Out of the Humidor
From the Print Edition:
Jack Nicholson, Summer 95
(continued from page 12)
The only bad news about this story is its ending. Having found what I considered to be the perfect woman, I was disheartened to learn that she was only visiting Detroit for a short period of time, and was planning to return to her hometown of Seattle the next day. That night was the first and last time we saw each other. But if I'm ever in Seattle, I'll be sure to visit as many raves as I can in hopes of finding her again.
* * *
I am writing to you from 33,000 feet, in the the final two hours of my nonstop 11 hour flight from Los Angeles to Milan. I don't know why I do this to myself, but I always pack the most recent issue of Cigar Aficionado in my carry-on (no matter how many times I've read it before) and proceed to read it cover to cover. This self-imposed sentence of "cigar deprivation" is only exacerbated by the fact that I am having to read about these precious pieces of God's great creation but I can't "light up" on the plane, even though I am subjected to the stench of second-hand cigarette smoke the entire flight.
To help ease the pain and also to get my mind off of my obsession, I decided to write to you. I have had a couple of instances of cigar smoking on international flights that I wanted to share with you.
First, the good. A couple of years go, on one of my many flights to Tokyo, I was upgraded from business class to first class on All Nippon Airlines (ANA). The chief cabin steward was a gem. He was a very dignified man, worthy of his position. The food was incredible and the wine list was surprisingly well rounded. I started off with a half a bottle of 1982 Dom Perignon. I had a lovely beef Wellington done to perfection with a full-bodied Cabernet. Dinner was finished with a 20-year-old tawny Port. I felt that familiar urge to light up one of my Cohiba robustos that I always have with me in my travel humidor. I motioned to the steward and explained my predicament. He said, "Wait here--I'll see what I can do." He came back in a few moments and said, "Follow me." He slid me into the crew's sleeping area behind floor-to-ceiling curtains, and said, "Please be my guest. Enjoy yourself." He even came by twice to fill my Port glass. I was in heaven.
The bad. My wife accompanied me on one of my trips to London on American Airlines. We were about four hours into our flight, after dinner, when my wife went to the last row of business class and lit up a cigarette. I was thinking to myself, "How unfair!!"
We had previously had a minor tiff with our flight attendant, and I had consumed a few glasses of mediocre wine. All of these things made me a little cranky, to say the least. At that time I decided, "Well, I'll show them," and proceeded to light up. I no sooner got that sucker lit but to look up and see this battle-ax hovering over me. Man, she was nasty! She told me that if I didn't extinguish that "thing" immediately that I would be met by some of London's finest upon arrival at Heathrow.
I took two more puffs and watched her face turn red with rage. In less than 30 seconds, she had me surrounded with four flight attendants. Hell, I was only smoking a cigar! I hadn't threatened to blow up the plane or anything like that!! Anyhow, I decided that this moose was serious and complied. Upon leaving the plane, one of the flight crew just smiled and shook his head at me and said, "Tough, ain't she?" We both laughed and headed up the jetway. It's nice to see that some people still have a sense of humor.
You must be logged in to post a comment.