Saturday, March 27, 2010

My First Cigar

I'm such a damned goody goody. I've never tried cigarettes or drugs. I never did anything seriously bad other than wreck my dad's car (a couple times). So why would I feel compelled to smoke a cigar for the first time at age 42?

Well, that's what you do when you celebrate (or so I'm told).

I'll have a "new job" post for you as soon as I sign the contract. As many of you know, the last time I posted here about my new job, things went busto. Instead, I want to tell you about this cigar thing.

As I tweeted, my simple review was, "I didn't throw up." That's the best thing I can say about the experience. The cigar was supplied by my new partner (I hope), and he's not one to buy a cheap cigar (or a cheap anything from what I can tell). It was from the Dominican Republic and I know I should have paid attention to the name for you aficionados out there, but I didn't. It may have started with the letter "T."

I had to ask for some basic instructions on how to light the thing. He told me to bite off the end and wet it. When I compared mine to his,* I may have bitten off more than I was supposed to, but not by much. He had this invisible jet lighter that sounded like a rocket engine, but I still had the darnedest time getting it lit. Then when it was lit, I couldn't keep it lit. I suppose it gave me more time to practice my lighting technique.

Even though I find second hand smoke somewhat nauseating, I can usually tolerate cigar smoke. The smell of this cigar was better than most. The taste was a bit surprising. I don't know what I expected, but this wasn't it. Thinking about it now, there were many different tastes - kind of like a good wine. There was an initial impression, a body section (which was very short since I didn't inhale) and some subtle changes with each exhale. I can see why some people get addicted. There is a lot to experience there.

Fortunately or unfortunately, I could get past several things. First, there was a sense that I was doing something very bad. My mom died of lung cancer and as a radiologist every day I see the horrible things that smoking does to your lungs. Also, there was very real nausea. There was also a vaguely unpleasant lightheadedness that made it difficult to hit my golf ball. Seriously, I had been playing well up until I lit the cigar. I accept that it could have been a general nervousness about the smoking act, but I've heard enough about first time smokers to know that it was probably from the cigar. After all was said and done, I only smoked about 1/4 of the thing.

Finally, here I am the next morning - almost 24 hours after my experience - and I still can't get the taste out of my mouth.

So, for all you cigar smokers out there, I get it. I really do. I just won't be counting myself amongst you.

*Wow - that almost sounds phallic. OMG...


The Sister of DrChako and Mrs. Chako said...

What a great detailed description of your first cigar. You heathen, you. I am not even sure you are supposed to inhale cigars when you smoke them. I know I never did (not that I smoked cigars very much, but still). I have fingers crossed for the signing of the contract!

JK said...

Having just restocked my humidor, I found your post well timed.

The first cigar is always the toughest, but they do in fact grow on you after time. I'm not an everyday smoker, by any account, but there is something to be said about the experience.

In your case, if you try again, I'd recommend pairing the cigar with one of your favorite Scotches. You can even dip the end of the cigar you keep into your mouth into the Scotch to add another level of flavor.

As for the morning after breath... yeah, there's not much you can do. Some Listerine before bed is usually the best bet.

Oh, and congrats on the job.

genomeboy said...

my impression has always been that one is not to really inhale the smoke of a cigar, so lung cancer should not be a major concern. I'd imagine your exposure to ambient radon is likely a greater threat to you than one cigar a week (if you decide to continue...)

KenP said...

Rooty toot toot
Rooty toot toot
We are the boys of the institute.
We don't smoke
and we don't chew
and we don't go
with the girls that do.

Our class won the bible!

(Been 50 years since that came to mind.)

KenP said...

As to the occasional cigar.

I wouldn't suggest it.

I am a smoker. Pipe mostly.

Poker players by status have some form of a compulsive personality. Bad pot odds!

Drizztdj said...

Yes, do not inhale but enjoy the flavor (especially with the "dipping it in scotch" suggestion). Cohibas and Gurkhas are my favorites :)


Word Verfication: Isamick

Spot on for me.

PrinceofHouston said...

My buddy who was at the time an assistant to the city manager of Lubbock got me started, and I learned there was a clear cut difference between a Swisher Sweet, and a Macanudo or Don Tomas.
I had a Cuban on a cruise and it was nice. You can find good Dominican or Costa Rician made cigars that not so expensive you feel like you are burning a rolled up $20 bill, that are made by the Cuban exiles that left when Castro took over.
But it isn't for everyone, and the lightheaded feeling goes away quickly.

Thorn said...

New reader/blogger here. I'm always happy to find an established poker blogger; it's nice to read through first postings so I don't get discouraged on my own fledgling poker career.

As for the cigars? Inhalation=death. I don't have any numbers, but it's supposed to much, much worse than inhaling cigarette smoke... like one good 15-minute smoking of a cigar equals a pack, something crazy like that. And I definitely agree with how hard it is to get the taste out of your mouth, mouthwash or no. I always forget since I smoke a cigar maybe 4 times a year, but the next day's always rough. The fiance hates it :P