European Children With No Cigars
I’ve always enjoyed smoking, but now and then, I can tell that smoking cigarettes isn’t doing my lungs that much good after all, particularly in runs of cold weather. I’ve been rolling my own for the last year, since that drops the cost per pack from almost $7 to a couple bucks or so. So, I’ve decided to quit. It’s easy. I’ve done it lots of times.
When I got the heave-ho last year and had to start grabbing my stuff, I also grabbed a very fine humidor that was a gift from some mighty nice friends to my ex. My ex-bride used to enjoy smoking cigars, and not the cheap crap I would smoke if I’d been buying them. There are a couple of $8.75 Cohibas in there, among others. $8.75 in 2006 equates to 72 cents in 1930, the era of the top-o’-the-line 50-cent cigar. She stopped smoking, and I knew the lot would simply go away in haste. I had (and still have) pipe tobacco in there too, but rarely lit up because cigarettes, being addictive, simply take over. If you’re going to store tobacco in dry desert air, a humidor is not a bad thing to have. I just grabbed it and packed it away to deal with later.
Now, I don’t really smoke cigars. I’m more of a pipe man. Oh, now and then I did smoke a cigar just to be sociable, but they stink, much like cigarettes do. I don’t do the manly thing and suck on a cigar while slurping rum, brandy, whiskey, or scotch. That would be an okay pastime, but I can’t afford the cigars, nor the scotch. I’m relegated to the cheapest vodka I can find for the duration, carefully rationed. But here are all these abandoned pricey cigars, and here I already just happen to have my once-a-year 750ml bottle of Jim Beam bourbon in the cupboard.
Why smoke these leftover cigars at all? That’s a fair question, and I’m glad you asked. It’s those starving children in Europe, who would probably jump on these puppies like a truckload of cats on a rabbit’s nest. Somewhere in Europe there is a young child without an eight dollar and seventy-five cent Cohiba, and here I would be, just dropping them into a waste basket. I know. Such a thought makes one reflexively draw a breath in shock.
No, it would just be morally wrong. Whether man or woman, each person must somewhere draw a line in the shifting sands of societal decay and say, “No more. This is where I will stand and defend.” Some things cannot be compromised. They cannot be shaded a lighter grey. Is not man meant for duct tape, and duct tape for man? So too it is with tobacco products on hand. I must sit resolutely each day in my vintage lawn chair and watch the sun slowly set, cigar in one hand and bourbon in the other. I will do this until the last cigar runs out. I am doing it for them.
Then at last I can revert to my pipe, the true signature of Civilized Man. In all of this desert wilderness, there will stand a sentinel once more. In my mind’s eye, I can see the ghost of Emily Post smiling and knowingly nodding her approval. Then, she turns with an expression of slight concern and asks, “Don’t you own a smoking jacket?”