What Can Be Smoked, Eaten, Exploded, And Reported? – Cigars

What Can Be Smoked, Eaten, Exploded, And Reported? – Cigars

A cigar is defined as a rolled bundle of fermented tobacco leaves for smoking. Historically, cigar smoking has been frequently associated with successful business people wearing fine clothing, or sometimes with some seedy character sporting a short, stubby, soggy, and used version of the product clenched in their teeth.

Many scholars claim the origin of the cigar nomenclature dates back to the Mayan civilization’s word “sikar,” a term for smoking. The tobacco plant was likely first cultivated in the Yucatan peninsula of Mexico and used by the Maya of Central America. Christopher Columbus is generally credited with the introduction of tobacco to Europe.

Culturally, cigars became ingrained into society, an example being the expression, “close but no cigar” originating from the practice of giving cigar prizes in games at fairgrounds. A cigar company contracted C. M. Coolidge to create a series of paintings popularly know as “Dogs Playing Poker” around 1910, which is the subject of a previous post on this site.

Quotes From Famous Cigar Lovers

Winston Churchill

“If smoking is not allowed in heaven, I shall not go.”—Mark Twain

“I drink a great deal. I sleep a little, and I smoke cigar after cigar. That is why I am in two-hundred-percent form.”—Winston Churchill

“If you can’t send money, send tobacco.”—George Washington to the Continental Congress in 1776.

“My boy! Smoking is one of the greatest and cheapest enjoyments in life, and if you decide in advance not to smoke, I can only feel sorry for you.”—Sigmund Freud said to his young nephew after he decline a cigar.

“A cigar has…a fire at one end and a fool at the other.”—Horace Greely

“They had no good cigars there my lord; and I left the place in disgust.”—Alfred Lord Tennyson

“It has been my experience that folks who have no vices, have very few virtues.”—Abraham Lincoln

A Little Cigar Humor

NASA is sending up an American, Japanese, and Russian astronaut on a two-year space mission. Since it’s going to be two years up there, each may take any form of entertainment weighing 150 pounds or less. The American approaches the NASA board and asks to take his 125-lb. wife. They approve. The Japanese astronaut says, “I’ve always wanted to learn Greek, I want 150 lbs. of books to learn Greek.” The NASA board approves. The Russian astronaut thinks for a second and says, “It’s going to be two years up there. I want 150 lbs. of the best Cuban cigars ever made.” Again, NASA okays it.

Two years later the spacecraft lands and everyone is gathered outside it to see what each astronaut got out of his personal entertainment. Well, it’s obvious what the American had been up to since he and his wife are each holding an infant. The crowd cheers. The Japanese astronaut steps out and makes a 10 minutes speech in absolutely perfect Greek. The crowd doesn’t understand a word of it, but they’re impressed and they cheer. The Russian astronaut stomps out, clenches the podium until his knuckles turn white, glares at the first row while waving a chewed up cigar at them and says, “Anybody got a match?”

You Can Eat Cigars

Somewhere in time, handing out cigars for the birth of a child became a tradition. Some creative mind modified that concept to produce chocolate cigars, labeled “It’s A Boy,” or “It’s a Girl.” Far healthier, and consumable by children and adults alike. Many companies manufacture chocolate cigars for celebrating childbirth and just pure fun today.

Cigars That Explode

Cigars can be packed with a small chemical explosive charge near the lighting end for the intended purpose of a practical joke. Reportedly, Ernest Hemmingway presented an exploding cigar to one of the bodyguards of a Turkish general. When the cigar went off, all four guards drew their guns, aiming at Hemmingway. He escaped without injury.

Ulysses Grant gave Horace Norton, the founder of presently defunct college in Chicago, an exploding cigar. But unaware as to the nature of the gift, Norton saved the cigar and kept it on display at his college’s museum. One hundred years later, Norton’s grandson lit the cigar at a college reunion celebration and it exploded after two puffs. There are other versions of this story with different recipients of the delayed exploding gift, so the possibility remains that this tale about Grant and the exploding cigar is an urban legend.

A more sinister use for an exploding cigar involved assassination. The CIA ran a covert operation in the early 1960’s developing many assassination ideas against Fidel Castro of Cuba. There are several stories relating to one of the ideas attempted using a lethal exploding cigar to eliminate the troublesome leader. While numerous sources indicate this as fact, at least one claims it to be just a myth. True or not, the CIA’s exploding cigar plot inspired the cover of the October 1963 issue of Mad Magazine.

Cigars In The Sky

Cigars also cover the UFO sighting topic. How? Throughout the history of UFO sightings, one of the common shapes reported is that of being “cigar shaped.” UFO enthusiasts identified a cigar shaped UFO orbiting the planet Mars while looking through NASA photos take by the NASA Curiosity Rover on that planet.  Is this proof that cigars are appreciated beyond our planet?

One good resource for anyone interested in delving deeper into the topic of cigars is Cigar Magazine.

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