CIGARS – The Calm DURING the Storm, by Tommy Zman

Okay, I’m not here to dwell on the negative, but the truth of the matter is that Sandy was a hurtful bitch for those of us in New Jersey. The stories range from people losing power for an hour to people who lost absolutely everything – some their homes and even some their lives. Power was restored to my section of town on Sunday at 3pm, meaning I went six days freezing my ash off (no generator) and no ability to work on the internet, which of course is what I do for a living. So now I write this blog a few days late and what else is there really to talk about but that evil hurricane.

Any of you who have been through this kind of ordeal know damned well about the stress it produces. People just don’t act the same when forced to eat the remains of their frig before it all goes rotten, and when there are NO local stores open with power. And to make matters a whole lot worse, gas stations don’t have gas, and the ones who did had lines of cars up to two and three hours long. A huge number of businesses were closed for the week (Including JR Headquarters in Whippany, NJ) and many people I know went house-bound stir crazy. While everyone has a breaking point, I think most of us were pushed way beyond that this past week.

Okay, so, I mentioned the unbelievable levels of stress that people were put though… but if you’ve been reading my blogs for a while, you know damned well what I have preached for ages – one of the world’s greatest stress reducers that has ever graced this planet is…

Cigar Smoking.

Scroll down a bit and read (or re-read) my blog from September 28th, entitled: No Matter What, There’s Always My Cigar – where I talk about the fact that no matter how much you get dumped on, no matter how much you’re forced to take, you always have your cigars to pull your mind away from the pressures of the world, if only for a few moments in time. A good cigar really is the ultimate escape from the monotonies and curve balls that life throws your way on a daily basis and I know that most of us will use ANY excuse imaginable to find time for a smoke. And during my six days of sadistic Sandy’s brand of painful penance, I managed to enjoy at least one cigar each of those days and I can’t tell you how much my mental state changed for the better. Now my wife, she can be a stress-aholic (that right there is a grotesque and vile understatement) and if only she smoked cigars along with me, this week would have been just a little bit better for both of us.

There are many doctors and psychologists who have gone on record stating that they truly believe that the mentally relaxing benefits of cigar smoking far outweigh the possible physical dangers, and it’s just a plain old fact that an $8 hand rolled stick from Latin America is a hell of a lot cheaper than sitting on a shrink’s couch for $150 an hour. Listen, we all make choices to engage in activities that might not be the healthiest things to do – eating fried foods and sugar laden desserts, bungee jumping from suspension bridges, or watching an episode of Honey Boo Boo, but like I said, it’s our “choice”, and as long as cigars are legal in these here United States of America, I choose to relax and unwind with my little leafy pals from Honduras, Nicaragua, and the Dominican Republic.

For those of you who endured the hurricane, I sure as hell feel your pain. And I can say with total honesty that if you smoked cigars this past week like I did (and yeah, a little Panamanian rum to wash it all down didn’t hurt too much, either), you gave yourself a break from hell that everyone of us truly deserved.

‘Til Next week, hoping for brighter and smokier skies,


 JR Cigars Blog with the Zman

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