I ordered a pipe tool through Amazon.com from a seller named Bubble Star, and it arrived today from P-Rider, 5902 Sovereign Dr., Ste. B-2, Houston, Texas 77036. When I read on it "MADE IN CZECH REPUBLIC," I was elated, having something that isn't made in China! But then with closer observation through a magnifying glass, I saw that it actually says, "MADE IN CZEOM REPUBLIC." Czeom? Never heard of it. So I googled it. Can't find it. Nowhere online does it say where Czeom is. Suddenly I had on my hands a mysterious, alien, pipe tool.
Since I love a mystery, I search until solving it. My pipe tool is a forgery! Compare the two pictures below. I'm not sure whether or not these two pipe tools differ in color or if it's an image distortion; mine is silver in color. At the top is pictured the pipe tool actually made in the Czech Republic, also sold through Amazon.com but from the Nordic Art Store. The bottom picture is an enlargement of my pipe tool. It's hard to make the image clear enough, but mine really says, "MADE IN CZEOM REPUBLIC."
I don't know who committed the forgery but I would suspect the Chinese because of their worldwide market and because they're less familiar with English letters. What happened is that (most likely) the Chinese tried to imitate the pipe tool and misread "CZECH" as "CZEOM." Notice that not only is the font different, but the spacing between the letters and lines is different.
I should return my pipe tool for the forgery it is, but since it works just as well (so far) and is now a conversation piece, I plan to keep it. I distrust China, and now each time I smoke my Missouri Meerschaum cob pipe I'll be reminded why. I'll keep looking for Czeom, though. It might be a great place to vacation.
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