So I Smoked a Cigar

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Did anyone get that license plate?  Hit and run!

For once, I was in the mix for winning the NCAA basketball pool, and I got an invite for people who, supposedly, were gathering to watch it.  “Bring your specialty” when it comes to food…  That would be something from the grocery store. 

Nevertheless… hmm.  Sausage balls.  I can do those.  Did them years ago.  But wouldn’t a bacon and sausage ball be better?  And, while I’m at it… how about a pepperoni, bacon, and sausage ball?  I didn’t find such a thing, but I did find a recipe for Cheeseburger rolls.  No problem, just subtract the ground beef and add sausage, right?  So I cooked spicy sausage.  I cooked crispy bacon and crumpled it to bits, and I got micro pepperoni’s for saving on labor.  Place with a couple of grated cheeses into Biscuit dough, wrap them into a ball, place them upside down, cover with Parmesan cheese and egg whites… Yeah, I can do that.  All it takes is… time.

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That done, I feel certain my teams are going to win.  Things are working out pretty well.  I arrive at the party and… there’s a ton of food, too much for the counter space even. 

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Who are all these people and why aren’t they watching the game?  No matter.  The evening trudges on with two boring blowouts instead of grand competition, one of which removing me from contention in my pool.  And, at some point during the second game, the second party starts.

Thus begin chocolate cake shots and sips of Grand Marnier orange liqueur, set around an outside fire pit.  With a wirelessly connected TV, overall a close relative to a man-cave.

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And then came the cigars. 

The last time I had a cigar was summer between 3rd and 4th grade.  I wasn’t a hell raiser by any means, but I was always told “go outside and play” which then necessitated either playing outside or going to someone else’s house.  Bad influences, I’ll say.  I didn’t like the cigar and haven’t smoked one since until…  It wasn’t peer pressure.  I could have said no.  But when I occasionally golf, others will smoke a cigar, and they seem to like it.  So, call it curiosity.   I selected the shortest one of the handful offered.

You’re supposed to draw the smoke in and exhale from your mouth, rather than draw it into your lungs.  I learn this slightly late, but carry on.  Puff, puff, puff.  Not so bad.  Not great, but… it’s okay.

Nicotine overdose is a thing, apparently not uncommon for first time cigar smokers and/or those who selected a “cheap” cigar.  I’ll single out two “symptoms” because that’s plenty.

  • Dizziness – This is believed to be caused by the restricted blood flow to the brain.
  • Stomach ache and nausea – Like all poisons, a body will work to get rid of this substance. That means via vomiting if necessary.

So, I’ll spare details of the unpleasantness that followed.  However, for those so inclined, here’s some tips helpfully offered by, ahem, cheaphumidors.com.  

  • Smoke slowly – a puff or two each minute. You’re not a human smoke factory and you aren’t getting paid for smoke production. You’re just relaxing and enjoying yourself, so take it easy. When you smoke too quickly, you get too much nicotine and can easily overwhelm yourself. As with any of life’s little vices, you don’t want to get in too deep, too fast. Take your time and keep your head attached to your shoulders.
  • Don’t inhale – this isn’t what cigars are meant for. Even if you’re a regular cigarette smoker, you may get sick from inhaling an entire cigar, especially an intense one. Savor the flavor then blow it away. That’s how it’s done.

I’d argue that the following ANSI Z535 compliant warning label should have been attached to the cigar in question:

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The following day, I awake feeling fine.  No headache.  Dry mouth though.  Wait… what is that taste in my mouth?  Bleh.  Brush the teeth.  Mouthwash.  Bleh.  Brush the tongue.  Bleh.  Repeat.  It seems that “cigar taste,” for cheap cigars at least, hang around a while.  So much so that any time I pressed my tongue, a distaste that could lead to “stomach ache and nausea” immediately returns.  Later in the day, having all but skipped lunch, it dawns on me that I should brush the roof of my mouth.  It helped me far along the road to recovery, in fact.  So, there, gentle reader, you have my lessons learned, the foremost being just don’t do it.

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