Out of the Humidor
From the Print Edition:
Claudia Schiffer, Jul/Aug 97
(continued from page 2)
This year, I turned my fiancée into my wife, and as she is American, the wedding and subsequent party were held in her native Southern California. She flew to the United States some weeks before I did, and just before boarding my Los Angeles-bound plane, I could not resist buying a box of Romeo y Julietas in the airport duty-free shop, thinking it would be a great gift to give to people attending the wedding after all the partying, drinking and dancing were done with.
The wedding reception and party came, and after dinner I walked around handing out cigars. The result was startling. The cigars were gone within five minutes, with people looking in awe at these "forbidden" items, asking where I had gotten them. The dance floor quickly emptied, and everyone was out on the balcony, puffing at their Romeo y Julietas, enjoying themselves.
Because I was too busy greeting people and asking everyone how they were doing, I never actually got to finish my dessert, let alone indulge in a cigar. But I am positive the cigars made it a wedding reception with a difference, and I could see that when drinking, dancing or having a cigar are at stake, the last of these becomes the first choice.
I live in San Diego and I usually take the coastal route to and from work instead of the more crowded freeway. But on Fridays, traffic is just as bad at 5 o'clock on the coastal route as it is on the freeway. So I usually end up heading south after work (I live to the north) to either my parents' house or to my sister's. It gives me time to catch up with what's going on in their lives, and it saves me from being stuck in the northbound traffic with the sun in my face.
On this particular day, the sun wasn't out and the cloudy skies were inviting. I decided to go directly home, although I knew I would hit traffic. Well, sure enough, I found myself staring at an endless line of vehicles creeping along at a snail's pace. After 20 minutes, of what seemed like hours to me, I noticed that several drivers had pulled off alongside the traffic, content to wait it out.
I remembered at that moment that I had a box of cigars in my trunk. I decided to pull over and smoke one. They weren't your expensive type of cigar, they were just some that I purchase through a catalogue. Even though they are relatively inexpensive, they smoke very nicely and have a nice aroma. So I pulled off and decided I would share some of my smokes with my fellow traffic "dropouts." With the cigar box under my arm, I tapped on the window of the first car, offering a smoke. The driver accepted with a grin that spread from ear to ear and a hearty "Thanks!"
I proceeded to the other two cars and each driver accepted my offer, both agreeing that a cigar was a definite treat in this unwanted moment. Meanwhile, after five minutes back at my car, I was joined by the first driver. He was really enjoying his cigar, this one being only the second he had ever smoked. He asked me what brand it was; I told him they were called "Palma Throwouts," the name, of course, being a misnomer. He told me it was much nicer than the other one he had smoked, which had set him back $7. When I told him that I purchase three cigar brands through the catalogue and that each one averaged out to 50 cents apiece, he nearly had a stroke right on the spot. He was in love with their aroma.
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