An Open Letter to a Brother-In-Law



Dear Thatcher,

Thanks for the invitation to bring my family to your place for Independence Day weekend. It's not every brother-in-law who is so generous to his extended family, and I would like to offer some small token of my gratitude.

It is a modest gift of something I think your otherwise lovely home is in sore need of. I've observed that because of its proximity to the water your property tends to be infested by hordes of insects during this time of year. I've discovered a product that can remedy this. It comes in cylinders of leaves rolled around each other. It comes in various lengths and widths, according to your needs. Don't worry, the composition is purely organic. I'm told the product is made from specially raised tobacco leaves that have been carefully aged and cured. When slowly burned they create an exhaust that repels insects quite effectively.

Some user-participation is required, however, as the product tends to burn out when left alone. Happily, this problem can be easily avoided by occasionally drawing air through the unit's unlit end to keep it smoking. I suppose that you could use some kind of bellows contraption for this purpose, but I find it easiest to resuscitate the unit orally.

From my own observations with this outstanding product, I can conclude that if we were to dutifully keep two of them operating on your outdoor deck from sundown into the evening we would be able to lay down a smoke screen that would effectively protect your house and its inhabitants from harassment by insects.

The repellent works best when used in conjunction with a dedicated glass vessel that is held in the unused hand and filled with alcohol (and ice if the weather suggests). The liquid I use has been carefully treated through years of containment in wood casks. As fumes are released from the wide mouth of the vessel, they combine with the smoke and, for reasons that science does not yet fully understand, further ameliorate the repellent function of the first devise.

The cylindrical repellents I am bringing were manufactured in Nicaragua. Would you prefer the liquid component come from Scotland or Kentucky?

Fond wishes,

Your brother-in-law,

Jack

HENDRICUS VAN WILGENBURG CENTREVILLE, NS, CANADA, July 1, 2011 4:48pm ET
Well done! Your blog meets my sentiments about life and cigars on multiple levels. if only everyone could appreciate/grasp what the finer things in life contribute to the human condition. It is rare to see it so artfully expressed.
JACK BETTRIDGE NEW YORK, NY, UNITED STATES, July 2, 2011 8:26am ET
Thanks! Feedback always welcome, especially when's positive--and so insightful.
riaz paynter st-hubert, quebec, canada, July 2, 2011 9:48am ET
Very fun read, I've noticed this cylindrical contraption is a very good insect repellant, I usually use the ones made in cuba, but I do appriciate a good nicaraguan or DR one also.
Thatcher Thompson Northport, Ny, 11768, July 2, 2011 2:07pm ET
Jack,

Thanks for the considerate offer. The bugs are thick on Long Island this weekend...we'll need liquid components from both Kentucky and Scotland todo the job right.

Thatcher
Thatcher Thompson Northport, Ny, 11768, July 2, 2011 2:07pm ET
Jack,

Thanks for the considerate offer. The bugs are thick on Long Island this weekend...we'll need liquid components from both Kentucky and Scotland todo the job right.

Thatcher
JACK BETTRIDGE NEW YORK, NY, UNITED STATES, July 2, 2011 2:16pm ET
I was delinquent in not also offering a liquid from Ireland. I will bring some of that as well in case we encounter some of those fearsome British mosquitos.
Harold Lensen Arnhem, Gelderland, Netherlands, July 2, 2011 2:58pm ET
Brilliant it works on Dutch mosquitos as well, thanks so much! Harold
Pete Noel July 2, 2011 11:47pm ET
I agree with Thacher...the bugs are pretty bad so far this year on Long Island. Windshield constantly looks like an Insect Disaster Area.
Kyle Sartin Orange, Texas, United States, July 5, 2011 11:22am ET
Love the Blog. Keep it up.
Alex Benes Newbury Park, CA, USA, July 8, 2011 6:34pm ET
Anyone who can work "resuscitate the unit orally" deserves an invitation to drop by my house and drop off products from Nicaragua, Kentucky, Scotland, Ireland and, may I suggest, Guatemala and Venezuela. I will resist from commenting further on steps on oral resuscitation of any units.
Sam Sigler Appleton, WI, USA, July 14, 2011 9:34pm ET
Great Blog - laughing and nodding in agreement throughout my reading of it
Thomas Person July 25, 2011 9:34pm ET
A fine Kentucky bourbon or even some shine would do well
Clint Summers Huntersville, NC, USA, August 19, 2011 5:30pm ET
My wife and I loved this. Great!
Chris Castellani Tomball, TX, USA, August 30, 2011 11:57pm ET
Well done sir.
DENNIS M THRASHER SR BIRMINGHAM, MI, UNITED STATES, September 14, 2011 3:48pm ET
Has he responded positively or simply told you to "bug off"/
larry friedman pine brook, nj, usa, September 14, 2011 6:33pm ET
Just finished reading Manhattan Transfer in the Wine Spectator.
I liked the article but needed to add another variation. Barrel Aged Gin. Is it a Martini, a Manhattan or a Martinez?
Ransom Gin, Carpano Anitca Formula Vermouth, orange or lemon bitters (4:1) ratio.
I discovered this one last year and I have not found a better combination. Your thoughts?
J Hernandez Fort Worth, Texas, USA, September 14, 2011 7:21pm ET
Genius !!!
peter chechotko sparwood, british columbia, canada, September 24, 2011 11:23am ET
peter chechotko having read your take on bug repellant. leads me to report on an interesting phenom. when smoking an aromatic cigar of good quality, 60 to 70 per cent, of the time a large bumblebee, will cruise by as if attracted to the aroma. this happens at work as well as home.

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