster for your chalice?
So there you have it.