One of my favorite movies is The Big Lebowski (I chuckle at just the thought any scene). When it comes to comedy, irony, and a host of other great qualities this is a piece of cinematic Americana that stands the test of time. One line in the movie always stuck with me for some weird reason that I do not want to understand. It's the part where the Dude, Jeff Bridges, is reminiscing on his stolen rug and in doing so he mentioned that “it (the rug) brought the room together”. That simple statement left an indelible mark on me. I began the 19 year task constantly looking for parallels whereby one centerpiece brings many otherwise disparate things together in harmony. You already know where I am going with this.
Cigars are a huge part of bringing people together from a multitude of different origins, economic strata, educational levels, professions, and beliefs. A cigar lounge is emblematic of a demilitarized zone stripping away meaningless designations thus allowing ideas to flow and our “humanness” to thrive. Name another venue where a doctor, brick mason, barber, policewoman and a politician can mingle. There they are trapped for the duration of the first, second, and last third of a cigar more than often paired with a spirit. They puff, take in the ambience of the room, share lighters and cutters, walk the humidor, recommend cigars, and shake hands with the owners or other members. They all acknowledge decorum and unspoken rules, they stare into each other eyes while talking, and all the while simultaneously rubbing off on each other some fundamental aspect that allows us to know each other a little better.
Don’t get me wrong there are more than a handful of cigar lounge violators but they are a statistical minority only serving to allow us civilized folk to coalesce deeper. You may ask why. Why is it that cigars have such an effect on people? The answer is simple. Cigars are the art of relaxation (the proverbial letting down of one’s hair). They are a mechanism to slow down the world and who wants to slow down time beside an asshole. Cigars and lounges are a means of gathering one’s thoughts and reflecting on the day while planning for tomorrow. With that as the backdrop it's hard to mess it all up.
BillieBLVD for www.leaf-and-barrel.com