Out of the Humidor
From the Print Edition:
Groucho Marx, Spring 93
(continued from page 12)
I loved the articles on Cuban and Dominican cigars. They made me think of the first Cuban cigar I ever smoked. It was somewhere in the Caribbean in 1980 (I won't say where). I was on a cruise ship that docked at one place that reportedly had a very good tobacconist there.
Needless to say, I found this place and while looking around, I saw what appeared to he a box of Cuban cigars in the humidor. I asked the sales girl there if they were the real thing (I won't even say what brand). "YES SIR" she said, they were the real thing,
"Well how much are they?" I asked.
"They are umpteen thousand dollars," she said (I forget really how much, but they weren't cheap).
"I'll take a box," I said.
"You can't take them back to the U.S.," she pointed out.
"I know, but I want them anyway!"
I waited until I got back on the ship to smoke one, as I was going to lay back and enjoy this. I remembered about a year earlier, at the Tinder Box back in Raleigh one night, we were talking about Cuban cigars, and one guy who worked there said: "You know, Cuban cigars are over-rated, they aren't any better than the ones I sell right here." I couldn't say anything then because I'd never tried one, but I was about to find out. I got myself a glass of champagne and walked out on the aft deck. It was a gorgeous Caribbean sunset: There was a gentle, warm breeze blowing across the deck and in the distance, I could hear a steel band playing across the harbor from where the ship was docked. Best of all, I had about five acres of wide-open lido deck all to myself.
I pulled up a deck chair, propped my feet up on the rail and lit that communist cigar up. Let me tell you, I wanted to defect right then. "Fidel, you lucky son of a gun," I said out loud, "those guys at the Tinder Box have never smoked one of these!" I hate this anti-Cuban attitude our government has--perhaps that will change soon. I have never had any more Cuban cigars since then, but I will someday and if I don't, I will remember my first one for the rest of my life.
It's late now and I must go, but I just had to say thank you in some way for such a fine magazine. I think I shall enjoy CIGAR AFICIONADO for quite some time.
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