Out of the Humidor
From the Print Edition:
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Summer 96
(continued from page 1)
I had instructed my wife to send a few contraband necessities: my clip-on sunglass lenses, some prescription facial cream, and I had also requested her to go into my humidor and include a few cigars in the package. Even though I've been smoking cigars for over 25 years, my wife is not a connoisseur, but my stash is all top-shelf. Anyhow, I successfully smuggled two well-packaged cigars into the prison and preserved them in an empty protein powder container to keep them as fresh as possible. Because of their excellent packaging, I didn't bother to look at what brands of cigars were sent.
Shortly after my successful smuggling operation, our room was "shaken down" (searched for contraband). When I returned to my room from work that day, I realized some items in my locker were askew and was told by my roommate our room was involved in a shakedown. My first thoughts centered on the precious tobacco sticks I had stored, then I figured, "Oh well, if they took them it was only two cigars." I then opened my locker drawer containing my booty, and to my surprise, found that the wrapping to my package was partially removed, but the cigars were not confiscated.
Cheap machine-made cigars are sold in our commissary, I rationalized. Being curious for aficionado's sake, I slid out the first cigar and saw a Macanudo label and thought, "Oh, that's pretty cool," even though I usually prefer a stronger smoke. As I delicately slid the next chocolate stick out of the wrapping to view the label, my heart began to flutter and I broke out into a cold sweat. As fate would have it, my wife just happened to pick my one remaining Cohiba Robusto as the second cigar! Now though I'm not a proponent of prison contraband, certainly the intrigue of this entire episode was duly climaxed in one of the finest smokes I've had in a long time.
D.O.C.Name and address withheld for obvious reasons
Since I started receiving your magazine a year ago, you've managed to squeeze into every issue an article or photo spread dealing with women and cigars. It would seem, if one were to believe all the hype that has arisen around women who (supposedly) enjoy cigars, that my opinion is in the minority, but I have an awful lot of trouble believing that modern American women are and have been enjoying cigars since long before all of us men caught on. If it is indeed true that women smoke and enjoy cigars, why take such an in-your-face approach to publicizing it?
It is true that the sight of a woman smoking a cigar nowadays scarcely warrants a second glance, but I invite anyone to take a closer look at that woman smoker next time you see her. Take some time to study her face. Does she really appear to be savoring the subtle array of flavors that a fine cigar can offer? Is she engaged in informed discussion with her companions about her favorite smokes and what she likes about them, or is she holding back coughs and tears and nervously glancing about to see who in the room has noticed that she is smoking a cigar?
I realize that I am making a broad generalization. I am reasonably sure there are a few women out there who truly do enjoy the pleasures of a good cigar on a regular basis. Perhaps there are women who have their own carefully maintained and well-appointed humidors at home or in the office. I have yet, however, to meet, read or hear about them. Call me a pig, and I'm sure some of you will, but I openly question the motives of any contemporary American woman who claims to be a true cigar aficionado...excuse me ...aficionada.
Morris Plains, New Jersey
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