Sunday, December 20, 2009

A Cigar-Christmas Story.

For those who don't know me, I reside in the Ft. Worth-Dallas Metroplex and, although there are many good things about the area, the following story probably won't shine a great light on a particular aspect of it. For that reason, I'm not going to mention specifics about which town I was in when this happened.

A brief history of myself: Every holiday season since I was a youth, it seems that I have the fortuitous blessing of having a very one-of-a-kind story happen to me. It seems only fitting at the beginning of my endeavor into the world of blogging that my Christmas Story 2009 revolve around cigars.

It was a dark and stormy night...

Too on the nose, I know.

It was actually a very pleasant afternoon as I drove across town to my sister's holiday game night. On long distance drives, I tend to indulge in a cigar or two to keep the edge off. My sister doesn't live too far, but when you drive in the Metroplex, especially during the holidays, you need a little extra something.

I was about two miles from her house when I turned off of one road and noticed a police patrol car following me. I did the knee-jerk reaction of looking at my speedometer and saw that I was doing just under the posted speed limit of 35 mph. I kept driving, never going faster that 36 mph, and the police car continued following directly behind me. Two blocks before her street, I remembered that she wanted me to get ice for the party.

As I turned into the parking lot of a CVS, I heard that unmistakable high-pitched sound. WHOOP, WHOOP. "Are you kidding me?!" I thought to myself. If this guy was going to light me up for two miles over the limit, I might vomit. I parked and waited for the officer to appear.

I rolled down my window when he approached. He asked for my license and proof of insurance and I passed it to him. Sparing you all on how he butchered my last name, he posed, "Mr. _____, do you know why I pulled you over?" "Officer, all I know is you've been behind me for about two miles, so no. No sir, I have no idea why you pulled me over." He looked at me, glanced in my car and looked down in my cup holder converted to a cigar holder. "What'cha smoking there?" I couldn't help my eyebrow moving up a notch and a chuckle going off in my head as he made a "sniff, sniff" noise. "A cigar, sir." "Are you sure?" "Yes, sir." "You're really sure," he asked again. "Yes, I am sure, that it is a cigar, sir," I said again. "Can I see it?" he asked. Without really answering, I handed over my cigar. He took it between his thumb and index finger and began to exam it all around and continued his obnoxious sniffing. After he was done looking it over like a monkey doing a math problem, he handed it back to me. Oh goody, I hope this guy washes his hands. "Okay, I'm going to let you off with a warning, but you may want to re-consider smoking while driving; it can be dangerous," he stated, having his voice drop an octave lower than what it had been. "Well, so can cell phones, but I'll consider that next time. Thank you officer. Merry Christmas," I responded.

A warning? What exactly did I do? I have to tell you, being a law-abiding citizen sucks. Next time, I'll make it worth it. Some water, baking soda,stir it up, I don't know the recipe, I'm just saying... Not one to embrace my inner convict, I guess the only thing to do is write this off as a fluke event and a great story.

If only it ended there.

This next part is for that feel-good part of this season that we all cherish.

On my way back home that night, I pulled off the highway and stopped at an intersection. It was about ten at night, and standing at the corner was the familiar sight of a homeless man on the corner with a unique sign. Burger and Fries, Please. It was a candid statement more than a request. The guy must have been cold; it wasn't subzero, but the temperature had dropped to the low 40s. Instead of going home, I made the turn toward a fast food joint. I ordered a double bacon cheeseburger with fries and a coffee. I made my way back to the guy and parked in a parking lot near him, rolled down my window and called out to him. "Hey buddy, got your burger and fries," I yelled. He walked over with slight puzzlement about him. He wore a worn-out Adidas wind breaker with jeans that had been faded by sun, dirt, and sweat. "Really?" he asked. "It's what your sign said," I chuckled. "I got you coffee, I hope you don't mind, you've got to be freezing." "Thanks," he muttered genuinely. I could tell the guy just wanted money instead, but was still grateful for a meal. He took a couple of fries from the bag and glanced inside my car. "Whatcha smokin'?" he asked.


No hesitation in my reaction. "Weed," I said simply. "Really?" he asked, his eyebrow raised. "No, just a cigar. Are you ok buddy, you want me to get you a ride to a shelter?" He said he was fine and thanked me for the meal. "You smoke cigars?" I asked. "Well, it's not like I can afford them, but sure." I reached in my bag and pulled out a La Flor Dominicana (my favorite) and handed it to him.

"Merry Christmas."

As always, guys and gals, there is nothing wrong with knowing you're the best. Happy Holidays, and to all a good night!


1 comment:

  1. Made me smile. LFD's are nice cigars. Quite a nice present. Makes me want to hold a sign that says "cigar and a cheeseburger" in hope you drive by...

    Happy new year man. Looking forward to reading your stuff in 2010.