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Out of the Humidor

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

(continued from page 6)

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.


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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