OK - short rant. I received a pipe recently from an unnamed auction source, have had relatively good luck with estate pipes, and got this one at a good price. You just never know what you are going to get. Sat down to clean the thing - WTH. I blackened three shank brushes, about 12 bristle cleaners, and 10-15 pipe cleaners (all dunked in Everclear) on the stem and shank of this tiny pot, it was grotesque. There wasn't a huge cake at all, just a tremendous amount of tar and goop in the stem and shank? I get the idea of building cake, and not necessarily cleaning a pipe *bowl* down to the wood after each smoke, but is it really necessary to just let a pipe get that gunked up? I must be a clean freak, as I clean each of my pipes stem and shank, with alcohol, after each smoke - or at least after two. I guess I would at least expect someone selling a pipe might *try* to clean them up a little? Just a bit? Or does this add to the taste to some smokers? Any of y'all had this experience? I had tar on my fingers (and the attendant smell) for literally two days...like bathing in goop. Just saying.