Of Cigars & Christmas Tree Shopping

My gut is officially swollen to full-blown holiday standards as Thanksgiving proved again to be a day where blatant overeating is mandatory and the Detroit Lions losing their Turkey bout is inevitable.

Today we endure Cyber-Monday, coming freshly off Black Friday, as the 2010 Christmas rush has landed. I’m sure I speak for Christians everywhere when I say, “I AM NOT READY FOR FRIGGIN SANTA YET!” Holy crap, can we just slow things down a little. Within days we will be bombarded with reminders that “He went to Jared” and that every kiss begins with Kay. And of course that mother f@#king Lexus will be in everyone’s driveways with giant bows on top. I AM NOT READY FOR THIS!!!

ChristmasTreeLot_1Our family has always followed the tradition of having a live Christmas tree in the house, and we always wait until the following weekend after Thanksgiving to pick one out. But for some reason my wife grew a bug up her keester and wanted me to get one THIS past weekend. “But it’s not even December yet,” I cried on deafened holiday ears.

national_lampoon_clark_and_tree“Get a tall thin one this year. Last year’s was too fat!” she reminded me 30 different times as I set out into the 28 degree, blustery afternoon to do my yearly manly call of duty. I can’t even remember what I ate for breakfast, for crissakes, and she remembers what the shape of our Christmas tree was a year ago? (Women certainly have the most bizarre and uncanny bouts of selective memory.)  I guess it’s not a bad deal we have – I do the hunter’s role and go out to bag the pine while the wife and daughter decorate the needley beast. Damn, somewhere over the last few years I’ve even managed to weasel out of hanging the lights – not sure how that happened, but rest assured that next weekend I’ll be risking life and limb as I dangle from a ladder on the roof of the house doing my Clark Griswold impersonation.

So it’s off to Jimmy’s Lawn & Garden where I always find a really nice tree – no matter what the wife says. As I pull the car into the lot, the fire pit is roaring and there’s an exceptionally huge selection of various types of forest pines – maybe because it’s not even December yet – ya think? I’m the only one in the whole lot so I’ve got my pick of the litter, but it’s windy, freezing, and flurrying as I join the workers in gathering around the blaze they’ve got going.

car_tree“The only thing missing is a belt of scotch and a good cigar,” I say to the guys as they hop up and down around the fire. “Any of you gents happen to smoke cigars?”

One college age dude says, “Oh yeah, I love cigars, we smoke ‘em while playing poker at school.”

Okay, I may sound like a major league snob, but you KNOW that this newbie smokes pineapple flavored White Owls or some other unearthly swill that a frat boy can only afford. But being the always prepared Polish boy scout that I am, of course I have a couple of premium handrolled sticks of goodness in the car, just begging to be smoked around a fire pit in a Christmas tree lot! So I break out the goodies – a couple of the new Punch Uppercut toros – and my new buddy and I light ‘em up and yak for a good hour! And yes, I made sure the dude was of age – a senior at a local school.

“Oh my God, this is amazing,” he says as he exhales a billowing puff of smoldering tobacco goodness. “I’ve never had a cigar like this!”

charliebrowntreeOf course, I knew that was the case as my young pal enjoyed the heck out of this leafy treasure. But alas, it was time to pick out a tree as he spent diligent time showing me almost every tree on the lot. After finding the PREFECT specimen, one I KNEW that the wife would love, he cut the bottom, netted that bad boy and affixed it to the top of the Z mobile. Normally I’ll toss these kids a couple of bucks, but instead I gave him the three remaining cigars from my 5-pack and I knew I had made a friend for life!

So, I get home and set the tree up in the stand while the wife is out shopping. The top touches our family room’s 8-foot ceiling as the smell of cold fresh pine wafts throughout the home. “Tis a beauty, Clark, you really outdid yourself this time,” I thought as my wife came in, took one look and said…

“It’s a little too tall and thin.”

Yeah, you have a good week too. The madness has only just begun.



Handmade HON
Wrapper: ECSU    Binder: NIC

Filler: NIC

Medium-Full Bodied

Released in October 2009, the new Punch Uppercut line is bursting with flavor. Handmade in Honduras with an earthy, bold blend of long filler tobaccos and a spicy binder, both grown in Ometepe, Nicaragua, this cigar is perfectly finished with an attractive dark and oily Ecuador Sumatra wrapper. Your palate will be delighted with the rich, deep flavors of tobacco that are accompanied by undertones of coffee, leather and spice, as well as the evenly balanced strength, flavor and aroma from beginning to end. Each cigar has a footband complete with the image of Ometepe and its twin volcanoes.

Tommy Z

JR Cigars Blog With the Zman

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