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?