I am usually a staunch anti-smoker, and always have been. It killed my grandfather. This wasn’t technically on my list, but seeing it on Michele with one L’s: ‘Probably not going to happen‘ list, made me think that I should add it retrospectively. So here is the reason why an anti-smoking female decided to smoke (of all things) a cigar:
My Dad (Graham) loved his cigars! My mum was forever telling him off for smoking them as he had throat polyps that he kept having to have operated on-so the doctors had asked him to refrain. This resulted in his fibbing whenever she found a stash of cigars, and saying that they were Pedro’s. Pedro was my Dad’s long-standing closest friend and business colleague.
It became a standing joke in our family. My father frequently used to travel to the European continent and often came home with 50 duty-free cigars! On one such occasion, Pedro had showed up for a visit when Mum discovered my father’s stash, so she presented the whole lot to Pedro with a mischievous twinkle in her eye as she announced
Pedro I believe these are yours, please take them and don’t tempt Graham with them. The doctor says he mustn’t smoke.
I’m pretty sure he would just have returned them back to Dad as soon as her back was turned, but it became a sort of ‘game’ in our house between them. There was never any malice, it was really just silly point scoring.
At the age of 19, soon after I had got my first car, I spotted my Dad’s car ahead of me on a motorway (freeway) about 45 minutes from where we lived. I remember drawing alongside him, and laughing as I had caught him in the act smoking the biggest, fattest cigar I had ever seen. He was a larger than life man and he had the fat cigar between his teeth like Hannibal from The A Team and was periodically puffing…
I tooted my horn, so that he would spot me, and he panicked like a guilty criminal caught in the act. In that split second he let the cigar drop from his mouth and tried to look innocent-clearly hoping I hadn’t noticed yet… But, he quickly had to fish the burning cigar back up, as it must have fallen into his crotch and burned him in a place no man needs to be burned!
I have never laughed so hard in my life! I winked at him and drove on… I think I teased him later about smoking one of Pedro’s cigars, and said Pedro would surely miss that one!
When Dad passed away suddenly, we had to organise his affairs. Dad owned a Jaguar X type car, with a leather interior (which I inherited and love driving). I remember clearing his car out that weekend, as he had left a sack of potatoes in the boot of the car, which I didn’t want sprouting, and there was a pungent aroma of cigars in there. We found ‘Pedro’s cigars’ in the glove box compartment.
At my brother and sister-in-law’s wedding in Cyprus 2 months later, my brother pulled out ‘Pedro’s’ box of cigars and said he would like us to smoke one of them to celebrate their wedding and take a moment to remember Dad. It made us smile fondly, and brought back some great memories of the playful banter between our parents. It was the first and last time I shall ever smoke a cigar. We even took pictures to immortalise the moment. I think my sister-in-law is the only bride I have ever seen posing whilst smoking a massive cigar!
As an aside, the smell of Dad’s cigars lingered in the car for months, and despite not liking that whilst he was alive, once he was gone, and I inherited the car-I found it very comforting, and was actually quite sad when the aroma finally faded away.