Out of the Humidor
From the Print Edition:
Danny DeVito, Winter 96
(continued from page 10)
Allow me to first give you some background: I am a 21-year-old college junior who attends school in Memphis. I began smoking cigars in high school and have grown to become a true aficionado. Smoking has always been a
somewhat personal activity for me as it offers an outlet from the competitive academic environment which I am a part of. I often find myself in a deep meditative state while smoking and frequently discover myself doing the strangest things under their influence.
On July 19, 1996, I had the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity of watching the Olympic torch as it was carried through my neighborhood. As I stood there smoking my Fuente and wondering why I was up at 3 a.m., it all became clear to me. I was going to be the first person to light a cigar off of the Olympic flame. Beautiful, I thought to myself.
I pushed my way to the front of the mob, politely moving forward. Reaching the police block, I figured my initial efforts of making contact with the torch were futile. I decided to hold my current position. I must have been there no longer than five minutes when one of the attending police officers approached me. He asked me what I was smoking. Looking down at my partially extinguished Fuente, I replied. The officer, astonishingly, went on to tell me all about his love for cigars and how his new wife had forced him to smoke in secrecy, as she did not like the "smell." Upon the completion of his story, I had nothing to say or do but offer him one of my Fuentes. What some would call unprofessional of an officer on duty, he accepted graciously. I felt compelled to tell him my plan, in hopes it would add to our conversation. After finishing, he exploded into roaring laughter. I waited for his response to my idea. "Maybe I can help you," he said.
I watched in awe as he guided me through the block into a special roped-off area. "The torch stops here for a moment for the runner switch, pictures and the rehydration of the last group of runners.You are on your own now, good luck!"
The torch stopped just as the officer said it would. However, I was still a bit unclear as to how I was going to pull this off. There were cops everywhere and the runners were never left unattended. At that point, I noticed a wooden rack containing the torch that was next in line to be carried. One of the attendants had poured some liquid fuel inside and lit the torch. I assume she did this to burn off any excess fuel before she extinguished the torch and handed it to the next runner. I quickly walked over to the flame and began roasting my stogie. Almost immediately, I drew looks of sheer horror. I felt two firm hands on my shoulder, while an authoritative voice said, "Come with me, son." To make a long story short, it was my police smoking buddy. He led me away from the area and began laughing again. He told me he would cover for me and to disappear before anything nasty happened. Needless to say, I was long gone before there was a problem. Oh, in case you were wondering, I did manage to light my cigar; however, I ended up dropping it somewhere as I fled the scene.
I must admit I have not yet learned the fine art of smoking a cigar, but I have learned to appreciate the acquiring of a cigar as an art!
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