Back on 4/02, Carlos Torano fine cigars, by way of their personable rep, Armando Lapido, sponsored one beauty of a cigar party (herf, to those who speak cigar) at our brick and mortar, Low Country Pipe & Cigar. Standing up from my desk, located in what I affectionately refer to as "the south 10,000", I grabbed Calvin Miller, our new visual arts & design wizard (and nicotine neophyte) and asked if he’d like to try a great, free cigar? His answer being enthusiastically affirmative, we threw on our coats, and beat feet to the herf-in-process 100 yards to the north.
While turn-outs a cigar event can vary a bit, Torano really brought ‘em in: Calvin and I must have squeezed past close to 50 cigar enthusiasts in order to get to Armando and his recommendations. He picked out a medium-full selection for me and, inexplicably, a dark, nicotine-nuke for Calvin – yeah, the man whose sole lifetime exposure to nic began with a few experimental bowls of mild tobacco some weeks ago. After wandering through fragrant clouds, introducing Calvin to those I remembered, and both of us making the acquaintance of the new gents, it was time for me to pass on my years of wisdom to the “initiate” (ok, I read a book once). My last bit of advice to C was to smoke his Torano as slowly possible, without allowing it to go out. “A good cigar should be like a short vacation.”
I wandered over to talk to Josh Burgess, enjoying the cigar and fine camaraderie and, after about 10 minutes, Josh asked “Didn’t you and Calvin start your cigars at about the same time?” I arched a questioning eyebrow, and turned to look in the direction Josh had just indicated. Whereas my cigar had a minimum of 3/4s left to go, Calvin had smoked his so far down, he was all but looking for a roach-clip to keep it going! I hustled up to him. “How many fingers am I holding up?” “Huh?” “Dude, you are, essentially, a non-smoker. In your hand is, ok – was - the nicotine equivalent of a cobalt bomb. Right now the inside of your head should be looking like a Jackson Pollock.” “Nah, I’m great. In fact I’m going for another!”
For the past week, I have been trying to convince Calvin to volunteer for blood & neurological studies: I can’t fathom how he so easily metabolized a massive amount of parasympathomimetic alkaloid, and have to know. He has yet to agree, but I’m working on it.