Things that make you go huh….

Stogie Talk36 Comments on Things that make you go huh….

Things that make you go huh….

When I first started smoking cigars I spent the majority of my cigar budget ordering from online retailers. I was very happy with the cost and quality of my cigars but I was missing out on something. It wasn’t until I attended a few gatherings (Herfs) that I realized how much I enjoyed interacting with such a variety of people. In addition to having fun at these gatherings, I have learned a tremendous amount about the industry along the way.

For the last nine months I have been a regular at a shop here in Reading, PA and the group of regulars at the shop never cease to amaze me by how much they help one another out on a regular basis. Since becoming a regular, I have gotten comical marital advice, tips on where to buy building supplies, advice on where to take my professional career, countless tidbits of other information, and above all else, have made some friends that wouldn’t hesitate to lend a hand or word of advice when in need.

Regardless if you are like me and make a point to stop in the local shop once or twice per week, or only get out once or twice every couple of months, we all have one thing in common. We have all heard someone say something that was so far out of left field that we could only drop our jaw in amazement, shake our heads and think to ourselves, this guys is full of… you get the idea.

For instance, I got a phone call from a friend of mine just the other day, who I just happen to have met via a Cigar Live Herf. He was in the area and wanted to meet up with me to get my input on a cigar he was excited about. We made plans to meet up at a new cigar shop in the area and I arrived a little early.

After picking up a couple of cigars I began making a little small talk to kill some time. Right from the start I got the impression that this individual was staring down his nose at me after seeing the bag of inexpensive Oliva Serie G Maduro cigars in my hand. I took a seat and politely asked what he liked to smoke. His response of “I smoke whatever I want” and “I’ve been know to partake in cigars made in little place south of Miami” made me want to laugh, but I kept a straight face and mentioned a few cigars I enjoyed.

A few minutes passed and my CigarLive friend walked in, I was relieved to see him after my short conversation with the other individual. My friend and I got to talking and were joined, once again, by my new friend from the lounge. Somewhere along the conversation the topic of Fidel Castro stepping down and the potential of the embargo ending came up (I think Mr. Smokes-whatever-he-wants brought up the topic actually). After talking about the potential of new cigar blends the new guy once again brought up his Cuban cigars and said something that made my jaw drop in amazement, shake my head and think to myself, this guys is full of it.

“My Cuban Cigars are real, I’ve had them tested. A friend of mine is a chemist and he has concluded that they are 100% Cuban Tobacco”

While his statement could have possibly been true, I have serious doubts that is in fact legitimate.While these experiences are almost painful, they make for great stories. So I’ve got a great new contest for Stogie Review readers. Post a story of something you have heard in a cigar shop that blew your mind and I’ll enter you into a raffle to win an 8 Cigar, Rocky Patel Decade Sampler. The sampler includes both RP Decade Robustos and Indian Tabac 10th Anniversary Robustos courtesy of Dan from Cigar Monkey.

Simply place your story right in the comment section of this article so that we can all get a chuckle out each others experiences.

This contest is open until Sunday March 30, 2008 and a winner will be selected at random and announced the week thereafter.

Good luck and keep the stories coming.

Happy Smoking

enjoying cigars since 2005

36 thoughts on “Things that make you go huh….

  1. How funny that you post this story today because I (not me per se) had an incident at one of the lounges I frequent here. Not quite as humorous but I’ll go ahead and post it…

    So like I said, I went to a lounge to have a nice cigar and drink on sundays with a few friends of mine (a needed kick start for the incoming week). This time around, my girlfriend and some of my buddy’s girls come to experience what we do every sunday or so. They walked in the humidor to pick out cigars while we grabbed some seats and ordered drinks. Apparently, a man followed them in and began to “teach” them about cigars. They were polite and thanked him afterwards though hinting that they would be fine. He stands there and watches…when one of the girls would pick up a cigar, he’d say that it would be too strong for them and that they should grab a light wrapper colored cigar. They just laughed to themsevles and grabbed some La Flor Dominicanas and a VSG.
    Things like these make me laugh and wonder why people don’t give ladies enough credit. Yea many might not be able to handle the same cigars but there are plenty of guys that cant either.
    Anyways, thanks for letting me take up some space, cheers!

  2. Its funny, I can smoke all the cubans I want (Canadian, and not really, with tax, a decent cigar is 25+ dollars, not exactly and affordable hobby), but to find the cigars reviewed on this site? Not a chance! Even at the biggest cigar store in western canada, they only have a few padrons and a box of opus x’s, and that is pretty much it. When I mentioned some of the cigars which I read about other than cubans, I got strange stares like I was an imbecile and should be put out of their shop. Funny how the world works isn’t it?

    PS: cubans, yeah, they are good, but im sure a good non cuban is just as good.

  3. Oh, and im not trying to enter for a draw or anything, just thought I would share a bit from up here in canada. Cheers guys.

  4. Wow, I don’t have any story to match that. But I did have my first Oliva Series G maduro yesterday and it was a darned good cigar regardless of cost.

  5. Here’s my WTF!!! story.

    I did a trade with a guy on Cigarbid. He was looking for a particular cigar that I just happened to have a 5 pack of. So, I sent him a 5 pack along with a bunch of other cigars that were top notch sticks. About a week later, he confirms delivery and a few days later he lets me know that he smoked one of the cigars he was looking for. He told me that he was going to return fire but I told him there was know need to. Approx. 2 weeks later, I’m outside washing my truck and the mailman pulls up and hands me my mail along with a small box. I looked at the name and didn’t know who it was from. I shook the box and I could hear “things” rattling around inside. I opened the box right there on the spot and what do I find? About a dozen cigars. None of them in cello, not in any type of ziploc. Every single one had damage to the wrapper, foot, head. In other words, unsmokable. Not to mention that everything in there was garbage, at least to me they were. I tossed the box into the garbage but kept the label with address. I go inside and find out that the package was from the guy that I previously had sent cigars to. He contacted me and asked if I recieved them and told them yes. I told him that all the cigars didn’t survive the journey and he offered to send more out. I told him there was no need. I also asked him what he kept his humidity at because I noticed that the cigars looked and felt dried out. What he told me next sent shivers up my spine. He told me that he keeps his cigars in the top drawer of his dresser. I couldn’t believe was I was hearing so hoping for any chance that he had a humidor in that drawer I asked him and he said no…the cigars are loose in the top drawer. I cringed at the thought that the all the good cigars I sent him are up in that drawer along with socks and underwear. Since then, I’ve kept in touch with this guy but haven’t and never will send cigars out to him again.

  6. Oh the stories that i hear at the cigar shop. I prob will post on here several times because there are just to many. This is a disclaimer. I heard this from a dr friend while smoking a partagas spanish rosado. It is slightly gross and disturbing which makes it that much better for cigar talk. He was a surgeon but is now retired. Somehow he began to talk about all of the different surgeries he has performed. “Not to bad you say but it gets better.” Then he brings up the surgeries he did on both men and women who had “Fallen”(and i re-quote) “Fallen” on household items and he had to remove. The list was rather long and consisted of such things as hair brushes, shampoo bottles, hampsters and the real whopper a 2 liter coke bottle. We abruptly made him end his conversation after that one.


  7. I got an email from a friend of mine that went on a cruise saying that he got some Cuban cigars for me. I of course was all excited but knowing what an idiot my friend was, I didnt get my hopes up. Well, he gets home with a box of “Cohiba” for me. They had cellophane on them and the bands looked like they had been drawn with crayons. When I asked him where he got them he told me that he paid $200 for the box and bought them from a guy who works at the Cohiba rolling facility. I told him they were fake and he asked why I knew that. I said, for 1 there is celophane on the cigars and second the bands look like they were drawn by a 4th grader. He said “Oh, I know. I asked the guy I bought them why the bands looked the way they did and he told me their machine that prints bands is down at the moment” he went on to explain that these were older bands they dug out of the warehouse to use while the machine was down. If that isnt a WTF moment, I dont know what is.

  8. ahahah, oh wow, I love this article and some of the comments are just busting me up!!!!!!!

    As for your new associate there Walt, he’ll be pleased to know that 80% of the cigars I smoke are 100% Cuban seed tobacco. Matter of fact, the Oliva Serie G is has a 100% Cuban seed tobacco filler and binder. Some of the cigars I smoke will have a Cameroon or Connecticut shade / broadleaf wrapper but the filler and binder are all 100% Cuban seed tobacco.

    Why, I’d even have a chemist test to verify that!! And I’ll be happy to remove the labels from the cigars to sell your new associate unbanded 100% Cuban seed certifed cigars for $10 a piece. They’ll be the best cigars he’s ever smoked!!!!!!!!


  9. I don’t know if this counts, but I hate stuck up people in a cigar shop. One time I went into one of my local b&ms with my father. This place is in a rich community and catters towards pricey cigars. When my dad asked the associate who was working there if he had any good cheap cigars, the guy said “oh well I don’t smoke cheap cigars.” The nerve of this guy. And what he doesn’t realize is that some of the best smokes cost less than 5 bucks. Needless to say we left the shop and haven’t purchased there since.

  10. Funny you should say that stogielover, if you ever go into my b&m and ask for a cheap cigar they will quickly correct you with, “You don’t want a cheap cigar, you want an inexpensive cigar, a cheap cigar implies low quality.” It always make me chuckle when I here that response.

  11. A long time ago I was in a tobacconist’s shop in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, a place called Smoker’s Harbor, probably now long-since defunct. The owner and operator was an eccentric old gentleman who claimed to have been a chemist for Brown and Williamson, makers of various cigarettes. One day he was telling me how he carefully “steamed” all the tobaccos he was making ready for blending into pipe tobacco blends. When I exclaimed that that seemed like an awful lot of trouble to go through for pipe tobacco that would just be burned up anyway, he got quite irate with me and asked me if I knew what would happen if I smoked a pipe tobacco blend that had not been steamed. When I told him that I wasn’t sure why he looked at me angrily and told me that smoking an unsteamed pipe tobacco would “Corrugate your puscles!”. To this day I live in fear that someday a doctor will look at my chest x-ray and say “You’ve been smoking unsteamed tobacco, haven’t you?”

  12. I was in a cigar store in DC, and I overheard a guy talking with one of the employees about terrorism. I swear to God, Buddha, and Mohammad he said to him, “You know, if I had been on that flight where Richard Reid tried to blow up his shoe, I would have kicked his ass and tortured him on the plane.”


  13. Here is a good one. It was about 12 or 13 years ago, bach when I was 20 or 21. I walked into JR Cigars which is right in my town. I was looking around for a little while and one of the employees says to another one behind the counter as he is staring at me, “keep your eyes on that one”. So, I continue to look around and I notice that there are mostly guys in business suits and they are a lot older than me so I stick out like a sore thumb in my jeans and T-shirt. Anyway, I bring my bundle of JR cigars to the counter and I pay for them and procede to walk out. As I got outside I notice the police pull up and are searching one of the guys in a suit. It turns out that he stuffed some five packs in his pockets, so with that I walked back inside and I went up to the sales associate who said to keep an eye on me and I said to him, “Looks loke you were keeping an eye on the wrong guy” . The look on his face was priceless as his face turned bright red with embarassment. After that, he was always nice to me but he no longer works there. Now that is a WTF story and it’s true.

  14. Joe,

    Maybe he was just wanting to know what cigars you bought as he recognized you had an incredible eye for quality cigars 🙂

    Funny story though becuase a shop here in Sacramento put up a sign that you can no longer go in the humidor with a jacket on heh. Guess hiding cigars under jackets is not a new thing apparently. They like it when I go in with my t-shirt / polo shirt and jeans. Can’t hide anything but my wallet which isn’t hidden for long hah.


  15. Hey Paul,

    I am from Toronto and I smoke lots of cubans but I have allot of none-cubans favorates as well.

    You can find some pretty good none-cubans that are sometimes better than allot of cuban. My favorate is Don Pepin Black, Tatuaje Cojonu and Serie P and Padilla Miami. I get my non-cubans shipped from a guy in texas. email me at and I can refer you to him.


  16. Dave,
    I am glad you enjoyed my little experience. At first I was just going to blow it off and leave, but that whole police thing gave me the perfect oppertunity to say something and get my point across. I hate when people steriotype, it just ins’t fair. Here is a perfectly good example of never judge a book by it’s cover.

  17. I go to a small cigar shop at the local grocery store where there is a walk in humidor. The lady at the counter outside of the humidor, who is nothing more than a cashier and knows nothing about cigars, has to automatically buzz the lock open so you can go in. Usually she will follow and give the same old speech “you aren’t allowed to handle the cigars, if you want one I have to pick it up for you…yada yada yada. Sometimes she stays outside if she is busy and leaves me alone to browze. Sometimes I will buy a Cuban or two but most of the time I will just peruse the non Cubans just to revel in how much I am saving by ordering on line. Anyway whenever I do this, as I am leaving this old crab will give me the old look up and down as if looking for something bulging where it shouldn’t be. Every time I go she does this and it is somewhat embarassing not to mention annoying. I never say anything because I don’t really give a shit what she thinks. So one day I was doing groceries with the wife and decided to stop in to take a gander at the cigars. I told the wife to watch the cashier when I leave just for a laugh. Well when I came out she gave me the old up and down accusatory glare as usual. I looked over at my wife to say “see what I mean”, but before I could utter those words my wife was already losing it on the miserable hag. I was in a bit of shock as my wife vehemently defended my honor and made the cashier feel totally guilty about what she was doing. Both the cashier and I were speechless. It was nice to see her put in her place like that. Sometimes I really love my wife. lol

  18. Here is a good one for you,
    A few weeks ago I walked into my local shop to pick up a few cigars, I was greeted by three gentleman who all said hello, I responded by saying hi, Whats going on ? Then I proceeded into the walk in. As I was picking out some of my favorite smokes , I noticed in one of the boxes that the cigars were covered in white fuzzy dots ( mold ) at that point one of the guys from behind the counter came in and asked ” can I help you find any thing special ? ” I replied by saying no not right now but you you should be aware of the mold in the box of punches over on the shelf. Conncrned he and I walked over to the box on the shelf. He looked into the box, moved a few cigars around and replyed
    ” Thats not mold thats just plume, Mold is green and fuzzy not white and fuzzy. Besides plume is a good thing to find.” I replied to him “Huh,The olny white fuzzy stuff that grows on cigars that I know of is mold.” He walked out. I went about my business trying a few new brands that I’ve never tried before and enjoying them all. Just a day or two ago I stopped at the shop, Went into the walk in and found the same box of punches on the shelf untouched and fuzzier than ever. Kinda makes me think that the shop owner should listen to his customers a little closer don’t you ?

    Love the site, And keep up the great work..

  19. I walked into a B&M in a mall near my home I had never been to before to check out the selection. Aside from being treated like a criminal (“leave your bag and coat here” – no apologies and the guy shadowed me the whole time) he wouldn’t take my “I’m just looking” statement and attitude and leave me alone. He kept trying to get me to buy something by picking up various cigars and saying, “this is really good” and of course they were all over $25 a stick. He picked up a Don Pepin and said, “Well people seem to like Don Pepin cigars”. He pronounced it Pep – in. I wasn’t really trying to correct him but I said, “I love pretty much anything Don Pepin touches” pronouncing it Pepeen. His next comment really made me chuckle though as he said, “Oh, you pronounce it correctly. I only say Pep-in because nobody will know who I’m talking about.”

  20. My story is short and sweet… not unlike a Fuente Short Story, I might add.

    Picture it…

    It is a lovely afternoon. The sun is shining and it’s a great day for a cigar. A trip to the cigar store is indeed in order. So I stroll in to the local shop, browse around a bit, and I ask the clerk, “Do you have any Don Pepin’s in stock?”

    With a blank stare the clerk replies, “What is Don Pepin?”

    The End.


  21. I’m sure it won’t win any awards, as it’s more of a gripe than anything, but here goes:

    A while back, I went to one of the behemoth retailers here in PA, who shall remain nameless. The second I walked in, I was barraged by an overly-anxious staff insisting that I hear about their special deal – buy a box, and get an entry to win a motorcycle, etc.

    “That’s nice, but I don’t ride MC’s,” I said. “Besides, I’m not looking to buy brand X, I’m here for your catalog special on brand Y.”

    This idiot jacka$$ then proceeds to give me the hard sell on a box that’s made as an exclusive for them by a name we all know and love. I know that they’ll make a lot of margin on this brand, because it is a house brand.

    I tell him, “I’m not interested,” but he is determined to make a sale. I say, “Look, if I wanted to be sold, I’d pick up any of the endless telemarketing phone calls that have besieged my home phone number since switching from Vonage to Comcast.” It actually turned rather awkward; fortunately, an associate with considerably more scruples intervened.

    The job of a cigar retailer is to be friendly, engaging, and to offer solid cigar advice without resorting to the hard sell. It may seem counter-intuitive, but when you put profit before people, you make less in the long run.

  22. While Brian’s and I were recording YQMA Episode 29 he made a comment that reminded me of another crazy smoke shop story.

    One day I was out at a small cigar shop hanging out, smoking a cigar. I was pretty new to this store so I just sat back and took in the sights and sounds of the shop.

    The store owner and another customer were having a conversation about a box of Rocky Patel Nording cigars. The customer was saying that he wanted to pick up a box but couldn’t make the purchase because the cigars he sampled in the shop tasted very young and needed some time that he wasn’t willing to give them up front.

    The owner was very nice and told him that sometimes cigars come in like that from time to time. He said don’t worry though, come back tomorrow and they will be all ready for you.

    With a confused look on his face the customer asks how they will be ready by tomorrow. The owner says I’m going to rapid age them for you, they will be good to go tomorrow.

    Even more confused now, the customer says rapid age, what do you mean? The response he got was something along the lines of “I have a neat little trick for getting the ammonia out of the cigars. I’ll go home tonight and pop the box in the microwave for a few seconds to rapid age them and they will be good to go”

    At this point all I could do was just look at the two having the conversation in awe of what was just said. About a half hour later I finished my cigars and headed home.

    I wound up spending a fair amount of time at this shop in the future, but always steered clear of anything that looked like it may have been nuked for rapid aged goodness.

    Keep the stories coming, they have been a entertaining read.


  23. Hayward,
    Unfortunately I have heard a few similar stories about that store. Coincidentally they also involve the chance to win the motorcycle.

    I’ve also heard alot of good things about the place, mostly pertaining to their selection and lounge. It is a store I’m going to have to check out at some point down the line, at the very least just to say I’ve been there.

    I mentioned to Gary that I need to get out there and visit your store one day during a weekend. I’m going to have to take a good look at my schedule and see if I can’t squeeze it in sooner than later.


  24. My wife and I went on a cruise to Cozumel. After 2 days at sea, I decided I wanted to visit a local cigar shop my travel agent recommended. The shop owner walks up to me and asks what kind of cigars I like. Before I could reply, my wife pipes in, “Itsaboys”. After the 30 second blank stare, I asked him to show me the Partagas. She had been waiting years to use that.

  25. One of our local shops is notorious for dumping on newbie smoker selections. Education about the hobby is one thing, but these guys will tell you stuff like “go ahead and buy that if you wanna burn a turd”.

    I was buying a few Partagas Black Lables, based on a review on this site, when the sales-dude told me “You won’t like those at all.”

    I had never been in before. He had not spoken to me otherwise. He had no idea if I would like them or not.

    So I bought a box. At another store.

    The rude store is the ony one in town carrying the ITC 10th, so I stop there only for those. No browsing, no chatting up the staff.

  26. Walt/Brian-You’ve both probably heard these stories, but for the rest…

    Ed’s shop is near my house, in a good neighborhood mind you…

    A couple days ago, I went to have a post-Flu cigar with Ed. Turns out, a guy ran into the hair salon next to Ed’s shop, smashed a glass display, took a shard, and slit his own throat ear to ear. Naturally eye witnesses were in shock, and I got to listen to them as I puffed away.

    A couple weeks before that, behind the the hair salon/Ed’s shop, a couple was found shot and burned. As I puffed away, I got to listen to witness accounts of the scene.

    I think this qualifies as “Things that make you go Huh?” Since my response to both of these things was “Huh?!”

  27. There is a liquor store around the corner from me that has walk in humidor that the cashier needs to “buzz” you in. A few years back, I took a friend of mine there to get some beer and decided to go into the humidor to check out the cigars. They buzz us in and we are greeted by one of the guys that works there. I walks in with us, with pen and paper in hand so he can write down what we are buying. As i’m looking over the selection, he asks me and my buddy if we’ve ever had cuban cigars before. I told him yes. He then proceeded to ask me if I was interested in buying a few. He gets a stepstool, climbs up and removes one of the celing panels and pulls down a box of cigars. The box said Partags but the cigars inside the box were H. Upmanns. All of which looked like they swam all the way up from Cuba. The guy told me that they were the real thing but couldn’t explain why the cigars in the box didn’t match the box itself. He was selling the cigars for 20 bucks each. I told him kindly that I wouldn’t want one even if he was giving them away for free. He tucked them back up into the celing and we left.

  28. I ran across one of those know it all guys in my B&M. He kinda looked down on my Excaliburs. He proceeded to tell me what I should be buying. I think it was a San Cristibol. I lit my cigar with my torch lighter and He proceeded to tell me how he only uses a match to light his cigars. Then he stuck his first match and immediately placed it on the cigar. Everything I read said that your supposed to let the chamicals burn off the match before using it and your supposed to not let the flame hit the cigar. Anyways, I didn’t say anything and eentually moved and pretended to be interested in the basketball game that was on.

  29. The closest “cigar shop” to my house is a liquor store that has a corner sectioned off as a walk in humidor and cigar shop. It is actually a pretty nice space, and when they first opened they had a decent selection. I stopped going there a long time ago because of the useless sales people and because the selection has dwindled. When I had questions in the past the clerk’s response was invariably “That one’s good” regardless of what I pointed out.
    Now there are only about 7 boxes total left in the shop and you are limited to Macanudo, Romeo y Julieta, Punch, or a few random singles that are floating around.
    My father went in there to get me a few sticks for my birthday and told the guy that he knows nothing about cigars, or what I like. The guy basically told him that he doesn’t know anything either, but when his son-in-law drops by he usually has a Punch “Blunt.” So my father picked up the last 7 Punch Rothschilds that they had and gave them to me.
    It seems to me that the cigar end of the business has pretty much gone belly up, and that the liquor store is enough to pay the bills. But with customer service like that it is no surprise to me.

  30. I was at Bad Habits in downtown Vegas and this guy and his girl come into the store. I was watching them as they did not look like your average respectable people. They were looking for something called Backwoods. He tried to tell all of us that they were the best cigars. They came in a pouch. He decided to leave us one. No one wanted to smoke it, but we lit it up and man did that thing smell bad. We had to take it outside it smelled so bad.

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