There’s a joke in law school, “If you don’t know who the class asshole is by the second week of class…it’s you!”. After cavorting with local patrons at a number of cigar shops, I’ve come to the realization there are a number of “types” that frequent the beloved haven of tobacco…
THE SHOW-OFF/KNOW IT ALL: You know who “this guy” is. He’s the guy who knows everything about cigars and feels it necessary to enlighten you with his knowledge…even when you haven’t asked for it. He’s the guy who want to regale you with which tobaccos come from what region and what the melding of different soil grown leafs will do to the taste as you proceed through each third of the smoke. You are gracious and express a “Oh, that’s neat” or “I’ve heard that, yes” so as not to encourage him to continue…to no avail. I find this guy to be the one who comes in to the smoke shop because he has nowhere else to be. Try not to encourage conversation with him, he’ll never leave you alone on subsequent trips where you two run into one another.
THE “I’VE SMOKED EVERYTHING”: Good Lord, I don’t care about how black your lungs must be. Good for you that you have more time than most people to sit and brag about how you’re the Don Juan of cigars. You’ve “had” this cigar, you’ve “had” that cigar. You don’t impress me by the number of cigars you’ve smoked, and I don’t want your opinion on what you think I should smoke. I didn’t ask for it, don’t offer it. If (big if) I ask for your opinion, be concise. Tell me one or two and let it go. You didn’t cure cancer, you gave a recommendation. This guy may have the same tendencies as the “Know It All” guy, so be careful. If you engage this person, you’ve been warned!
THE ‘ONLY CUBANS FOR ME’ GUY: This is the guy you can tell is mostly full of shit. He’s the guy who says that non-Cubans just aren’t as good as Cubans and swears that *only he* can get Cubans in America. “He’s got a guy”. Ive said it once, I’ll say it 1,000 times: People WANT to think they’re smoking a Cuban. I could buy a box of Dominican Republic box of cigars, tell him I have to keep my Cubans in this DR box so the Feds “don’t get wise” and sell this idiot a $5 R&J for $15 because he *wants* to believe they’re legitimate Cubans. If someone tells you they only smoke Cubans they’re either lying to you, lying to themselves that what they’re smoking is real OR (in the off chance they really are Cubans) he’s not smoking very frequently but for that one or two times he’s been to Cuba in the past 25 years.
THE NEWBIE: This guy is my favorite. He’s so excited to be exploring a new and unknown world. He listens to the purveyor of the smoke shop (and no one else from the above listed descriptions, hopefully) and he wants to experience everything these delicious treats have to offer him. The problem, I fear, is that somewhere from stage “Newb” to the experienced stage, he falls into one of the above categories. Help me help the newbies NOT fall into that trap, please!
THE TALKER: This guy is tricky for me. Sometimes I can handle the Talker, sometimes I can’t. And it’s not so much predicated upon his topics for which he wishes to engage…but on me and mood. Sometimes I’m in the mood to be a fellow Talker…sometimes I just want to be a Relaxer. But the Talker can’t take hints/read people. So they just prattle on and on about whatever the hell comes top of mind to them. This category, to be clear, isn’t all *that* bad. It’s just that if I’m not in the mood to engage with the Talker, it ruins my mood and my experience with my cigar.
THE PHONE TALKER: He’s a deuche-bag. Nuff said.
THE RELAXER: This guy is my favorite. I wish everyone at my favorite shops were all this guy. He doesn’t really want to talk, he could take or leave a conversation. If you don’t engage him, he does’t really engage you. He’s there with something quiet (ie. a book, iPad, texting, his thoughts) and you might make small talk with him in passing, but he’s not really there to converse. He, like you, wants to enjoy your smoke and leave you the hell alone.
Now, I appreciate this post is a bit snarky, no doubt you’re thinking, “Geez, Tony, what recent bad experience did you have?”! But I promise, it’s nothing of the sort. Believe it or not, I can actually tolerate all of the aforementioned smokers, but everything in moderation. I can deal with each of these people to a certain extent from time to time, but when you get the “Perfect Storm” of everyone, it makes you appreciate this nice Fall weather and sitting outside on your front porch or in the backyard with a Scotch!