I Smoked a Cigar!

I don’t smoke in winter. I’m an occasional front-porch or back-steps cigar smoker, and it is more of a warm weather sport. I’m not a connoisseur by any means, either, but I do have a little humidor that Ashley gave me for my birthday one time&#151and that I always forget to keep properly humid&#151and I do enjoy the occasional puff.

Today I had a fit of pre-spring fever: power-washed the back patio, hauled the patio furniture and grill out of the garage, pumped air into malaise-ridden bicycle tires, and enjoyed a few moments of almost spring-like basking in the fickle sun. And then, after dinner, I said to myself, self, I says, you should smoke a cigar. So I opened up the humidor to see what I might find after a long winter and, sure enough, a couple of quite fine cigars lay dormant there, purchased in the fall and forgotten. The reading on the hygrometer was a horribly dry 40 percent relative humidity, but the cigars seemed smokable. I chose the drier of the two, a Helix in a cedar-lined metal case. (The cigar shop proprietor must have recommended it, because I have no recollection of ever having smoked one before.) I pulled it from its sheath, let the eldest daughter give it a whiff (she agreed that it smelled pretty good), and then announced to household that I was going to go out on the front porch and smoke it. I did so, as shown here, with a hoody and a ski jacket on, a glass of Diet Dr. Pepper, and an iPod loaded up with back episodes of The Writer’s Almanac (yeah, I’m still walking on that cloud). Forty-five minutes later, I returned, very dizzily, to the bright indoors. It was a good cigar, a little too good, and I thought I might throw up. Viva la spring!


  1. Jonathan Webb says

    You smoked a smoke.

  2. Next time, jettison the Pepper for Wild Turkey 101.

    You’re buds will thank you for it.


    • Jonathan Potter says

      I had one or two bad experiences with bourbon in my youth, which put me off it. Prefer the Jameson these days. But at the frail end of winter I have to build up my strength to combine the stogie and the booze. Maybe in a couple of months.

      • Jonathan:

        Oh, horror: “bad experiences with bourbon”

        There is much that one can recover from – a bad date, a bad romance, a bad marriage, a bad toothache – but there are a few things in this brief blink of life the speedy recovery from which becomes a matter of dire need. As a case in point, when we are stripped our our power to consume bourbon in vast quantities or small, we are like the mad king upon the heath, stripped of his livery and entourage, and left with a crying plangency:

        O reason not the need! Our basest beggars
        Are in the poorest thing superfluous.
        Allow not nature more than nature needs,
        Man’s life is as cheap as beast’s.

        Aye! Man’s life and his cigars as well, I would add. I pray this lent for the careful and perfect rejuventaiton of your stomach, your liver and your palate in all matters relating to Kaintuck distillations!


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