Asking the question, "What was he thinking?" It's Blowin' Smoke #158!
Joining the Council of Cretins in the hot and sticky Havana Room, Gary Griffith of Emilio Cigars talked about his company, his cigars, the business, his big sword, and more. He certainly raised the collective IQ level of the Cretins. We rewarded him with "what the chicks are reading" duties. Gary stepped up splendidly.
We also revisited our conversation about cigars, strength, and marketing. Plus, what the Octomom is up to, because you really want to know...and a new 5 Things, plenty of unusual stories from the web, and more all glued together by a "mystery" Cigar of the Day.
So, get comfy, grab a few of your favorite cigars, and a couple cold ones...and settle in for another long herf with your friends. It's Blowin' Smoke #158!
There I was, thinking "What the hell am I doing?” Sitting on a plane for 8 hours, breathing
other people’s flatulence, just to ride a bus for 15 hours, breathing other people’s flatulence
AND cigar smoke! Crazy, right? But it turned out to be one of the best times I’ve had in many
I first heard about the Crawl some 5 or 6 years ago when I started listening to the Blowin’
Smoke Podcast. This was one of the things that come up in one’s life where one hears about
it, and one immediately knows that this is something to actually really do. Like travelling to
Easter Island, cooking a Turducken, or swimming with the dolphins. So I send Rob an email:
“One day, I’ll be on the Crawl with you guys!”
So there I was - about one hour outside Sharon, PA - on my way to the Crawl hotel and I had
that stupid grin on my face that lasted until at least a few days after the Crawl.
From a cultural scientist’s point of view, it is pretty obvious what we all did there on the
Crawl: A group of people sharing a common activity (smoking cigars) which they enjoy a lot,
that gives them a good reason to get together on a recurring event (Crawl) to fortify their
social bonds, (re)enforce their identity as a group, and enjoy the social components of said
event. One could even argue that a cigar is in a way similar to food, which is a very unifying
and important cultural phenomenon, providing much more than just calories to satisfy our
bodies’ needs for energy.
But there is more to it: The Brotherhood of the Leaf, of course, does exactly those things I just
described, but the Crawl made it clear that this “Brotherhood” is something very unique
amongst many other groups of people with a common interest. There are not many groups
that can pride themselves in being so open, so welcoming and warmhearted as cigar smokers
– all over the world we can sit together and as soon as cigars are lit, we have a common
ground to just enjoy each other’s company, talk about more or less important things –
independent of race, social status, gender or any other things that we usually take as an excuse
NOT to meet each other and/or communicate.
Just look at my case: A (weird) German dude just told a group of Americans, that he would be
there and join them for a crazy weekend on a bus with cigars. I could have been just another
idiot from the internet, making up a story, and never showing up. But Rob trusted me to show
up without any hesitation – this is the BOTL at work: The trust on one hand and the desire to
follow through on the other. This is the stuff that we are made of, and that is why the BOTL is a
very good group to join. Of course there are cigars, the rituals and BSing around them, etc.
etc. – but what it boils down to is the human factor that makes is most enjoyable.
So here are a few things I learned:
- Never bring a credit card on the Crawl when you know exactly that you are limited to
50 cigars to bring home!
- The V-cut is the way to cut!
- Never take a laxative and a sleeping pill at the same time!
- Clothes (and other apparel) can be smellier than I ever expected!
- Americans, which I suspected to be very nice people anyway, are just the best!
(Including that one Canadian guy, of course!)
- I tried lots of new cigars I haven’t tried before – resulting a completely new lineup of
- Never underestimate the power of the BOTL!
So now I am in Germany, already missing the camaraderie and BSing with my 50 new
friends. And to say it with the words of a famous Austrian philosopher: “I’ll be back!"
# # #
~ Jochen Konrad is a Cigar Smoker, Cultural Scientist, World Traveller, Dating Guru, Coach, and Opera Afficionado. His passion is to find the perfect places to enjoy a fine cigar, meet good people, and travel as much as humanly possible.
Keep in touch with Jochen on Twitter, Facebook (Jochen Konrad) or via Email (jochen dot konrad at arcor dot de)
The quick cure for the summertime blues...is Blowin' Smoke #159!
The Cretins arrived in the toasty Havana Room feeling a disturbance in the Force. What made their herf senses tingle? With cold brews cracked, they set forth to find out. Sparking a new Cigar of the Day for review, we talked about some new cigars to keep and eye out for, answered some listener emails, and dove into another installment of what the chicks are reading. Plus, lawsuits and little league, surfing sewer pipes, public indecency idiocy, a mysterious "mushroom" in China, and more.
So, join the herf! Flame up a favorite stogie, and ice down a few drinks for Blowin' Smoke #159!