Win A Box Of The New Camacho Diploma Cigars

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Win A Box Of The New Camacho Diploma Cigars

Yesterday Dylan Austin at Camacho dropped me a line. He wants to give one of our readers a box of the new Camacho Diploma Robustos, but he wants to make sure the cigars end up in the right hands and not to a person who is an addict as they might as well fall off the wagon even more and refuse treatment later on. Addiction treatment centers like Golden Peak Retreat, in Denver are here to help. Addiction does not have to define you.

He specifically it to go to someone bold enough to handle what he describes as “a powerhouse of pleasure.” Here’s his challenge to you:

Camacho is all about bold flavor and unapologetic good times. A sanctuary for the powerful, elemental man. About celebrating undiluted and intense experiences and creations. Never being interrupted by the latest trend. It’s about being a champion of things made from a personal passion and refusing to recognize those which are not.

To boil the above down into layman’s terms; Camacho is about hardcore, unadulterated manly shit. Today we offer you, readers of this fine website, a contest to win a box of the new Camacho Diploma’s. The pinnacle of bold smokes. An unruly cigar that delivers all-out satisfaction for the expert palette.

There’s one way to win. Tell us the boldest, most manly story you’ve ever heard. There’s no limit on characters or how wild the tale may be. Winner will be selected at random by the Stogie Review crew. Have at it boys.

Do you have a tale bold enough? Tell us about it below. We’ll pick a winner on August 9th. Until then, here are a few images to whet your appetite.

enjoying cigars since 1997

57 thoughts on “Win A Box Of The New Camacho Diploma Cigars

  1. Witnessing my wife give birth to my son, I didn’t pass out! But boy, my wife was as tough as nails!

  2. Bah they sent me the same contest…glad I happen to see it here before posting it up, I don’t copy…I’ll see if they want to do something different.

  3. Being a father for 35 years, raising 3 daughters, has required a lot of “Boldness”. Thanks for the contest!

  4. Now, I take care of my wife, son and immediate families – in my eyes, there is nothing manlier.

    However, to properly try to enter the contest, I’ll tell you a story. Driving down the Garden State Parkway at about 60mph when I smash into the back of a car. Pick myself up off the payment, bloody with some road rash and exchange insurance information with the driver of the car. Retrieve my shoes and backpack and some broken pieces from the highway and walk over to the side of the highway to fix the motorcycle. Patch up the bike enough to continue the drive another 15 minutes to work where I inform my boss that I need a ride to the hospital and I’ll be late for work. Boss drives me to hospital where I get cleaned up and get pieces of the asphalt taken out of my body. Get ride back to work and finish the day off in the office. Decide to never ride a motorcycle again!

    1. I will agree with Matt’s first statement of being a father and a husband is the manliest thing you can do…

      As far as crashing into a moving car on a bike… MANUP SON!!! LOL Happy to hear you are alright!… I mean outside of the apparent brain damage! 🙂

  5. Was at a wedding, sitting across the table from a rather attractive girl. Didn’t know a lot of people, turned to the girl and said “This is pretty boring, you want to go make out?” . She said yes.

  6. One time I smoked a whole Grape White Owl, under duress, and didn’t throw up. I quickly purged my pallette with a Camacho SLR and vowed to never smoke sh*t sticks again. True story.

  7. Three cowboys — from Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Texas—are sitting around a fire. The Oklahoma cowboy gloats, “Just the other day, a bull gored six men in the corral, but I wrestled it to the ground with my hands.”

    The Arkansan replies, “Oh, yeah? Yesterday a 15-foot rattler came at me, so I grabbed it, bit its head off, and spit the poison into a spittoon 15 yards away.”

    The Texan stayed quiet, slowly stirring the coals of the fire…
    with his dick.

  8. I love the dedication to families in the comments!

    So its December 2011 and I am making an overnight journey from Virginia to Syracuse, NY and as per typical upstate fashion, it’s a blizzard outside. If you’re familiar with I-81 you know it is a devil of a road, whether its neverending construction in PA or white outs in NY.

    This particular morning at 430am after driving 8 hours, I-81N in NY has only one lane plowed and about 4 inches of snow in the other. I’m traveling with a good friend of mine and as we’re coming down this we notice that there are cars waiting on the on ramp which is on the other side of the valley coming up the hill. The cars clearly see us coming down the hill and clippin along at about 55 mph, but even so this woman, with the speed of an old erie canal barge, tries to pull out onto the highway at a distance at which we would have had to slam on the brakes had it been clear weather. I’m forced to try to manuever into the passing lane, still covered in 4 inches of sun and the car starts to rotate.

    We did pass the woman’s car, but I was looking into the drivers side window through my windshield. I shit you not, we are going 55 mph, sideways, over a bridge, with no control and my buddy in the passenger seat looks over at me and as calmly as if we were discussing over a cigar, tells me ‘You got this man, don’t worry, you got this.’ I’d like to say it was in this moment that a certain carrie underwood song came on and I let go of the wheel and we miraculously straightened out, but I honestly can’t remember what happened next. All I know is that the car corrected without any accident and we drove on in silence for about 15 minutes before we looked at each other and said “Did that really just happen?!”


  9. One day on my way to work for ADT home security, I was driving by and saw flames shooting out of a house. I called 911 and informed them of situation. One of the neighbors comes running and screaming that an elderly lady live in that house and has a hard time getting around. Me and another gentleman both rush into the house and kick the door in and locate the lady on the floor un-conscious. We get her outside and proceed with cpr until the ambulence arrives. The news crew that showed up filmed us both and told of how we went into a burning building to help. We both refused them our names and I went to work like normal. By time I got to work my Boss saw the footage on tv. I got the rest of the day off and had a ton of calls about home and fire safety.

  10. True story, but it was before the days of internet news so I can’t link the article.

    The year was 2003, I was in college and my best friend and I were driving on I-76 in PA at about 1AM. As we come over the crest of a hill we see a small light in the middle of the road about a quarter of the way down this hill. We slow down and we notice that a blacked-out BMW M5 is just sitting in the middle of the road and the guy is waiving a flare. Being the good samaritans that we were, we pull over to the side of the road and get out. As soon as I step out of the car my buddy starts yelling at me to run, and as I look over my shoulder I see a semi come flying over the top of the hill and was on a full bore collision course for the BMW. I take off running and the semi nails this car, pops straight up in the air, comes down and nails the cement center divide, blowing it out into the other lane, then tips over and starts screeching down the highway on its side, missing my buddy and I by about 5 feet. We jumped over a fence and someone must have been looking out for us because as we noticed when we revisited the spot during the day, we had landed on a small landing on the other side of the fence before a 30 drop into trees below.

    So that was part 1. As we collect ourselves and check to make sure everyone is okay, the police arrive and start asking us questions and the highway is completely blocked on both sides (dividers were blown into the opposite lanes). While we are speaking the police, the line of traffic now back up the entire hill and at the end of the line just over the crest of the hill is a gasoline truck. In the what now seems like a scene from a movie, another semi comes barreling over the hill, unknowing of the traffic head, and slams into the gas truck blowing it sky high and killing one passenger in the vehicle and the driver next to the truck. The explosion went about 75 feet in the air and we were so close that it singed the hair on our legs.

    Thankfully for us, our car was positioned just right so that we were able to keep driving however, every other car there was stuck into cleaning crews cleared the situation at about 5am.

    I promise you that happened.

  11. Well I will be 64 in Sept. was an Ironworker/blacksmith/offshore welder for thirtyfive years.So if I realy thought about it I have A steamer trunk full of stories I could tell.Some of them would turn out well and some of them not so well.Work hard and play hard!
    Been smoking cigars more years than I want to admit.I have always been A big fan of the Camacho FULL body line.At the present time I have about twenty Camacho cigars in my humi,I personaly think they have changed the last few years.When I smoke A cigar I want to know I’m smoking A cigar not just blowing smoke!When I have finished that cigar I want to feel satisfied!My favorites have been the Triple Maduro,Corojo Maduro,and the Diploma series maduro.
    If I win or not I will be looking for samples,hopefuly that will lead me to buying box’s! Thanx for giving us FULL bodied cigar smokers A shot at winning A box!

  12. Best Bold story I remember was when I waterski on Mississippi River and fell off the ski’s 100 feet from a roller dam. Since there were only two of us the boat kept going and I found myself slowly drifting toward almost certain doom. I managed to swim toward the dam at an angle and caught the branch of a dead tree until help arrived. Bold, ( or stupid) to dance so close to danger.

  13. I once saved a puppy that had been accidentally dropped in the bottom of a “port o john” at a chile cookoff just outside of Cleveland. Both arms up to my neck.
    True bravery
    True Man

  14. Well, a few years ago I was doing a trackday on my motorcycle and tucked the front at about 110mph. When all was said and done I had lost about 3 inches of shinbone. I was forced not to smoke for almost a month, but as soon as I could after my second operation I crutched my way outside and lit up a JdN Antano Churchill. Man, that was good.

    BTW, I’ve smoked through many many many boxes of Camachos (at least 100) but they lost me as a customer with a change in attitude in marketing I didn’t really care for. Plus the reps pretty much ignore the SF Bay Area where I live. I’m hoping this change can bring some of the magic back to a brand I used to love.

  15. My most manly story is my 2012 Colorado elk hunt… with a bow and arrow. It was my very first elk hunt and I was successful.

    For three days a week for six months, I hauled one hundred pounds of sand loaded in my pack. Working out and training for my Colorado elk hunt. Hitting the gym and pounding out mile after mile on the StairClimber all helped me prepare for the mountains in Colorado. But even that wasn’t enough.

    I shot my 2012 bull elk on a DIY hunt, with an over the counter tag, and did it from 10 yards away. (the entire story is on my blog – One arrow, one kill. Then the work began. For the next 12 hours, I skinned, butchered and packed out hundreds of pounds of wild venison on my back. Mile after mile, 600 vertical feet and by the time I was done walking through fields of bear scat, I made it to my vehicle in the dark. I was exhausted and elated.

    I plan on doing it again next year and this time plan on having a bold cigar along for the celebration after.

  16. I am a 26 year old man living near Frankfurt, Germany. I became an expat to pursue and then marry the woman of my dreams. My first daughter is sleeping in the room next to me at 6 weeks old. I shave with a straight razor. However, at 26 I cannot speak to my “manly accomplishments” or the things that I’ve done – true manliness is to say you are a man of unwavering character and I simply haven’t been alive long enough to prove the forge of my metal.

    I do, however, offer this manly story of an icon I look up to, a tribute to the grit of a classic, cigar smoking, American man.

    William Herndon was the commander of a commercial ship called Central America. While under commission with the US government, the ship got caught in a massive hurricane off the coast of North Carolina. 423 people would end up dying that day but not before the Commander personally rescued 31 women and 28 children. After being convinced that there was nothing else he could do he returned to the ship and took his stand on the deck. While floating away in a rescue craft, those that survived recall the image of Commander Herndon clenching a cigar in his teeth and bowing his head in prayer while the ship was overtaken by the raging atlantic.

    There are few tasks that belong in the lineage of manly endeavors. Every time I do one I like to channel the great men like Commander Herndon that came before. When I light up a cigar, particularly on the more unforgiving nights when wrestling with the current issue at hand, I like to think I do men like him tribute.

  17. I once knew this guy named TimD who smokes cigars, brews his own beer and also makes a masterpiece called a Bacon Explosion. It’s sausage, stuffed with bacon, then wrapped in bacon and finally put on the smoker so the bacon juice can ooze into the sausage and then back into the bacony center. TimD does this WHILE brewing beer and smoking cigars… and also drinking beer… and whiskey….. while petting eagles and singing the Star Spangled Banner.

  18. The manliest story I ever heard wasn’t actually about a man. My local gun shop had a pet monkey named Kimber. Kimber was the mascot of the gun shop- the friendliest monkey you ever saw. That is unless you were the unlucky bastard that attempted to hold up the store at gunpoint one balmy summer night. You see, when you walk into a hardware store with a gun- everybody panics. But when you walk into a gun shop with a gun- nobody really even notices. So on this fateful night, Leroy Jenkins got the drop on all the gun shop employees when he walked straight through the front door with a gun, unnoticed. Leroy immediately took a female employee hostage at gunpoint and ordered the other employees to come from behind the counter and lie face down on the middle of the floor. He then proceeded to have the female employee load a rolling suitcase full of guns and money from the register. But poor Leroy Jenkins never saw Kimber the monkey sitting in the corner. Kimber snuk around the counter and made his way to the employee break room. Kimber knew that a break room table was being put together earlier in the afternoon. Luckily, the table was not completed and there was a piece of the table leg he could use as a pipe. Kimber grabbed the pipe and sprang into action! As Leroy Jenkins was zipping up his rolling suitcase with his stolen merchandise, Kimber lept up onto the counter with his pipe and smashed Jenkins square in the jaw! Jenkins fell to the floor in agony, and Kimber jumped down and struck ol Leroy again with the pipe. “Whack!”, Kimber repeatedly struck Jenkins with the pipe across his kneecaps. Leroy’s screams of pain could be heard half a mile away, but Kimber did not stop. Kimber continued to batter the would-be thief with blows from the pipe to his abdomen, head and- yes- to his testicles. And just when Leroy Jenkins could move no more, Kimber bit off the intruder’s ear to keep as a souvenir and a trophy of the brave monkey’s victory over an undermatched human. Sadly, Kimber recently passed away. But nobody in that gun shop, nor anybody who has heard the tale, will ever forget the day Kimber the monkey stopped an armed attacker named Leroy Jenkins.

  19. It was 1030 @ night at the firehouse we literally ran our
    butts off all day Ems calls, car wrecks, ext. We had to have been
    atleast 15 to 20 calls in for the day. After a long day we grab the
    last sticks out of the hunidor. Noticing there’s none left for me I
    run to the truck and crack the coffin on my camacho ditka
    throwback, the last of 2 that I bought. I’m 1/3 of the way in on
    the bumper of the engine when the tones drop for a house fire. We
    gear up and I jump in the back. Half way to the call my Lt turns
    around “what is that smell ?” Nothing lou I responded. We get to
    the house and we have smoke pouring out of one of the rooms. It was
    a couch fire that extended to the wall. I couldnt bare to put the
    stick down so I grabbed my pike poke ran in behind the nozzle man
    and went to work. No air mask just me my tool and my throwback
    hanging out of my mouth.. The chief comes in to check on us. Hey
    was the heck is this? I turn around and not only am I smoking with
    no air mask so is my Lt, and the Nozzle guy. We finish up and the
    chief demands an answer we head out side where the engineer never
    dropped his cigar either. Here we are all 4 us covered in soot
    cigars hanging out of our mouth getting yelled at by the chief. Lol
    Needless to say it was the best cigar ever and we def enjoyed
    taking a write up for it. Go bold or go home 😉

  20. So, last year I went waterskiing in Lake Harris in FL – –
    AFTER I was told there’s about 6,000 alligators in it.

    Bold, Baby!!

  21. Each year I put together Road Trips for my friends. A
    chance for them to get out of the house, leave the wife and kids
    for some “manly” times with some golf, drink and of course cigars.
    One of the best trips included some awesome concerts. Friends from
    Oregon and California came together in Las Vegas to play golf at
    Bali Hai Golf Club on Friday, have a great dinner, drinks and
    cigars then enjoy The Who in concert with The Pretenders opening
    the show. Saturday was just as good, played golf at Stallion
    Springs, had dinner, drinks and cigars. This evening’s gig was The
    Rolling Stones with Bonnie Raitt opening the show. While waiting
    for show to start, sitting next to me was none other than Gedde
    Watanabe (you know, Long Duk Dong from Sixteen Candles). What a
    funny guy. After both shows, we head up to House of Blues
    Foundation Room for a round of cigars atop Mandalay Bay hotel. Next
    day I got up and made the 5 hour drive back to Los Angeles to see
    Vince Gill in concert with his wife Amy Grant joining the band for
    a few songs. Great weekend with buddies, great shows, great food,
    great drinks and of course, great cigars.

  22. The real powerful elemental man? The man that will go from
    single brotherhood to daddy famous in less than 12 months. The man
    who caters to only the needs of his partner in life. A man who
    takes a conversation from why tiger ran with the honey in winnie
    the pooh to the planet’s orbital period just because he’s trying to
    satisfy his two girl’s interests. A man who wears a pink boa to
    church at the request of a young 7 yr old designer. A man that bows
    out of a Superbowl frat party to take his other girl to their
    anniversary dinner and braves not to eavesdrop while the party next
    to us shouts the scores. The man that took in two other children as
    his own and endeavors into parenthood like a pro. Not a sweat, he’s
    got it.

  23. Was in Las Vegas and had just picked up a Camacho cigar to
    smoke in the city that never sleeps to smoke while my wife and I
    walked the strip. We came to an entrance that said no smoking and
    it was the only way to get to the other side of the strip. There
    was no way I was putting out that great tasting Cigar. So I put
    that bad boy in my mouth and walked past 2 security guards who
    imdiately came after me and that great cigar. I continued to ignore
    them and headed straight for the exit on the other side I exited
    the door only to hear them tell me I couldn’t smoke in the
    building. I took a drag and smiled and proclaimed victory as I had
    made it out Ali e with that great cigar still burning. We continued
    on down the strip feeling proud and BOLD that nothing gets in the
    way of a great Camacho cigar

  24. I saved a woman’s life that fell backwards on an escalator
    after the escalator started sucking the hood of her sweatshirt in
    and choking her to the point where she was helpless.

  25. Enjoying a smoke after dinner with some friends and the
    mother of my girlfriend, I heard my girlfriend’s mother remark to
    someone while looking at me, “Could you imagine if I end up with
    him for a son-in-law?” I looked at her and stated just as seriously
    as I could, “You should be SO lucky!” Then I took another hit of my
    Camacho and moved on.

  26. Saw my brother put a guy who’s head was completely engulfed
    in flames, out with his bare hands. Saw a buddy of mine get t-boned
    in the drivers door, at the street races, by a guy doin 80+ and he
    walked away from it. But most bold, would be, I married an
    Italian/Irish redhead. Haha

  27. My bold story was that I joined the US Army at the old age
    of 27. I was 230 pounds and way far from any kind of fitness. I saw
    my little brother graduate from Army bootcamp and was inspired to
    do it. I lost about 70 pounds and in October of 2012 went to FT.
    Benning to be a Cavalry Scout. I don’t do it for fame or accolades
    I do it to protect those that can’t and wont and I do it for my
    brothers and sisters in arms. HOOAH!

  28. A buddy of mine got his finger snapped in two, not broken, but pinched off in a piece of machinery at work. He didn’t cry or even panic. Just said I think I need an ambulance, sat down and waited.

  29. this is the story of a manly man named pecos bill he was a
    gun fighting , liquor drinking, womanizer and one day a big Texas
    twister came and being the man that he was he rode the twister like
    a horse !!!!! well, he’s quite a hero indeed !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    please pick me ,I want that awesome swag!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  30. The boldest thing I ever did? I was on crutches and with a
    friend at his work. he had to pick something up, he was on vacation
    from Great Lakes Naval Base. On my way out of the building, an
    Admiral and another high ranking officer with medals and bars all
    over his chest, had stopped to chat right in front of the doors. I
    not only went between them, I eye balled the Admiral (mostly out of
    awe having never seen an actual High ranking Naval officer. He kind
    of smiled and shook his head, knowing full well I did not belong
    there with my hair down to the middle of my back, an ear ring, and
    most likely reeking of cigar. My friend already outside saw this
    and began to walk away as if he did not know me. I found out nearly
    instantly, had they wanted to I could have been arrested just for
    being rude on their turf. It was really intense once we got into
    his car and started driving away. He bitched me out so bad and had
    me worried that we would be stopped. and I’ll tell you I did not
    relax until we were 5 miles away from the Navy Base. Had I not been
    on crutches I don’t think I would have gotten away. I admit it was
    really rude but who Stops Right in front of the Doors to talk? Did
    I mention there were three other sets of doors to enter or exit
    from. Eight doors in all. I picked the two with an Admiral in front
    of them.

  31. Briefly. T.C., a friend of my father’s was for years a
    healthcare exec. He’s not a physically imposing man, and under
    almost all circumstances is about as nice and good humored as
    anyone can be. He’s also sharp as a tack, funny as hell, and sees
    through nonsense quicker than just about anyone I’ve met.. Working
    nationally he flew extensively. Once day he boards a plane, gets
    seated, and notices a nearby passenger, and elderly lady, having
    some sort of issue with a flight attendant. T.C. thinks he can help
    the lady out, so tries to get the attendants attention by speaking
    calmly (she’s facing away from him.) That fails, so he gently
    reaches up and touches her on the elbow asking for a moment of her
    attention. She spins around, enraged and verbally tears into him.
    T.C. calmly (you have to know him to believe this) explains what he
    was trying to do. The attendant storms off. Moments later the
    captain appears in the aisle, looming over T.C. and demanding to
    know what “his problem is.” T.C. again calmly explains the
    situation, but the Captain persists with his attitude, and finally
    bending down (he’s a tad portly) puts his face directly in T.C.’s
    and loudly states “Sir, I could have you removed from this plane!”
    At which point T.C. pokes an index finger into the Captain’s paunch
    – not once but twice – and, looking him square in the eye calmly
    says “you do what you gotta do fat boy.” The Captain paused for a
    moment, then turned back to the cockpit and the flight proceeded on
    like nothing ever happened. Granted, this incident occurred
    pre-9/11 but I know of no other person who could have done
    something so bold and gotten away with it.

  32. The manliest item I ever saw. I work an an engineer for a
    company that makes equipment for the steel industry. I was on site
    commissioning a steel furnace that operates at about 3000°F. I see
    one of the biggest, bearish men I have even seen. Easily 6’8″ and
    400 pounds. Of course, named “Tiny” on the mill floor. When it was
    time to load the furnace, I proceed to see Tiny pick up 250 pound
    bags of element adders to the steel mix and THROW them 6 feet up
    into the furnace. I sat in amazement when I watched this. This
    occured well over a dozen times. This act of maniless was honored
    with a trip to the local watering hole, where I lost a $100 bet…
    watching Tiny bite the bottom off a shot glass.

  33. Brooklyn, New York. Bensonhurst neighborhood. Early 70’s. I was a small tyke in awe of my great-grandfather Cesare, who lived downstairs from us. Tough bull of a man who emigrated from some hill town near Parma, Italy to the streets of Little Italy and Later, Brooklyn. A man of few words. He lorded over the house and our family, and his lessons we learned through observance, not lecture. I witnessed many occasions of him being a “man’s man”, but one in particular stood out from all others.
    One day I see my great grandfather clearly in pain. A toothache. He’s rubbing his face, pacing around the apartment, grunting and cursing in Italian dialect. I’m watching from a distance, careful not to get in his way. I see him go to the cubbard, grab a bottle, then a drawer in the kitchen, and take something out of it. He then headed down the stairs and headed out to the little garden we had in the small backyard behind the house, down an alley. It was a typical Brooklyn backyard, all hanging laundry and fire escapes and the back of the houses and apartments on the next block. Against my better instincts, I followed.
    I stood behind the corner of the house and watched as my great grandfather proceeded to take countless swigs from the mystery bottle. After about half an hour, he placed the bottle on a weathered wood table and picked up the other mystery item he brought with him. I couldn’t see exactly what he was doing, but after a few minutes I heard a low, guttural grunt. He put the tool back on the table, spit, and headed back upstairs.
    I hid as he passed on his way back into the house. Slowly, I approached the table to see what had happened. To my amazement, the contents of the table told the story; an empty bottle of rotgut whisky, a bloody pair of rusted pliers, and in a small puddle of black blood, one of his molars.
    My great grandfather never mentioned it to anyone, never complained to anyone, or tried to use the story as some “pity me, poor me” tale. He just went on with his business. I never heard him mention it the rest of his days. To this day, I laugh when people regale me with “horror” stories of their trips to the dentist. They should have been with me, in that Brooklyn alley some 40 years ago, and they would have seen how a man’s man takes care of business.
    Quiet. Dignified. With respect. He was a man’s man. Rest in peace, great grandfather.

  34. Spring of 2012 – I lived in Phoenix and was coming home from work at about 7pm. I was exhausted after working some over time for my call center; it was already hot this time of year, the only clean shirt I had was long sleeved which made me uncomfortably warm and to top it all off my lower back was killing me. All day long the women that make up Shutterfly’s core customer base shat their estrogen fueled tirades upon my ears and I struggled to stay polite. I was having a hard time at work because I cannot take being bitched at for eight hours a day. I don’t know any man with a healthy level of testosterone who can long tolerate listening to these ladies vent about how their son’s bar mitzvah photo book didn’t come out right or how they expected us to, “Just fix it” when the pictures they started with were worthless. I told one woman, “You can spit shine a turd all you want but then you just have a shiny wet turd.” I will admit to some smug and petty satisfaction as I heard her voice break a little before I credited her account for a replacement. As I was walking the half mile from the bus stop toward home, a very angry looking Mexican fellow asked me for a cigarette. Having been on the streets at a less fortunate time in my life, I never deny anyone in need of a cigarette if I have one.

    The conversation quickly struck up as we headed the same way. He was going to follow me to the nearest Circle K right by my house so he could get some beer. The fellow wasn’t much taller than my short stature of 5’7” but he was quite well muscled and the tattoos creeping up his neck from under his collar suggested gang involvement. I thought he was Mexican but he quickly explained that he was Native and German, I can’t recall which tribe but most likely he was Navajo or Apache. He was quite adamant about me knowing his name in case I encountered him again on the street. Soon we were talking about the various marijuana strains we preferred and he offered to sell me a bag. I was waiting for two more days on my pay check so I couldn’t afford any at the moment. We figured out a deal where I gave him my last $2 and the rest of my cigarettes for a good bowl’s worth.

    We crouched behind the short wall coming off of the old Gateway Country store and got to toking. I was thinking of the cigar I was going to get from my friend on Friday when the fellow’s rambling speech turned toward kung fu. My mentor in almost all things in life taught me some Chen family taijiquan (tai chi chuan for those used to the Wade-Giles Chinese transliteration) over the past few years as well as a smattering of Ip Man (Bruce Lee’s first teacher) lineage Wing Chun and some Northern Shaolin. Another fellow I talked to regularly at the local Tinderbox also taught me a little bit of Baguazhang (Air Bending for those familiar with the Avatar cartoon). My new acquaintance and I got to talking about various styles and of course we had to give a good forms demonstration. He had learned with more of a focus on Japanese styles but also knew some Hung Gar as well. After he went through about five forms I then showed off a bit of my neijiaquan, sweeping arms, twisted core, heavy stamping, a little bit of circle walking and then to cap it all off a few explosive bursts of fajin. If one has never seen fajin, imagine someone doing “the worm” whilst standing and then putting every ounce of muscle behind a movement for just one moment. It looks like nothing much to an untrained eye but those of us who practice the arts know what it means: PAIN. I sat back down and took a couple of more puffs from the bowl. My newfound friend and fellow martial arts enthusiast then requested a fight.

    Since I wasn’t feeling well and my back hurt I really wasn’t in the mood but with some cajoling and a few more minutes for the cannabis to kick in we agreed to a friendly match. The rules were: No weapons, no face shots, no groin attacks. To assure me that he didn’t mean any harm I watched this fellow disarm himself, removing about half a dozen knives of varying length, a retractable baton, and some brass knuckles in the process. I only had to take my keys, wallet, and cell phone from my pockets. My opponent warmed up a bit, stretched a bit, I had a similar routine and we decided to begin.

    We got up from behind the little half wall and got to exchanging some basic testing blows in the strip mall’s parking lot. We circled each other, my opponent had a good 40lbs of muscle on me but we were nearly the same height. He moved in very straight, quick lines, quite aggressive. I focused on evading his force as I was taught. Across the parking lot was a bar. Those who were smoking cigarettes outside gathered to watch us. Finally he struck a decisive blow. A good chest strike with a fist and I was off balanced. Next thing I knew he was snapping a good kick off at my thigh. I took it full on, turned my leg a little and dumped him on the ground with a decent twist of my gut and a small lift from my left hand. I got in a few punches to his stomach and elbow into his side. Complimenting me on some good strikes he got up and we continued the game. The Native mix fellow got a decent hold on one of my arms and tossed me like a kid falling off a carousel. I executed a front roll but not before ruining my shirt and turning a bit of my elbow into hamburger. When I was on my feet again he was coming up quickly and I didn’t have time to think. Everything slowed down in that moment and it was truly a Zen experience of no mind. My Daoist meditative training was kicking in, my breathing slowed, and I ceased to exist.

    Next thing I knew, a stamping low kick was coming toward my gut, heel about to strike my just below my belly button, a powerful attack to the lower dantian as that area is called in Chinese anatomy can end a fight very quickly. Without hesitation I rotated into my opponent whilst holding his ankle. Not wanting to hurt him, I didn’t torque his leg to an odd angle like I normally would in a life threatening situation. Rather, I just wrapped his leg around my front and stepped behind him. It was an odd embrace, me holding his leg, him in utter shock facing away from me like Janus’ other half, unable to move for fear of busting his knee. I just gave him a small bump with my upper back and let go of his leg. As he fell, a loud, squishy pop could be heard and he screamed a short, guttural cry of pain. I had dislocated his hip. Feeling bad, I asked him if he could get up. After quickly determining that he was unable to rise, I offered to set his hip back into place. I heard the sickening squish and loud pop that told me everything was back into place, then I helped him to his feet. The crowd at the bar was somewhat disappointed, I heard some hubbub after I had thrown him but apparently medical assistance after a fight was against their tastes in entertainment.

    Post-scuffle we smoked some more reefer, gathered our accoutrements, chiefed a couple of cigarettes and continued the journey. Home for me, the convenience store for him. A good handshake, an exchange of names, our current focuses in practice, as well as mutual respect ensued. I got home to my roommates, they knew I had been fighting but the giant smile on my face told them everything was fine. My best shirt ruined, glasses bent out of place from rolling, a ground beef elbow, I looked like shit but felt better than I had in a long time. Whenever I tell someone I love to fight they often don’t understand the catharsis of transforming the verbal shit I’ve taken for years at work into physical strength and pain. Other than when I first meet a promising female, fighting is the one time I truly feel alive without chemical supplementation. I looked up the Native fellow a little while back and it looked like he was picked up by Maricopa County for aggravated assault and possession of explosives. I wish him only the best and still feel grateful for that encounter.

  35. Went hunting one time in the great wilderness of Eastern Washington (State) and was able to get a really nice Elk that I stalked for several miles. The bad news was that I hit the Elk across a canyon on the top of a pretty steep embankment. This all happened in the early afternoon, so one would think that all was well. The truth of the matter is that my camp site was about 5k away from where my kill ended up and the terrain between me and camp was very difficult to say the least. After getting things sorted out with the carcass – I hauled the first load back to camp. I quickly realized that I had two more tips ahead of me and by the time I got back to camp the first time it was already about 6:00pm. I made my second trip and got back to camp at about 10:00pm and my third trip put me back to camp right around 1:00am. To say the least I was exhausted and felt lucky that I didn’t run into any cougars or other predators during my night-time trips through dense forest with fresh meet.

  36. I’m smoking my last original Camacho Triple Maduro right now. It’s the most manly cigar I’ve smoked in a long time.

  37. I am a detective in a large city in the Midwest. Back in 2007, I was a narcotics detective in a group that investigated methamphetamine manufacturers.

    One afternoon we received a Tip about a residence in the area that was manufacturing meth.

    Myself and other members of the task force went to the residence to conduct a “knock and talk.” The residence was a nice place that was on a secluded 50 Acre lot. There were multiple cameras around the property, and due to locked gates, we had to walk a ways to get to the house.

    Once we arrived we knocked on the door of the residence, and we could hear very loud music being played inside.

    No one answered the door, and based on other evidence found outside, a couple if detectives left to obtain a search warrant.

    While the search warrant was being typed, the rest of our squad remained, creating a perimeter outside the residence to prevent anyone from coming or going.

    My partner and I were covering the back doors of the residence.

    About 2 hours after we arrived, one of the back doors opened. A female (nearly naked, large fake breasts, wearing a “see through” dress) ran out if the house towards my partner and I repeatedly screaming “Don’t kill him!”

    We were approximately 60 feet from the door that opened, and she began running between us and the open doorway.

    A moment later, a male stepped out if the same doorway, and stood behind her looking at us, holding a pistol in his right hand by his side.

    My partner and I ordered him to drop the gun, while the female was still running in between us.

    The male raised his gun and began firing at my partner and I, and we did the same.

    It turns out having a half naked stripper running in between you to shield her boyfriend during a fire fight was a trickier task than one might think.

    During the gun battle, the bad guy detonated a claymore mine he had set up inside the residence, to destroy evidence of the large scale methamphetamine lab he was operating.

    The explosion was probably more intense than I would be able to describe accurately, but the short of it is, the house was completely destroyed, my partner and I were blown back from the blast, and I couldn’t hear anything for days.

    The bad guy was blown out from the house across the yard, and I thought he was dead. When he landed in the yard, he jumped up and ran across a large field, again firing his gun at us.

    We chased him on foot, again engaging in a firefight. He eventually made it to a Jeep Wrangler (he had multiple vehicles all over the property) and fled into the woods. He drove for about a about a mile on trails until he made to a roadway, where he was chased by police in a high speed pursuit (despite 2 front tires deflated). He made it a couple of miles over, at times driving 90 miles an out, and in a crowded public park.

    He made it to a large company that had a guard shack in the front to allow entry. The bad guy rammed through the guard shack arm and drove to the back of the property where he attempted to ram a fence to escape, and his vehicle became disabled, and he was arrested.

    The bad guy is currently serving 4 life sentences, we indicted a total of 9 people in the conspiracy, including the half naked female, who is currently serving 25 years.

    Every word of this story is true, and I love cigars.

  38. I have 9 children and work 12 hours a day 7 days a week to support and provide for them. None of the kids have ever been in trouible with the law or school authorities (Mom). I am a firefighter/life saver for the metropolitan area of Jacksonville, FL.. I see all kinds of crap around here, you gotta be tough. Many times have I carried dead children of others out of burnt buildings, scraped them off the pavement, and faced the parents to tell them their kids are GONE. Then while letting my oldest son ride my Harley, watch him crash into a curb and flip about 20 feet in the air landing on his shoulder breaking his collar bone, that required seven surgeries and five years time to finally repair, reminded me of all the parents grief I had seen before. It was tough for my son to go through the recovery period, but equalloy tough for his parents.

  39. Bold? Bold you say? Let me tell you about bold. Bold is me wresting with a 9 foot hammerhead shark while fishing from a kayak with a ‘gar in my mouth and a Manhattan in my non-pole holding hand. Bold is me base jumping off the side of a volcano while toasting a cigar and making the perfect Martini. Bold is me tattooing a tobacco field on my own chest while nubbing a cigar and sipping a fine 18 year scotch in a room full of Victoria Secret models. Honestly, my boldness cant be measured accurately, but one thing is for sure, it is epic.

  40. Growing up, I hated coal. I hated that it was the sum and end of everything people knew about West Virginia. I hated the trucks that hauled it up and down streets with names like “4 Mile Hollow Road” and “Brushy Creek Lane” at breakneck speed. I especially hated the trains that carried it, all day and all night: rattling houses, shedding coal, pulverizing it into a fine dust that coated everything. I hated that my home state scraped and clawed its mineral wealth from its depths and burned it for the comfort of others, like a vengeful goddess destroying her children.

    Everything I knew of the day-to-day mechanics of coal mining I knew from Beckley’s exhibition coal mine. I remember a story told of Sam Huff—the New York Giants’ legend. Sam had been skipping school, and his older brother—a coal miner in nearby Farmington—learned of it. He took Sam by the elbow and said, “You’re going down into the mines with me today.” After a day of working alongside his brother, Sam returned home. He never missed a day of class again. I could relate. Visitors to the exhibition coal mine ride a mantrip—a stumpy shuttle used to transport shifts of miners—deep into the mine. At some point in every tour, the mantrip stops and the lights are turned off throughout the mine. You’re suddenly conscious of every noise, every movement, the chill on your skin, and the fact that above you rest several thousand tons of mountain. The lights stay turned off for what seems like an eternity. This, I think, must be what it feels like to be buried alive.

    In my senior year of high school, an accident sent me to the hospital. Complications from my surgery kept me in that hospital. I shared a room with a man I only knew as Mr. Estep. He had worked in the state’s southern coalfields of all of his adult life. He was dying of black lung—pneumoconiosis. Each breath was a struggle, and he was winded by even the slightest of movements. I had to help him to the bathroom, and back to his bed.

    He told me stories about his work, and about his days growing up in coal country. He explained the technique to catching a ride on a moving train. You must get a running start, he explained, and you must aim for the ladder on the front of a coal car—never the back. The logic here is simple: if you miss the ladder on your first try, you’ll bounce off the coal car, and probably roll a few feet. If you miss the ladder at the rear of a coal car, you won’t have a second attempt. You will be knocked off your feet by the next coal car, or tumble headlong under its wheels, and the train will drag your lifeless body to Thurmond, Anstead, Arbuckle, Williamson, and all points in between. A railroad functionary will hose your raspberry jelly-colored trail from the railroad crossings, and that, he said, will be the story of you.

    He told me about his family, and about the tiny hilltop cemetery where generations of his family were laid to rest. There were miners and shopkeepers, preachers and mechanics; willful sons and flinty daughters, pretty but made to be tough like the wildflowers that now grew above them. Humble gravestones marked the sad procession of loved ones. Children, taken by accident or illness, sometimes months apart, and their parents beside them: once keeping vigil at their bedside, suddenly alone in the same small house where they were born. “They’re all together again, for all time,” he said. “And soon, I will be there, too.”

    My injuries healed. I soon left the hospital, and said my goodbyes to Mr. Estep. I don’t know how his story ended; I can only guess it ended the same way it ends for all of us. After many years and many small adventures I am back home in these West Virginia hills. Not a day goes by that I don’t hear the sound of train horns. A friend of mine can tell, just by the tone and duration of the horn, where the train is coming from or going to. It is a trick I don’t entirely believe. But I still imagine that train rolling through small coal towns; rumbling over matchstick trestles and flooded underpasses; making a new generation of children late for school; rounding those small hilltop cemeteries on its way home. I love the sound more than any other in the world.

  41. Well, I was out camping with my dad, and he had brought his throwing knife. For those not familiar with such knives, they are quite heavy, and are sharpened only at the “V” end of the blade. One throws the knife at a target, and points are scored in somewhat the same way as darts, although the board is obviously different.

    Well, as I mentioned, the knives are quite heavy, and while attempting to throw the knife, it slipped out of my hand and landed on my right big toe immediately ahead of the toenail. The knife went through the top of my toe, and poked out about and eighth of an inch out the bottom. I didn’t scream, or even yell, I just pulled the knife out, and took off my gym shoe (yes I should have been wearing sturdier shoes) and wrapped a cloth from the trunk of the car around the wound (it was a clean cloth.) We stayed at the camp several more days, and the wound scabbed over and never got infected, so I still have a total of ten toes. While I wasn’t a sissy, I was a little surprised that I didn’t yell when the knife went through my toe. I don’t know if that makes me tough enough for Camachos, but I hope so. Jim

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