Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Partagas, Polish, and That Kid Who Flies

While I was out running errands yesterday afternoon, I went grocery shopping because my supply of lime-flavored ice cubes had been depleted and I had a bottle of Mt. Gay Rum just itchin' to get cracked open. Unfortunately, I forgot a few items and had to make a return trip late last night after the Orange Bowl ended.

One of the things I needed was furniture polish. My roommate keeps a warehouse of cleaning supplies on hand, so I thought I wouldn't need any. Unfortunately, it's one of the things he doesn't have. He offered wood stain as an alternative, which I politely declined. So why do I need furniture polish, you ask? Brothaman ain't got no furniture! Well, one of my most prized possessions is my Limited Edition Partagas Black Humidor, made out of black-lacquered mahogany and lined with Spanish Cedar.

I've been smoking cigars for about ten years now, and after a couple of years of trying everything available, I discovered that Dominican Partagas cigars are the finest stogies rolled outside of Uncle Fidel's island gulag, and settled on them as my cigar of choice. Back in the day when I lived down in Chandler Arizona, one summer my buddy Devin and I would hit the local Tinder Box every Friday night and grab a few sticks, and sit in the back lounge on the leather recliners, smoking, relaxing, and watching Sportscenter. Sometimes I'd get an entire box, but more often we'd just grab a handful each to tide us over through the weekend. So we got to know the proprietor of the place and he would always keep some of the in-demand stuff aside for me.

Anyhow, the year 2000 was some sort of anniversary for Partagas, and they released a limited series of beautiful jet-black humidors embossed with the official logo on the lid. Every store that sold Partagas cigars was allocated ONE humidor, and I was lucky enough to get that particular one. Not only that, but the owner of the place gave it to me at cost and threw in a couple of free cigars, since I also bought a couple of boxes of #10s to fill it with. It is truly a prized possession, and it's literally worth more money than my car.

But it's been sitting empty for the past few months. Due to my limited financial resources as of late, I've just been buying the random one or two cigars whenever I had a few extra bucks, not able to justify the expense of a whole box. And another thing I've learned about Las Vegas is that cigars are about 150% more expensive here than either Phoenix or Nashville, and about 300% more expensive if you buy them at any of the specialty stores at the strip casinos. So I've not had a supply on hand for quite some time, which is a real bummer because one of my favorite things to do every evening is to sit outside with cocktail and a cigar and just decompress for an hour or two. Nothing is more relaxing.

Well now that the holidays are behind us, I've caught up on the bills and will have a few extra bucks in my pocket, I've decided to fill up the humidor once again. I'd been using it as a Christmas tree stand on top of my bookshelf for the past few weeks, and it hadn't been dusted forever and needed a little TLC and maintenance. It also had a water ring on it when somebody decided to use it as a coaster some time ago, so I wanted to get it polished up.

I picked up a gallon of distilled water earlier today to rehumidify and recondition the interior wood with, preparing it to hold 25 or more of my favorite cigars at a perfect 70% humidity, but the outside was where it really needed some attention.

So that's why I went back to the grocery store last night--to get some furniture polish and some cleaning towels. But I'm a typical shopper that can't get just one thing once I get inside the store, and while I was wandering the aisles I realized that I was out of peanut butter. So I went back up front to get a basket, then headed for the appropriate aisle.

I've got to say that I'm pretty unimpressed with Vons peanut butter selection.

No Peter Pan available. I am a choosy mutha, but I prefer Peter Pan first, Skippy second, and Jif third. Believe me, I've eaten enough over the years to know the difference. So I was pretty pissed when I found out that they didn't even offer Peter Pan (Smooth of course--I outgrew Super Crunchy about the same time I discovered that I liked girls that had front-closure bras better, too. But again, even if I can't get my hands on my favorite variety, the alternative will do in a pinch...)

But even plain-label peanut butter is better than no peanut butter, so when I saw that Jif was on sale for half price I picked up a jar, then found a mate for it from the shelf with all of the strawberry preserves. Problem solved, the pantry is replenished, disaster has been averted.

But if I were a real dork, there would be a strongly worded letter written to the Powers That Be insisting that they address discriminatory attitude of their no-Peter Pan policy.

Anyhow, after I got home I spent about a half hour polishing up the ol' humidor, and now it's so shiny that it almost looks wet. I can't wait to fill it up and start using it again.

And now that I've got that taken care of, I think I'm gonna go have a samminch.


No comments: