This weekend I realized that cigars aren’t just something that makes you look awesome, leads to the onset of cancers, makes others question what you are overcompensating for, gets you shunned from most establishments, and guarantees you won’t be kissed by any girls post-smoke. They’re also terrific for getting fat-assed tourists to move out of your fucking way. Let me explain.
I needed to run an errand crosstown on Saturday. A thirty to forty minute walk with no real mass transit opportunities. No big deal because I prefer walking anywhere and everywhere anyways. The only problem with the walk is that it would pass through the most reprehensible part of Manhattan, midtown, home of Times Square and Rock Center, the absolute mecca for tourist rubes looking to get in my fucking way as they take retarded pictures of things that if you google image searched you’d get millions of entries returned, get caricatures sketched of themselves by Pakistan immigrants (are there not caricaturists or Pakistanis in any of the other 49 states?), and intensely study the outside posted menu in front of Bubba Gump’s (”Mmmmm…the coconut pina colada-battered jumbo shrimp cocktail sounds delightful, honey.”) I needed a plan.
The afternoon was pleasant so I thought a cigar would be a nice companion for my stroll. I hopped into the newly redesigned Nat Sherman’s on 42nd. Of course I got the cold shoulder from the pretentious fucks working there. Perhaps I deserved it. I was dressed in my typical slobby weekend attire: hangover shades, backwards Syracuse cap, dirty t-shirt, dirty khaki shorts, dirty flip flops, dirty smells wafting from me, and dirty words coming from my mouth. I hate when the old geezers working at high-brow establishments act like I don’t belong there, as if they do. Bro, you get paid near minimum wage stocking the Hugo Boss suits, you don’t actually fucking own them. Likewise, these jolly old white fucks at Nat Sherman were behaving like I had dared barge into their own private humidors, bringing my bad vibes and bad smells with me like Pigpen from “Peanuts.” I’m gonna let you in on a secret, guys, no matter how shabby I look, I can probably scrounge up enough loot to buy an $8 cigar. Not much of a drop in the bucket for me.
Eventually, a younger chap assisted me out. As with most vices, I like to go for the hardcore, the extreme. I like high ABV beers, foods so spicy they’re nuclear, and bourbons and Scotches that singe your throat. Likewise, I typically enjoy pretty formidable smokes, though not too formidable as I’ve never been a cigarette or weed smoker and don’t have that hardened of lungs just yet. Having said that, I hadn’t eaten all day and didn’t want to smoke anything too violent on an empty stomach, thinking I should have something light lest the nicotine would cause me to pass out on Broadway and the insatiable tourists to start eating me, vultures ripping my limbs off and chomping on them like they were turkey legs.
I’m always loathe to tell a cigar salesman I want something light cause then they immediately think you a pussy and start recommending pussy shit. I told the gentleman that was helping me to not give me any pussy shit, and he assured me he wouldn’t. He also asked that I refrain from loudly saying the neologism “pussy shit” in his classy establishment. He immediately recommended something from the store’s own line. He said the Nat Sherman Suave would smoke easily, smoothly, and for the full duration of my gallivant to the east side, the most important selling point for me. I jokingly told him that if I didn’t like the cigar I’d come back and kick his pussy shit ass.
As I was walking out the store into the humid air and the throngs of pachyderm-sized sightseers cracking my city’s sidewalks, the brilliant idea hit me. It wasn’t just going to be tasty to smoke the cigar, it was also going to be quite pragmatic as I walked through the slow moving tourist area. I clipped my cigar with the elan of a moyel circumcising a Jew baby, sparked a taper up and lit my 8 inch torch.
I immediately learned I was right. Walking through Times Square and then across 59th street exhaling cigar smoke like a fire breathing dragon, this Jew parted the sea of fatsos better than Moses parted the Red. I used my cigar like a classic Sunset Limited train used its cattle catcher to get cows out of it path. When the cigar wasn’t in my piehole, it was held out in front of me like a fencing epee.
“Impede my way fanny-packed-dad-from-Omaha and I may just poke you in the eye with my tobacco stick!”
“Plop down in front of me Mormon-family-of-fifteen and I’ll burn you all to the fuckin’ ground!”
“Force me to play Red Rover with you massive-dawdling-church-group-from-Tennessee and there will be casualties!”
Tourists cowered from me in fear, fathers tucking their wives and young children behind them so that they wouldn’t be affected, sullied by the brazen New Yorker marching a swath crosstown toward the East River like Sherman marched to the sea.
However, one southern tourist, clearly showing off for his overly make-upped girlfriend, had the gall to sass me:
“Hey. Could you watch where you blow that smoke, man?”
“Sir, New York has the 5th worst quality air in America. I ain’t making it any worse, in fact, my fragrant plumes of Dominican flavor are making the air smell better.”
I then I flicked my cherry toward his Teva’d feet.
However, I had lied a bit to the tourist still clad in a frat t-shirt even though he was in his late thirties. My Suave wasn’t that great of cigar. True, it did smoke pretty smoothly and indeed lasted the length of my whole walking trek, but the flavor was pretty unexciting. Indeed it was light, kinda creamy, a little tingle the tongue, but nothing spectacular. It wasn’t offensive, just not that interesting. I probably wouldn’t get another one.
And no, I didn’t march back to Nat Sherman’s to kick the salesman’s ass–I neglected to mention that he was a brick shithouse of a 300 pound and ripped African American man, looking like he should probably be Jay-Z’s personal security detail.
As I was nearing the end of my smoke I passed a hansome cab driver leaning against his horse while it shit in the bag strapped to its ass.
“Ain’t nothing finer in life than a good see-gar,” he said.
“Right you are, sir. Unfortunately, this ain’t a good one.”