Arturo Fuente Cubanitos (Mini)
Padron Anniversary 1964 Maduro (Exclusivo)
Carlos Torano Exodus Silver (Corona Grande)
Submitted for your approval, a few entries from my vice resume:
The first person amongst my friends to turn 21, we decided to throw a party for me and to make it a “classy” affair at that, a wine party, strictly vino to be drunk. Early in the afternoon we went to the liquor store and, not knowing much about wine but knowing a lot about movies, we purchased several bottles from Francis Ford Coppola’s winery. Likewise, I didn’t know the correct method to drink wine, having only drunk the Manischewitz at Jewish ceremonies, and thus threw it back with the same gusto and pace as one would drink beer. After two-and-a-half bottles, I was projectile vomiting* throughout the entire apartment, clearing out my own party before the midnight hour and the calendar roll-over to age 21.
My first year out of college my roommate and I were, let’s just say, “underemployed.” To get drunk we were forced to find the best deals in town regardless the circumstance, that town being Hoboken, New Jersey. One such deal was a Tuesday night 2-for-1 martini offer. Presumably this was a de facto Ladies Night as the twelve martinis on the list had such names as the Yummy Gummy Bear, the Key Limetini, the DePeach Mode, etc. And, indeed the bar was packed on Tuesdays with Jersey’s finest female quasi-sophistacates who swilled the colorful concoctions — and two schlubbily-dressed on-Unemployment losers who quietly sat in the corner getting loaded. Though the martinis may have had gummy bears in the bottom of the glass, may have been fluorescent green, may have used Amaretto as an ingredient, they packed a wallop, causing one to be reminded of the famous Dorothy Parker poem (“I’ll have one martini/Two at the most/Three and I’m under the table/Four and I’m under the host.”) We had never had more than four each in a single sitting, but on one particularly self-loathing night, we tried to conquer the whole menu. I’ll admit that I gave up after 9, but my friend made it through all 12. He didn’t recall anything after martini 7 which is probably good because that night he literally smoked crack in an alley.
That same year my three roommates and I were invited to a friend’s rooftop party at his phat pad right on Bleeker Street. I was feeling great as I donned for the first time a gorgeous white linen shirt I had just bought. En route we stopped at a liquor store to pick up the customary party-entry ticket, a six-pack. Always an outside-the-box thinker, I told my roommates that we would be party legends if we got a bottle of Jaegermeister instead. I painted a picture of us walking through the shindig, Jaegar in hand, suavely dispensing straight-from-the-bottle shots to willing women. We would be a hit! They agreed to play along but once at the party, neither my friends nor any other guests wanted to drink from my syrupy bottle and I was left alone to be the creepy guy in the corner swigging a German digestif. The next day I awoke at the crack of 4 PM. I was confused. I didn’t feel hungover but I totally could not recall how the party progressed, certainly how it ended, and without question how we had gotten home. I walked into the living room and immediately my roommates burst into hearty laughter. They quickly spun a repellent tale of the Jaeger-drunk guy who had made a fool of himself at the party before passing out on the roof and then having to be carried from Manhattan to Hoboken by his friends. Tasting my surprisingly clean breath I remarked, “Well, at least I didn’t throw up.” Again, laughter. “Go check your shirt.” I went to my room to find my precious shirt balled up in the corner, now completely purple.**
I recall playing beer pong with my friends, a game I am quite skilled at due to my Reggie Miller dead-eye and the icewater in my veins. I had dominated an impromptu tournament, going so far as to “prove” my championship against the #2 seed in a few additional exhibition matches. With my typical brashness I challenged him to one final game: he getting to use Miller Lite in his Solo cups, while I would be playing with 7.5% Arrogant Bastard. I won that game, but I would awaken the next day to a hangover that lasted for the rest of the week, far and away the worst of my life.
Then there was the bachelor party in Boston where my friend Derek first introduced me to the glory that is Old Grand-Dad 100 proof “bonded” bourbon. Whiskey connoisseurs the both of us, he had discovered the amazing secret that this plastic-capped $19-a-bottle bourbon was surprisingly world-class. Pre-barring in the hotel room before heading out to dinner, as the other guys drank beers, Derek and I decided to see how fast we could doubles-team chug a bottle of OGD. Shockingly, we killed the entire fifth in about five minutes. Later that evening, seeing a tuxedoed thirtysomething man in the lobby, I smirkingly asked him how the prom had been. Not the cleverest joke but my besotted friends laughed. The man followed me into the bathroom and attacked, pinning me to a urinal, telling me he was a Green Beret who was attending a wedding in the ballroom and if he wanted to he could easily kill me. “And what did I have to say for myself, smartass?” he wondered. My life in his hands, my jugular pinched between his forefinger and thumb, all I could think to say was to quote my favorite television show at the time “Extras” and its lead character Andy Millman (Ricky Gervais): “Are you havin’ a laff?”
Several years ago, with no other choice, I moved in with some strangers I met on Craig’s List, two women to be exact. The Sunday I moved in we tersely interacted, both nervous and feeling each other out, wondering how our futures together would “work.” By evening, the girls suggested we have a nice “Getting to Know Each Other” dinner and I agreed. I went so far as to suggest we go to a Mexican restaurant I’d noticed around the corner that had $2 margaritas on Sundays. Upon getting there and seeing that they had 12 different flavors, I suggested we drink them all, making a scorecard we could compare afterward. By the end of the evening, pineapple had pulled the upset over strawberry and lime, the three of us were in Rudy’s throwing up all over the place*** leading to us getting 86ed, and we had become instant besties. Alcohol always speeds up a relationship to its intended point of stasis.
Finally, I can’t forgot the night of Super Bowl XXXVIII. This was back during that weird period where I literally had no friends. Actually, at this point, I still had one friend, a deviant of the highest order who I had invited over to “quietly” watch the game with me, order some pizza, perhaps have a beer or two. I hadn’t even showered that Sunday as JT knocked on my door. I opened it to find him snickering like a little kid, a case of Rolling Rock bottles under each of his arms. “You ready? We’re putting down all of these.” And, indeed we did both polish off our allotted twenty-four bottles, only stopping to order 100 chicken wings of which we forgot to even touch. I was so shit-faced by halftime that though I did see Janet’s breast during live-action, I was certain that I was just hallucinating and didn’t even offer a comment to JT. Once the game was over JT wanted to move the drinking to the bars. There was not a single good reason to head to the bar and countless bad ones: it was 11:00 PM on a Sunday, we had each drank twenty-four beers, I was unshowered and wearing a dirty sweatsuit, oh, and worst of all, at the time I was in a beard-growing contest which was now at a scraggly day 35. Of course, mere seconds after getting to the bar, JT Irish Goodbyes me and I’m left to my own devices. I met a girl who despite my despicable appearance really seemed to dig me in a most carnal way. Not wanting to waste any time, I invited her back to my apartment. Though she claimed to want to, she had to decline because “I can’t leave my friend.” I looked toward the end of the bar and noticed her more-attractive pal shyly drinking by herself. The world became clear to me, a lucidity flooded my brain that had never occurred before, I had one of those rare Eureka moments that we so rarely experience, and a stratagem was learned that would serve me well for the rest of my life. “Fine with me, she came come too,” I said as I grabbed the girls’ hands and marched them out of the bar. After my first ever threesome, the three of us sat in my bed and finished off the 100 untouched buffalo wings. The next day I shaved.
This weekend I added a new entry to my vice resume: I smoked three cigars in one evening.
Now I know that may not seem like a lot to you. On the otherhand it may seem like a ton to you. I’m a regular cigar smoker–let’s say on average one per week in the summer, perhaps one per month during the cold weather season when nanny states law prevent me from smoking indoors and my pussiness prevents me from smoking in the chilliness–but I’m no George Burns. I’ve smoked less than ten cigarettes in my life and rarely smoke on the drugs, so even nowadays, just a single cigar stones the heck out of me, often knocking me down and forcing me into a ball wailing for my teddy bear.
I was in Philadelphia where my friend was hosting a swank party at one of the better cigar bars I’ve ever been to, Mahogany on Walnut. Brian and I arrived earlier than the rest of the party and took a seat at the bar, slugging Manhattans and flirting with the perfect 10 of a bartender who was either genuinely charmed by us or was remarkable at feigning being beguiled for a potentially bloated gratuity.
Brian was getting antsy to smoke as we waited for the party to begin. He suggested we have a little starter smoke to begin the festivities. Already planning on sucking down two cigars during the party, I didn’t think I could or should bump that number to three. So he said the magic words: “It’s on me.”
I jokingly asked the waitress to pick us out a good “appetizer” of a cigar. “You know, like a plate of jalapeno poppers.”
Not getting my food analogy she asked if I meant I wanted a spicy cigar.
“Yeah, and a bowl of ranch dressing to dip it in please.”
After the daft drink slinger had conquered our sarcasm, she brought us a couple of mini Arturo Fuente Cubanitos. A splendid suggestion, it was the perfect way to start off the evening, both in taste and in the fact that it’s small size made me feel like I had the hands of Wilt Chamberlain.
The other fellas began to arrive and the party broke into full swing. For my next smoke, I went with the Padron Anniversary 1964 Maduro. An absolutely flawless smoke, this box-pressed squared-off cigar is one of the best I’ve ever had. Its tastes of coffee and chocolate paired perfect with the Brooklyn Black I drank. I can’t recommend the Anniversary more wholeheartedly and was just about weeping as I came to the final inch of my smoke.
Remarkably, I still felt amazing after the two cigars, which were in addition to the ten hours of drinking I’d already done during the day, and thought myself well capable of completely the trifecta. Earlier that day, Brian and I had stumbled upon a most fascinating documentary on Sir Ian Fleming, the author of the James Bond series. I had known he was one bad motherfucker, but I didn’t quite know the extent of his awesomeness, his life essentially that of James Bond when it came to intrigue, women, luxury, drinking, and smoking. What Brian and I most marveled at though, was how cool Fleming looked in literally every single picture seemingly ever snapped of him, always a tipped cigarette rakishly held between his fingers as a plume of smoke billowed around him. We decided, yes!, we too needed cool smoking pictures for when documentaries would eventually be made of us.
Thus, as I lit up my final cigar of the evening, Carlos Torano Exodus Silver, Brian and I said nuts to hitting on women and screw mingling with the other party guests as we tried to get a perfect “Ian Fleming” picture of ourselves. With people in earshot clearly mocking us, we tested the limits of Brian’s digital camera’s memory card, trying pose after pose to out-cool Fleming.
Unfortunately, we were soon to learn that no one, certainly not us, is as cool as Fleming, and the Torano I found to be a lackluster end to my smoking evening. Decent, but it paled in comparison to the preceding Padron.
Luckily, the evening was not to end here and much more excitement was to follow…
(TO BE CONTINUED…)
So what’s the best entry from your vice resume? I want to know.
*I never throw up. Like never. It is more a curse than a blessing. I’ve only yakked probably 5 times in my life. And never from drinking beer or spirits. All my emesis incidents have been related to tropical drinks, wine, or other weird-flavored concoctions.