One of the benefits of a nice meal is that it can enhance the enjoyment of a good cigar. The tradition of the peace-pipe usually followed the banquet, and some folks still know the pleasure of a fine brandy and an after-dinner smoke.
The pleasure of the smoke, however, will be condensed to a virtual nothingness if the cigar itself is the main course of the dinner. My puppies will attest to that. Until now, I was certain they would not eat a cigar, but that was because they’d never found a chance to try a virgin one before. In the past, any butt of a smoke I might throw out or leave laying about had been scorched ones reduced to a cinder of a nub.
Well, the other evening I was on duty by the charcoal grill planning the ritual of a burnt offering to the dining-room god and it occurred to me that the charcoal by itself would not produce an adequate amount of smoke to make the event both pleasurable, and virtuous.
So, I selected from the humidor an expensive stogy that was being saved for some special occasion (like wanting a smoke). After properly trimming and licking it (a technique for embossing the flavors of a fine Scotch), I set it on the edge of the work table custom-built to a surface height out of canine reach (or so I thought).
In that resting spot, the cigar would cure to a state of divinity that is a pre-ignition ritual sometimes taking…mere seconds to complete. This would allow me time to run back in the house to grab a set of tongs and refresh my beverage cup. When I went back outside, I noticed the cigar had flown the coup, and was nowhere in sight.
I asked the dawgs (politely) if they knew where it was. I recall my inquiry was framed up sort of like:
“Hey! Hey, hey, hey, hey, hey! What the f#@&*ng!! */$%@*!! G%^$!!mnsh*#@!!t didjuM%$#@!&*sonof@b!*/#!! do to my @#%*?!!cigar?!!”
I looked all around, but it was gone. At first I was angry that they might have eaten it, but considering the toxic effects of nicotine, I was begining to hope they had. Now I know it isn’t nice to wish for the death of others, but those omni-chewing, omni-pooping rascals were beginning to get on the very edge of the last nerve left in my entire tired old body at that point.
So I harbored the sinful thought just long enough to require penance, but not rush head-long through the gates of Hell. I’d had enough of Hell, thank you very much, years ago aiding and abetting the vendors whose regular business was to call on the Pentagon. My help to them was indirect in that it was my job to increase the demands for their many products and services.
I told Brenda that her puppies had eaten my cigar. She kept her cool because she takes medication to protect her from that sort of thing, so she just said:
We discussed the possibilities of another expensive veterinarian experience, but it was on a Sunday and the vet was closed. Again, the thought of maybe they’ll be dead by Monday ran across the movie screen of my consciousness, but I quickly changed channels for the sake of my soul.
When things like this happen, people often get bogged down in a sink hole full of options none of which seem prudent or likely to have a desirable result. Not me: I knew exactly what to do. I went right back to the humidor and made another selection; prepared it for service, and lit it. It was delicious in spite of the lingering notion that the one missing in action might have tasted better.
The carnage on the grill was soon rendered and carried to the table. After dinner I returned to the scene of the crime, and at a glance noticed the truant cigar hiding behind some shrubbery by the patio. It hid there I’m sure out of embarrassment: it wasn’t properly dressed, what with its top coat being ripped open exposing its naked filler.
Apparently, the dawgs had not eaten it at all, but had performed a kind of biopsy on it by dissecting (and trisecting parts of it). It was a scientific experiment evidently to get to the core of the matter. The dawgs had watched me often put one of those things in my mouth, and they just wanted to get an idea of what might be the benefit or purpose for such behavior.
Best as I can tell, they either learned a great deal, or they learned nothing at all from their enterprising endeavors . I surmise the stock in such a venture would drop considerably because chewing tobaccos are cured differently. Most assuredly, whatever they may have learned will produce no gain to them and probably some detriment to me. But after all, it is the American way of doing business, isn’t it?