Out of the Humidor
From the Print Edition:
Ron Perelman, Spring 95
(continued from page 5)
They were being brought back from Grand Cayman by a friend and business associate of mine. While he does not smoke, he does appreciate my affinity for a good cigar and had promised to bring the best he could find back for me, if at all possible.
He purchased the Cohibas on day one of his trip, put the sealed package in a zipped pocket inside of his suitcase and forgot about them. Forgot about them until a golden retriever, presumably trained and engaged by U.S. Customs, sniffed and nudged his suitcase as he reentered the country a week later.
My friend was ordered to pick up his suitcase and was taken down a hallway into an inspection room. Once there, three armed customs agents proceeded to spread him against the wall, frisk him quite thoroughly, empty his wallet and search his suitcase.
"Am I being arrested?" my friend asked.
"You're being searched first!" came the reply.
The agents seemed, according to my friend, frustrated that they could find no contraband upon his person or in his belongings. It wasn't until one of the agents was rearranging the contents of the suitcase that the distinctive Cohiba package was noticed.
My friend related the conversation that followed:
"Hey, those are Cuban ci-gars!" one agent said.
"Are they?" asked the searcher. "Are you sure?"
"Sure, look, it says Havana right on the package."
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