Out of the Humidor
From the Print Edition:
Matt Dillon, Spring 96
(continued from page 6)
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Pleasant surprises are too few in our lives; as a man who has had several, I consider myself lucky. I write this letter after enjoying my Autumn copy of Cigar Aficionado, which was a surprise gift. My other recent surprise was a party hosted by my wife for my 40th birthday. Christine managed to coordinate the arrival of my four siblings as well as over 80 friends from around the country, and succeeded in keeping it all a secret. Coming from the nosiest man on earth, I call this a significant accomplishment in itself.
Another gift from my wife was an absolutely beautiful humidor filled with an assortment of my favorite cigars. The party was an unbelievably great time for all and a memory I will never forget. As you can well imagine, cigars were enjoyed by many that night, a true celebration of a significant passing in one's life. I consider myself very fortunate to have such a caring, supportive wife who understands the important things in life: family, friends and a great cigar.
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Last week, I was at my son's high school football game (yes, that same premature baby who is now a 210-pound, 12th grade defensive tackle), when an officious-looking young man sauntered up to me and requested that I put out my cigar because it was disturbing the cheerleaders. His exact words were that "they found the smell offensive." We were outside, for heaven's sake!
Having been considerate enough to remove myself from the bleachers and to stand at least 20 yards away from any other human beings (even cheerleaders) before I lit up, and having looked forward to a chance to enjoy a rare weekday afternoon smoke (I work in a smoking prohibited building), I was admittedly in no mood to be trifled with. "Frankly," I began, "I find it offensive that several students are using the foulest language in the stands despite the presence of small children. Moreover, I am offended at the players who seem more interested in Deion Sanders-style strutting and trash talking than playing the game." I could feel the momentum building up in me like the tight draw of a Cohiba Robusto. "I also find it offensive that the cheerleader's cheers are lame, poorly timed and without the slightest bit of emotion. And that the coaches don't use the run more effectively. And I find it offensive..." The poor fellow looked at me wide-eyed. If his name had been Aladdin, he would have wished me struck dead by lightning on the spot. "Never mind," I said. With one last dramatic draw of Ashton, I allowed the still viable cigar--my last--to extinguish of its own volition rather than risk that my son be rendered a pariah with no chance of getting a date for the senior prom (the cheerleaders looked like the types to hold a grudge). By the way, my son's team won, 13-9.
Darrell E. Walker
Los Angeles, California
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