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Out of the Humidor

CA Readers
From the Print Edition:
Groucho Marx, Spring 93

(continued from page 1)

* * *

Dear Marvin:

I have an idea for you, inspired by the scented magazines I get: How about advertising cigar brands with a flap that you open to smell the cigar the way perfume companies do? Then your whole magazine would have that nice aroma.

Sincerely,

Mrs. Neil McCaffrey III

Editor's Response: I have such a negative attitude toward magazines with all those horrible perfume smells. I consider the "perfuming of magazines" an invasion of privacy. Many times, the smell is so strong I can't even hold the magazine in my hand. Shame on publishers for accepting perfumed ads. CIGAR AFICIONADO will never abuse its readers with "scratch and smell" ads.

* * *

Dear Marvin:

Back in 1967 I drove to Montreal with a couple of friends to go to the exposition. It was very enjoyable, but the highlight of the trip was going to the Cuban pavilion. I remember it being quite large, and the aroma made it seem like I was in the largest humidor in the world. This place probably did more business than all of the other pavilions combined. I was in heaven. The rarity of an American seeing an H. Upmann was so exciting. In those days, if I remember correctly, a box of Cuban cigars was selling in the pavilion for around $20. I bought ten boxes of different brands and decided to surprise my father. He always used to tell me how great Cuban cigars were. I took the panels out of the trunk of my car (1965 LeMans) and hid the cigar boxes, then replaced the panels. My friends thought I was crazy and decided we would all go to jail. When we drove home to New York we, of course, stopped at United States Customs. The agent asked me if I had anything to declare, and I said no. He then asked whether I had anything from the Cuban pavilion, and I said no. The agent then asked me to get out of the car and open the trunk. I thought I would die. I opened the trunk, the agent looked around and told me I could leave. With a sigh I drove off to New York where I surprised my father, and for many months we both enjoyed those cigars like two babies. He also wanted to kill me for what I did but it was well worth it and I would do it all over again.

I miss those cigars. Hopefully someday we once again will be able to smoke them--but this time, legally.

Sincerely Yours,

Alan Vogel
New York, New York

* * *

Dear Marvin:

Last summer I was out for a drive with my convertible top down and was stopped at a red light. A lady pulled up next to me who was also in a convertible with the top down. I noticed that she was staring at me out of the comer of my eye so I turned to look at her. Her comment was, "Do you have to smoke that smelly thing with the top down?" I kinda chuckled to myself and just turned my head so I was looking straight ahead and drove off after the light changed.

Lou Custidero
Herndon, Virginia

* * *

Dear Marvin:

Kudos on your latest literary success. As someone fairly new to the cigar oppression so prevalent in today's society, I really enjoyed David Shaw's article "Where Can I Smoke in Peace?" (Vol. 1 No. 1).

My own story begins after dinner with friends at a good restaurant. Just coming back from a foreign country, my good friend and I were very eager to enjoy the Cohibas I had with me. No sooner did we get the match lit when we were approached by the maître d' and informed that we would have to smoke the cigars in the lounge. We had no problem with this and quickly put them out. After the maître d' left, the still-not-satisfied person sitting several feet away came over and told us he had a glass of water with our names on it. At this point, we shook our heads, apologized and made a quick retreat to the lounge.

As a person who shares a kinship of discrimination, please continue to list cigar friendly restaurants. I know I will patronize these places and encourage all cigar smokers to do the same.

James A. Nicholson
Hoffman Estates, Illinois

Editor's Response: You're right on the money., Please note that in this issue on pages 122 to 128, we list over 360 restaurants around the world that are cigar friendly. We encourage all our readers to patronize these establishments. And please, by all means, mention you found the restaurant listed in CIGAR AFICIONADO.

* * *

Dear Marvin:

I thought Jim Gordon's article about me was entertaining and had some good cigar info, but I would like to set the record straight about a few things: I do not have a picture of George Bush that I throw darts at; in fact, I do not even have a picture of him at all. And despite any previous source, I have never had an interest in cocaine, nor have I ever experimented with it. Apocalypse Now was made all on my own--personal madness without any help.

Sincerely,

Francis Ford Coppola
San Francisco, California

Editor's Response: CIGAR AFICIONADO apologizes if there were any errors in the story. However, in an interview five years ago, the writer Jim Gordon observed the dart-throwing at a picture of George Bush. And, in a published interview two years ago in Rolling Stone, Mr. Coppola was quoted as saying he tried cocaine three times.

* * *

Dear Marvin.

The following excerpt from The Idiot, by Dostoevsky, shows that harassment of cigar smokers is not a new phenomenon. The narrator, a retired general, recounts how he dealt with a particularly aggressive objection to his cigar.

Two years ago--yes, nearly two, just after the opening of the new X. railway--I was already in civilian dress then and busy about an affair of great importance in connection with my giving up the service. I took a first-class ticket, went in, sat down and began to smoke... Just before the whistle sounded, two ladies with a lap-dog seated themselves just opposite me. They were late. One of them was dressed in gorgeous style with a cape. They were nice-looking, had a disdainful air, and talked English. I took no notice, of course, and went on smoking. I did hesitate, but I went on smoking close to the window, for the window was open. The lap-dog was lying on the pale blue lady's knee. It was a tiny creature no bigger than my fist, black with white paws, quite a curiosity. It had a silver collar with a motto on it. I did nothing. But I noticed the ladies seemed annoyed, at my cigar no doubt. One of them stared at me through her tortoise-shell lorgnette. I did nothing again, for they said nothing. If they'd said anything, warned me, asked me--there is such a thing as language after all! But they were silent....

Suddenly, without the slightest preface--I assure you, without the slightest, as though she had suddenly taken leave of her senses--the pale blue one snatched the cigar out of my hand and flung it out the window.

The train was racing along. I gazed at her aghast. A savage woman, yes, positively a woman of quite a savage type, yet plump comfortable-looking, tall fair woman, with rosy cheeks (too rosy, in fact). Her eyes glared at me. Without uttering a word and with extraordinary courtesy, the most perfect, the most refined courtesy, I delicately picked up the lap-dog by the collar in two fingers and flung it out the window after the cigar! It uttered one squeal. The train was still racing on.


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