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Out of the Humidor

CA Readers
From the Print Edition:
George Burns, Winter 94/95

(continued from page 5)

Please don't laugh. Is there anyone who, 20 years ago, could have foreseen the outrageous exaggerations and prohibitive legislation now visited upon tobacco products? Instead, remember these words 20 years from now when you're sipping herbal tea while waiting for the next coffee or cigar contraband shipment to arrive at your neighborhood drug dealer's house.

Because this will be the inevitable result if smokers do not speak up now--and loudly. Write your congressional representatives or senators, the president and your city council. And if your local paper is as biased as mine is, write the publisher or editor and cancel your subscription. But write, speak out--scream if you have to. I know it sounds radical and alarmist, but it's late. If we don't let our dismay and disgust be known, soon we'll all be buying our cigars after midnight in shady houses on skid row.

Yes, tobacco, like pot alcohol, coffee and even chocolate, can be abused. But we must not give in to the notion that all use is abuse and harmful to our health.

Johan Ericsson
Los Gatos, California

* * *

Dear Marvin,

After reading your publication for nearly two years, I feel as if I finally have a worthy cigar experience to share with you and my fellow readers.

I moved to Paris two years ago with my family and came back a few months ago after a year at college in the United States. After planning to study in Britain, I needed to find a job. I applied to a number of establishments. I thought a young American who could speak French would seem like a good investment to a restaurant or boutique. I was not prepared to be offered a job at the Ritz Hotel.

I accepted and soon found myself as a waiter in the Bar Vendôme, next to the Place Vendôme entrance. Working behind the scenes is a much different experience than living it. I saw so many businessmen and movers and shakers living it up in the Ritz. They all lived well and to the fullest. Our humidor rested next to the bar and was in constant demand.

Every day one of my co-workers would return from La Civette Tabac next to the Comedie Francaise with a cedar box of Cuban treasures. I remember tending bar with an employee one morning when we were confronted by a man on holiday, who strolled in asking: "You have a Cohiba for me, yes?" at 10:45 a.m.

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