Out of the Humidor
From the Print Edition:
Ron Perelman, Spring 95
(continued from page 6)
"Uh oh, buddy," the agent continued, addressing my friend. "You're in trouble. Those things are illegal to bring into the country."
My friend did not plead ignorance. But I think it is safe to say that he was unaware of the extent of the treatment afforded tourists impertinent, bold and lawless enough to smuggle this variety of contraband into the good old United States of America.
The agents recorded his name into their computer, asked him who he was, what he did and how often he brought Cuban cigars into the country. He told me he did not mention that he was bringing them in for me, figuring that wouldn't help his situation and could only cause problems for me. In total, he was harassed for more than 30 minutes.
Then they confiscated the cigars and sent him on his way.
My friend related all this to me just two days ago. I appreciate the way he handled the situation--although I must admit that I might have suspected a fast one, if my friend were a smoker. All told, though, his story rings true. I just wonder how much extra it cost the government to train the dog not only to sniff out narcotics, but fine Cuban smokes as well. And I thought they usually used bloodhounds or German shepherds.
I did, of course, pay my friend for the cigars. So I guess the story in a nutshell is that my friend visited Grand Cayman, and all I got was this lousy receipt.
* * *
I am not a woman who believes in destroying or infiltrating the last bastion of male bonding. I think it's fine if men wish to have their own private clubs and schools. But please, sirs, don't deny me the luxury of a glorious Davidoff after a fine Morton's dinner. It may be true that sometimes (as Jim Belushi noted in your magazine) a cigar represents a tradition among gentlemen, thus symbolically belonging to the masculine realm; but I'll ask you to remember Freud's statement that "sometimes a cigar is just a cigar." And I do love a good cigar.
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