Sunday, November 19, 2006

He rolls the cigar beneath his nose, nostrils flaring in inhale. He does this all the time. It is always the same posture: elbows on knees, lean forward, hold the cigar with two hands, sniff and roll, then sit back and look at it. Only three responses to the sniff, all facial. One, hell, I’ll give it a try: raise one eyebrow and lower the other, cock the head to the side and push out the bottom lip. Two, I didn’t expect it to smell that good: similar to one, but both eyebrows are raised now. Three, Mon Dieu: roll both eyes into the head, raise both eyebrows, smile, and tilt the head back a little, then come forward and sniff again. He never wavers from these three. No cigar is a bad cigar. If he doesn’t like it, he must have had a bad day. If he doesn’t like it the second time, he tries it once more, just to pinpoint why. If, after trying it three times, he still does not like it, he never buys one again unless a trusted advisor says they like that specific cigar, then he always tries it again, within the week.

He has two cabinet humidors at home. One, glass paneled, holds all of his Mon Dieu cigars. The second has glass only for the door and holds all the cigars he is in the process of trying. He buys cigars three at a time, except those in his Mon Dieu humidor, which he buys by the box from his tobacconist in Denver. His favorite five are the Fuente Fuente Opus X, the Monte Cristo No. 2, the Trinidad TTT, the Por Larrañaga, and the Padrón Anniversary 1926. His other favorites are the Punch Double Corona, the Romeo Y Julieta Reserva Real, and the Belinda Spanish Twist. No cigar is a bad cigar. If he doesn’t like it, he must have had a bad day.

He comes in here often. He usually wears a tie. One night a week he will ask the man behind the counter for something new. It usually takes three guesses to get something he hasn’t tried, more if it is busy. He buys only one. That night he makes a decision on the cigar, after just one. Only once a week does he do that. If he likes it, he will buy three. If he doesn’t he asks the one or two friends he trusts on cigars what they think – maybe he just had a bad day. Only rarely does he say he likes it, then gets up and walks out. He leaves and buys a box the next day. The last one he did that for was the Macanudo Duke of York. He usually brings his own cigars. He calls himself a cigar collector. No cigar is a bad cigar. If he doesn’t like it, he must have had a bad day.
I get nervous posting my own work - light headed.

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