I stand outside the Comfort Inn in Romulus, Michigan, leaning against a concrete column smoking my pipe and watching it rain. Having departed from the Smokingpipes.com Representative Office in Chongqing, China at 11.30 a.m., I now have an overnight layover in Detroit. My eyes are so dry that they seem to make a scratching noise when I blink. I soon have company — a lady in a Myrtle Beach sweatshirt who came out to smoke a cigarette. She and her family are headed to the beach for a late season vacation. She says a storm is brewing in the Atlantic that could possibly hit South Carolina. Unconcerned, I say, "I'm sure we'll be fine." After all, such warnings are routine in August and September.