At some point, a man’s gotta be a man

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pitt smoking I tried smoking a couple of times when I was a kid, and in addition to never quite getting the taste of it, I felt I lacked the ability to hit that certain look that a smoker goes for, you know, the one Pitt has in that picture there. The fact that I knew a dozen youths my age who were, what I would consider trailer trash, but who could strike that desirable pose, only made me decide that smoking was not for me and so I moved on to beer.

Beer, being fairly easy to get ahold of in L.A. (lower Alabama), it was the liquor of choice among the under 18 crowd, with Mad Dog 20/20 coming in a close second.

I remember being totally trashed once on Mad Dog and then having to run the sound board at church. I’m pretty sure that I still have about 50 good deeds to perform before I’ve worked off that spiritual debt. But that too faded and it wasn’t until I was in my early thirties that I even bought my first bottle of “hard liquor,” such was my fanaticism with my health.

Now, my meager liquor cabinet is stacked with the usual amenities: rum, vodka, midori, Lemonchello (sp?), some liqueurs of various flavors including some Godiva chocolate liqueur that my mom purchased when she was here a couple of years ago and that is really too sweet for much of anything except the one cocktail recipe she used it for (something to do with a Hershey’s Kiss in a martini glass?).

Anyway, I used to play golf with a fellow who smoked cigars and I’ve smoked one or two here or there, but nothing ever seriously. Recently I saw a good deal on some cigars that came with a little humidor and I couldn’t pass it up.

See, despite my protestations to the contrary, I like the idea of doing grown-up stuff, even if most of the time I don’t feel especially grown up. But therein lies the problem see; most of the time, it turns out that I like the “idea” of it more than the actual “doing” of it.

For instance, the other day I cracked open my new humidor (it’s like a little jewelry case for men) and randomly picked out a cigar. I took it outside and lit it while I had the house to myself for a while and I smoked it while reading. After about 20 minutes, I looked up and realized I had a bit of a buzz going. Now, to show you how ignorant I am about these things, I didn’t even realize a buzz was a side-effect. All this time I thought old guys smoked cigars because they liked the way they tasted. Those sneaky old coots!

Excited over the prospect of getting a buzz without having to drink anything, I smoked away until the end of the cigar was getting too warm for comfort and then I ashed the tip and tossed it in the garbage.

About ten minutes into the “buzz” another feeling started to creep in…nausea. It grew and grew until I had that cold sweat thing going and it stayed there for about an hour. Not even a good shower, teeth brushing and a bowl of Frosted Flakes helped. All told, it took about another two hours for the effects to completely go away.

Now, I’ve gotten sick from drinking alcohol before and it certainly didn’t dissuade me from that vice, but I’m wondering if I have the stomach for another cigar any time soon (pun intended). And again, it seems like a cool, middle-aged guy thing to do, but my sissy, go-to-the gym everyday, system couldn’t handle it.

Too much manliness I guess. But I have grey hair; doesn’t that count for something?

5 thoughts on “At some point, a man’s gotta be a man

    David said:
    September 12, 2008 at 6:22 pm

    I never smoked cigs.. I had friends who did, but not me…

    But cigars… that’s another story… I had never smoked them until (in my 20’s) my father-in-law introduced me… He smoke only the GOOD cigars… at “events” like Easter, Christmas, or misc. family gatherings…

    I have learned to quite enjoy a cigar… I love smoking one on the deck with a cocktail, listening to old time radio (or maybe Ron & Fez) shows on my XM..

    But, get me in a duck boat or out for some squirrel / grouse / rabbit hunting, and I am almost never without a cheap cigar… Backwoods, or LaAurora Principes… Mmmm…

    Never got a buzz of them..

    Not sure of the brand you got, that may make a difference…

    On a side note, that same day I tried my first cigar, my sister in law (the one in Georgia) tried one too… She turned GREEN… No exaggeration there… Her skin took on a green hue… She was sick for two days….

    RE: Yeah, that was the first one of about 5-6 I’ve smoked in total, that I got a buzz off of. And I don’t remember the brand because when I went to get one out, I specifically told myself to just grab one so that the packaging wouldn’t persuade me. That way, I reckoned, I’d give a more honest appraisal.
    My honest appraisal of that one is that I don’t like it!
    It’s entirely possible I smoked it too fast. The afternoon sun was starting to hit my sitting area on the porch and I was trying to finish it before I fried. So, perhaps not ALL the cigar’s fault.

    But I’ll have to try those two you mentioned. And I have to get some “stuff” for my humidor humidifier thingy (looks like a stick-up air freshener). I really don’t know what I’m doing…

    Surfer Jay said:
    September 13, 2008 at 12:48 am

    Awesome. Theres nothing quite like a full dose of fine cigar tobacco in a non-addicted blood stream. Yeah, theres a kick to it! I know exactly how you were feeling man. I got like that when i tried dip. Horrible feeling.
    Ya know, it’s fun to indulge one self in the finer things in life. Don’t feel ashamed, on the contrary, next time you light up indulge yourself with a small fine glass of wine. Wine and cigars go great together.
    My father is a literary genious, who is fond of classic literature. He knows that walking with a fancy cane used to be highly fashionable among the Europeans, as in the time of Holmes. So a few years back he went and bought a couple fine canes to walk with. What other reason does one need to partake of our manly desires?

    I collect fine cigars, and have a humidor I brought over from germany, along with a box of Cubans. But I only smoke one a week (not the cubans), sometimes less. I have a whole shelf on my bookshelf dedicated to my cigar boxes. Every time I go out of town I find a cigar shop and buy another handful as well as a box, they’re only a couple bucks for the empty boxes. And they look nice to decorate the house with. Especially the dark stained ones. I do the ‘Cigar of the month club’ at They send me a new handful of fine cigars every month along with literature about the brands.

    So go ahead, indulge yourself. Tell the wife you deserve it.

    Emerald said:
    September 13, 2008 at 10:46 am

    Were you inhaling? ‘Cause I don’t think you’re supposed to with cigars. At least that’s what my mother tells me (we have an odd but fun relationship), although I don’t know if ones mother is the best authority on cigars.

    I’m blogrolling you because I think you’re rad and I liked this story. And I think my boyfriend (and co-blogger) would too, but he’s been too busy to put up his own blogroll so I’ll just point him in your direction for a good read. He can totally pull off the perfect manly cigarette thing, being not-really-white-trash-but-definitely-redneck, but he smokes Camel menthols so I don’t know…

    Plus he’s got to quit before he moves up to Toronto with me, because they’re about ten bucks a pack up here. It’s cool to look like Brad Pitt, but it’s not cool to be poor 😦

    Anyways, fun read, I’ll be back. Wandered over here from Romi’s page btw 😉

    RE: Glad you like my little spot here. I DO know enough about cigar smoking to know not to inhale, but I’m pretty sure I accidentally did anyway. Plus, there wasn’t even a “faint” breeze, so the smoke just kinda hung around me. The more I ponder the whole thing against my previous cigar smoking experiences, the more I realize it was just not conditions for it (it was hot…I was trying to finish it quickily, yada yada yada). I’m trying NOT to blame the cigar…until I get cancer and then I’ll hop on the “YOU DIDN’T TELL ME I COULD GET CANCER” bandwagon and sue the pants off Castro!

    Allison said:
    September 13, 2008 at 12:25 pm

    You thought Frosted Flakes would take the edge off of nausea? That’s hilarious 🙂 I never would have thought that about Frosted Flakes. Cocoa Puffs, maybe…but never Frosted Flakes.

    RE: I think I’ve watched too many “Harold and Kumar” movies. Had there been a White Castle nearby, I might have gone that route instead!”

    romi41 said:
    September 14, 2008 at 9:47 pm

    It was hard to me to focus on this post with that Brad Pitt pic in the corner, but I did my best, all horniness aside (lol). Well if it’s any comfort, I’ve never smoked before either, but then again I’m not a manly dude or a dude at all, so I guess it’s not actually any comfort..meh, well good tidings to you anyway! 😉

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