Friday, 3 August 2012
Lighten Up with James Leavey
by James Leavey
Hold on there. Whoa.
Before you start reading, let me explain the rules.
If you're an ardent blinkered born-again anti-smoking puritan you can stop right now. Twats like you are banned here.
So fuck off.
Now. Where were we?
I was sauntering along the streets of the old town the other day, as you do when you're a dedicated aficionado of fine hand-rolled additive-free cigars and treated like a leper, when my old friend Guy Hancock strolled up, nonchalantly puffing on what he described as The Grafton Torpedo.
'It's one of my new hand-rolled Nicaraguan cigars,' he said. 'I named the brand after Grafton Street.'
'Because, like Dublin's famous street, it's long, very interesting, satisfying to all the senses – and full of fumes.'
At this point, a rude eejit leaned out of a passing taxi (most days you can never find one in the rain, and then, like the buses, when the sun comes out several come along at once) and shouted, 'People like you should be banned from smoking in the streets of Dublin's fair city!'
It sounded like the beginnings of a song. A badly-written one I've heard before.
I paused, took a long puff on my Montecristo No.2, exhaled and replied, 'Tell you what, you hackneyed fuckwit, I'll suck the smoke from this Cuban beauty, and you can suck the exhaust of your car. I know which one I prefer.'
Mr Hancock, Dublin's Tobacco Ambassador to the world of cigar lovers, grinned and joined me in waving off the spluttering gobshite with the middle fingers of our right hands.
Then he leaned in, and said, 'I think this calls for a celebration. Would you care to join me in a safe haven, my specialist Decent Cigar Emporium nearby for cigar connoisseurs such as yourself, where we can imbibe a glass or two of some of the finest whisky ever produced in Ireland - The Wild Geese, and allow me to replenish your cigar with one of my own?'
It was a thoughtful offer that brought tears of joy to this old smoker's eyes.
I gave Guy my usual password to paradise, 'Is the Pope a Catholic?'