Wednesday, March 26, 2014


Overhearing cigar-smokers discussing the dating scene is educational. Given that, vermin-like, they have a certain odour-spectrum which is so much more than mildly off-putting that their obstacles are higher than everyone else's, it is a remarkable wonder that they breed at all.
"Why are they not extinct" you might ask, "especially in California, where the only acceptable smells are tofu, marijuana, and recycling?"
I am as baffled as you are.

Yet the other day I had half an ear cocked sideways as several of them were discussing the dating sites of the world. On which some of the younger ones are a constant presence.

When they say "tell me about yourself", make it very clear that you are not a lizard or a newt. Say it firmly: "I am human, just like the rest of you", avoiding any sudden tongue movements.

[Courtesy of e-kvetcher.]

What really makes cigar-smoker love-lives such a profound mystery -- other than their obsession with vegetal phallicism -- is that they largely manifest themselves only in the presence of others of their kind.

We pipe-smokers are not like that. We are at times the solitary lone wolf roaming the galaxies of urban America, wandering over San Francisco hills, or lurking in well-lit Tenderloin doorways wearing stylish trenchcoats and fedoras. But we are marked by bonhomie, social polish, and intellectual brilliance during those times when we come down from Olympus to mingle with the vibrant juicy mortals.
Darn it all, we are just so personable.
Cigar smokers aren't.

As, no doubt, you have yourself ascertained.
On your own. Upon investigation.
Intellectual curiosity.

Consequently, it may surprise you to know that sometimes, when I'm feeling totally degenerate, I also indulge in cigars. Not just the regular small cigarillos which function as my nicotine-delivery system of choice when time prevents enjoyment of a pipe, nor the strawberry or vanilla flavoured reeksticks marketed to teenagers and pot-smoking deviants (or trailertrash), but actual real cigars.

[One brand of such perfumed monstrosities is drenched in mango chocolate mint ice cream essence, others have bing cherry, licorice, peach, rum, toffee, or watermelon disguises. Recently I smelled excressence of grape from a deviant in a local park.
Don't go there.]

I too on occasion pong of Caribbean leaf. It's a character flaw.
My humidors are quite overflowing at present.
Double coronas, perfectos, toros.
Maduro, corojo, shade.
No candelas.

Later on this evening, however, I shall smoke small cigarillos while in a karaoke bar. Once a week, as has been the custom for nearly a quarter of a century, I visit the lower depths with a bookseller, as we explore the fascinating late night anthropology of San Francisco. Bad wine will be drunk in moderation, followed by good beer, then excellent whiskey. Songs will be sung (not by us), and strange events observed.

Cigar-smoker-like there will be no women in our vicinity.
Excepting the staff of certain establishments.
A man needs time to be a beast.

There will be no smokers of large cigars either.
We're not crazy; their conversation lags.
All they can talk about is sex.

And why it is missing from their lives.

Tomorrow we shall be sane and lovable again. Hello ladies, you may now pay attention please. But they will still be cigar smokers.
Alone and howling in the canyons.

This post is loveingly dedicated to Bob, Buck, Charlie, Dave, Jeff, Itzy, Lennie, Marvin, Mike, Nick, Patricio, Quentin, Rich, Simon, Tom, Urquhart, Vinnie, Winston, and Yamil, et alios quosdam similes.
As well as Fat P, who is unspeakable.

Neener neener neener.

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