Posted: Jan 5, 2009 10:39am ET
Happy New Year. I have been spending a little over a week in Southern California and I have not had a cigar the whole time. I am Jonesing for one now. The problem is the environment. I have been staying with my parents in Palm Springs and Carlsbad, and there is no smoking allowed there— never was! And the weather has been so cold (for Southern California mind you!) that it has not been conducive to outdoor smoking, either.
I don't know how you all enjoy a good cigar during the bad weather months. I see pictures of people out on their terraces smoking in the snow or others in their backyards puffing away under gas heaters. I have to give all of you forlorn cigar lovers the highest kudos. You are men. True men.
But, honestly, it's not the right place to smoke a cigar in subzero weather, or in the wind blown garden of a man's castle. You will never get the true enjoyment of a fine cigar in such an environment. I just wouldn't bother. But I understand your persistence and your heroism.
There are exceptions for myself. I remember last year at a dinner with my two brothers in Oceanside at the beach and we all went up to the rooftop terrace of his apartment and froze and smoked together. It made us feel closer together, like a fine cigar does on a cold night. But it was a pretty unpleasant experience as far as cigar smoking goes. I couldn't taste a thing.
I don't have an answer for improving this dilemma. It's something we have to suffer through each year when the weather changes for the worse. I am happy that I can smoke in my house in Italy. I wish I could invite you there for a smoke. I no longer have a wife and my two dogs are used to the smoke. What could they say anyways? And they are not judgmental, like my ex-wife. They like me even if I have drunk too much or have fallen asleep on the couch or invited loud and drunken friends over for a nightcap, but that's another column.
Enjoying a great cigar during the winter can really be a bummer. And I feel for all of you.
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