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Dear Marvin:
Your magazine is one of the best publications to come to the market in a long time. As an avid cigar connoisseur for the past 25 years (at the ripe old age of 43), I really appreciate the information you print and find great pleasure in knowing there are other people in this world who enjoy a great cigar as much as I do.
However, recently something has happened in my company that will prevent me from enjoying one of my great passions. I realize that people have been anti-cigar-smoking for some time, but as we all know, the new anti-smoking movement has really picked up momentum. And due to this bias, my firm decided to go smoke-free on January 1 of this year. This is a unilateral decision based on their facts that secondhand smoke causes cancer, and therefore, they do not want to be legally liable for any lawsuits that might be brought against them.
I am a stockbroker, and I have my own office. Four years ago, when I joined the company it was well known that I smoked cigars. Now I will have a big problem along with many others in the organization who smoke. It seems unfair that if I am in my own office with the door closed, that I will be treated like a child and not allowed to smoke a good cigar because they know better what is good for me.
So the real reason I am writing to you is that perhaps there is an attorney who subscribes to Cigar Aficionado who would be willing to take on a major corporation that is infringing on my rights and my own personal pleasure. Someone has to stand up and fight. After all, this is America, but it seems that the freedom to do as we please is becoming restricted more and more.
So if anyone out there understands my predicament and knows of a way to stop this insanity, please feel free to call or write me.
J. E.
Metro, New York
Editor's Response: If anyone out there is interested, write to Cigar Aficionado, and we'll pass along the letter.

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Dear Marvin:
Some years ago while cruising the Caribbean with the attorney general, his wife and several other close friends, I purchased three boxes of exquisite Cubans. While preparing to dock at the port of New York, my dear friend reminded me that contraband was subject to confiscation by customs officials. Having little knowledge of international law, I decided to reveal all, and the customs officer quickly saw the dreaded and possibly illegal contraband in one of my cases.
The customs inspection was carried out in our cabins before we departed the ship, and I humbly explained to the most competent federal employee I have ever met that indeed, I had no intent of violating any laws of our country. With understanding, which can only come from years of experience and a large dose of common sense, the customs officer permitted me to take three boxes onshore as soon as I agreed to his subsequent condition that "you must destroy this contraband by fire."
A tip of the hat to the long life and common sense among public officials.
J. Edward Davis
Towson, Maryland

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Dear Marvin:
I first want to thank you for the magazine--it's perfect. Second, I want to recount two experiences I have had with the anticigar crowd.
The first occurred last summer when my wife and I were vacationing on Fire Island. Since I like to smoke after dinner, we went early in the day to make sure we could get a table outside at one of Ocean Beach's best fish restaurants. In fact, at the appointed hour we were lucky enough to be seated at the rail of the deck overlooking the Great South Bay. At just before sundown we enjoyed a wonderful lobster dinner. As the sun sank into the bay and the light wind picked up just a bit, we ordered our brandies. I then lit one of my preembargo Montecristos; I bought a box during a visit to Prague a few years ago. These cigars are exquisite, as you know, with thick, chocolate aromas and a smooth taste enhanced only by Remy XO. After two draws and one swallow, an impolite, boorish waitress showed up and said that I had to put the cigar out, since a number of people were complaining. "How is that possible," I asked, "since the breeze is blowing away from the other tables?" "Dunno--you just gotta put it out," she said, with an air of indignation. I said, "Fine, give me the check." I paid the check with plastic and gave no tip. On the slip I wrote, "Close, but no cigar," and kept smoking huskily as I walked across the deck and out.
The second event happened more recently. I left the office early on Wednesday before Thanksgiving to beat the rush hour. I stopped at a red light at East 95th Street and York, heading toward the FDR Drive. I took out a Griffin's to smoke on the drive home, when I noticed a cab pulling up next to me. While opening the window to toss the match, I noticed the passenger in the cab. He had a look on his face that in a better world would be reserved for a child molester. He rolled down his window and scolded, "put out that stinking cigar." I smiled and, while blowing smoke toward him, I wished him the Thanksgiving he deserved. The light changed and I drove off happily smoking my cigar.
Howard B. Gold
New York, New York

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Dear Marvin:
Two salubrious cigar anecdotes, true ones.
I was finishing a late Sunday lunch at an Al Fresco Cafe on Sunset Plaza when I expressed to my guest a strong desire for a good Cuban cigar. A gentle tap on my shoulder caused me to turn around. There in front of me was held a Bolivar! The presenter smiled and said, "enjoy."
It was a late Friday night after a San Diego opera. I returned to Coronado and to the Meridian Hotel for a late, light supper. Upon entering the lounge, I immediately searched for a comfortable obscure place enabling me to smoke a cigar. Unable to find one, I semi-reluctantly chose a table a few feet from a group of four or five people. Amongst them was a woman in her late '70s. I glanced over to their table in an attempt to ascertain what the likelihood of their objecting to my cigar was. To my amazement, this elderly woman took a small, long cigar from her purse and began smoking it. What a delight!
It's nice to know all restaurant cigar stories are not unhappy ones.
Michael H. Sukoff, M.D.
Santa Ana, California

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Dear Marvin:
I have been a practicing physician for more than 20 years (urologic surgeon) here in Los Angeles. The joint arrival of Cigar Aficionado and news of the "Big Smoke" coming to Los Angeles are like a breath of fresh air in our smog and fire-smoked city of Angels.
I have been a cigar smoker (usually Cubans when I can get them) for more than 25 years, and it is a rare day that I do not enjoy a good smoke after my evening meal. There is nothing I can think of that is as consistently pleasurable, reliable and relaxing as my nightly Cuban cigar.
I am truly delighted that the "Big Smoke" will be coming to the Regent Beverly Wilshire in Beverly Hills, California in October, and I can hardly wait to be a part of that event in this city, which is so insanely and irrationally anti-smoking-oriented.
Keep up the good work.
Dudley Seth Danoff, M.D.
Beverly Hills, California
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