Posted: Jun 2, 2009 1:57pm ET
It’s been a rough few weeks. I came down with one of the worst head colds that I’ve had a long time, and then I gave it to my wife—oh, yeah, I wasn’t exactly the most favorite person in the house. It’s been more than three weeks now, and there’s been one round of antibiotics and more than few boxes of Kleenex consumed. The worst was over in about five days, but the aftereffects have lingered for more than two weeks, with the added complication of intense seasonal allergies. Gee, I sound like a basket case, don’t I? But why I am boring you with the current state of my sinuses?
It’s pretty simple. When you smoke for a living like we do here at the magazine, a head cold is more than just a nuisance, it is a serious impediment to getting your job done. I managed because, thanks to the good organization of the tasting coordinator, we were pretty far ahead in smokes for the magazine when I fell ill. And on the good days I was able to smoke a few cigars to keep up with my responsibilities for Cigar Insider. But you may have noticed I haven’t filed a lot of blogs in the last month—haven’t had a lot of material to work with.
In recent years, I’ve also come to love that one, sometimes, two cigars on the weekend. I may enjoy them on the golf course, or sometimes, on my back terrace. There’s no rush. There’s no tasting sheet or note taking. And, there’s often an adult beverage in my hand at the same time; despite rumors to the contrary, that’s not something we do during our normal tasting routines at Cigar Aficionado—I mean there are limits to how much fun we have here at work.
So on Sunday, as I was walking off the 5th tee with my good buddy Paul, a Cuban cigar lover, the aroma of his Churchill-size cigar wafted over the fairway, and I turned to him and said, “That smells magnificent.” “It’s a Romeo,” he said, “I got one for you if you want.” The words were like a dagger to my gut since Romeo y Julieta Churchills are one of my favorite Cuban brands. I paused, took a deep breath, and said through a still stuffed up nose, “No, I’m not smoking this weekend. Still got a cold.” Apparently he had noticed the weekend before when I also turned down a smoke, and he quickly added, ‘Yeah, you really had it bad didn’t you?” I could only nod.
The hiatus is almost over. I’m finally feeling pretty normal, and not hacking away like a TB victim. That’s a good thing, since the next taste test is starting up this week. I have about 40 cigars to smoke in the next seven weeks, which at two or three a day will be very manageable. But I’m looking forward even more to next Sunday on the golf course or in my backyard when I can light up a favorite smoke and not wonder if I’m setting back my recovery.
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