Ok, so, pipe cleaners, right? Thos little fussy wire things? My association with them was always with crafts in summer camp. Nobody in my family smoked pipes at all, nobody I knew did... so when I thought pipes, I thought plumbing pipes.
And I tell you, I thought they were really cleaver! if you had a thin pipe all clogged, you would just twist them together end to end until you could reach it! And if the pipe was wider, well then you'd twist together a handful of them!
Fast forward to a few years ago, I went into a tobacconist with a friend and was looking around, and saw the display of pipes on the wall, and in front of it this huge glass mason jar of pipe cleaners for a nickel each.
I thought, "Gee, that's kind of weird, having pipe cleaners here in... front of... the pipes."
I could FEEL the understanding suddenly clicking over in my head.
And I was so excited, I made the mistake of telling my friend. I've never heard the end of it.