Confessions of a Cuban Cigar Smoker
DAMN, DAMN, DAMN…..
Strap them bitches up, I’m going hard today. This one has been on my mind for a while so I won’t even try to rein myself in.
So I’m about to assault a black institution: Good Times. For those of you who don’t know in the 70s there was a television show about a “poor but happy family”, the Evans’. There was James the hard working father, Florida the attentive mother, JJ the willful but talented artistic soul, Thelma the only daughter, and Michael the genius son. It was kinda like the black version of Family Ties except they were broke as fuck. The people on that show were so goddamn broke the studio craft services were done by White Castle.
Now Good Times was based in Cabrini-Green Homes of Chicago. Now there are projects, and there are PROJECTS and the Cabrini-Green Homes (CGH) were the latter. Given that the CGH was built for about 10,000 people and over 45,000 lived there I can pretty much guesstimate that NOBODY remembers that shit as “Good Times.” There are people who are fucking homeless now who have more fond remembrances of last year’s refrigerator box than they do of CGH. If you think of CGH as a good point in your existence I can only suppose that you spent a good part of the rest of your life drowning while on fire. I mean seriously I remember being on the bus two separate times through CGH. The first time niggas robbed it.
I’mma say that shit again cause I don’t think it really registered: NIGGAS ROBBED A PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION BUS! That shit right there would get you a gold AND a silver at the Ignorant Olympics. I ain’t even exaggerating, they robbed the whole bus and everybody on it including taking the damn coin box deal that sits up by the driver. You know your neighborhood is bad when niggas is committing armed robbery for $18.37 and 6 bus transfers. The second time a dude just started pissing on the back of the bus in plain sight. When the bus driver asked why he said “I can’t make it to the hallway.”. Hell if you ain’t from the projects you prolly ain’t even know pissing in a hallway was a fucking option but there you have it.
That’s the Cabrini-Green Homes in a fucking nutshell right there. I don’t know who Mr. Cabrini or Mr. Green were, but I bet you for a long time they woulda preferred a flesh eating disease be named after them rather than that hellhole of a cesspit that was the Cabrini-Green Homes. Seriously they were prolly negotiating with Mr. Ebola like “Dude we’ll give you $70 and throw in 6 transfers.”. Dude wasn’t no fool, he would rather have the zombiefying disease that will end the world named after him than a Chicago housing project.
Also I gotta get on that whole “poor but happy” line cause that shit irks me. That and the other one you read all the time is “We were poor but as children we never knew it” is just some bullshit. Poor but happy means meatloaf every night instead of eating three meals a week. It means you eat a metric shit ton of chicken, you have eaten so much chicken by the time you are six you can speak their fucking language. It means instead of Atari 2600 you had pong and you had to settle for Converse instead of Nike. You ain’t poor cause you still got choices, you just think you are poor cause you always have to take the shitty choice. You know who’s poor but happy, fucking middle class people who aren’t actually poor.
Ain’t no 8 year old sleeping in a twin bed with 2 of his cousins while wearing all his clothes and his coat cause they got no heat poor but happy. Especially cause at least one of his cousins pisses the bed every damn night and ain‘t no cold like waking up wet with somebody else’s pee in no heat cold, I can tell you that. If you are fucking poor you know it no matter how fucking young you are. Somewhere right now a 6 year old is eating his 3rd meal this week and its Thursday. The shit consists of ketchup and wishes and his ass has a lot more wishes than ketchup and his ass is thinking “This ain’t right.” That little boy knows you should prolly have meat more than the 1st week of the month and it shouldn’t be brown. When the first rolls back around and his ass is eating pot roast or pork shoulder cause the shit was brown, who the fuck can tell the difference, he damn sure knows he’s poor. If yo ass has taken a piece of bread, sprinkled some sugar on it, folded it in half and called that shit a sandwich you have been poor. But even when you had the sugar and the bread, which was a fucking cause for celebration by itself, you wasn’t happy about it.
Now the first real part of the myth I want to take apart is James Evans. James Evans for many, many, many years was held up as the pre-Cliff Huxtable strong black father. Now for some background James only appears in the about 3 years of Good Times. Now because I drank a lot in college I once counted during a Good
Times marathon and in 51 episodes James had 76 jobs, including two episodes where he doesn’t work at all. Given television is designed for 26 episodes a year that’s about a two week period between episodes. So basically for three years James lost a job every 5.3 days.
Clearly something was going on. I mean if you lose a job every three years that’s prolly yo fault, but it might not be. I mean it was the seventies and you were allowed to be openly racist, especially in Chicago. If you lose a job every year? Well that’s definitely you. But if you lose a job every 5.3 days? That is an indicator that you ass can’t read, can’t write, you steal office supplies, and occasionally equipment, you wipe your ass with post its in the breakroom, you sleep openly in meetings and you have done lines off your bosses desk while he is sitting there. Out of 76 jobs, James was voted worst employee ever 73 times, he missed the clean sweep cause three times his ass ain‘t even show up for work. Hell Corky from Life Goes On had the same job for 4 years and HIS ASS WAS RETARDED! Think about it, a special needs guy that was actually played by a special needs guy was more responsible than a black man with three children and a wife; before Cliff Huxtable THAT‘S the dude they wanted you to look up too? Corky can’t drive, isn’t allowed to buy power tools and might one day, if a certain pattern appears on the television, just up and decide to lick a light socket but he is working on day number 1286 of no absences or lateness and day number 4 is kicking James Evans all up in his ass.
James had to be on that shit, had to be. I just can’t think of how you lose a job every 5.3 days otherwise. I mean you can be that dude who gets a job at the bank and shows up in his cross colors overalls and “Tupac Lives” t-shirt on casual day like you ain’t got the damn sense God gave a grapefruit. Nigga it’s “Casual Friday” not “Dress Like You Trying To Cop A Nickel Bag Friday” shit, we can’t have nothing! But I digress; if you are losing a job every 5.3 days then you ain’t losing bank jobs cause it ain’t that many of those. Basically the only jobs like that are either moving heavy shit from some location to some other location or cleaning dirty shit. Those are all the jobs yo dumb ass is qualified for. James Evans could not carry heavy shit from one location to another location for six consecutive business days?
So this dude goes from moving shit and cleaning shit to having been offered a partnership in a garage in Mississippi? So all this time you coulda been not fixing shit instead of not carrying shit? I’m supposed to believe that bullshit. James wasn’t in no damn MS, James got his fucking parole violated. While Florida was faking his funeral so Carl could start laying the pipe James was in Joilet sharpening a toothbrush so he could get an extra peanut butter and jelly sandwich, believe that.
Now let’s talk Thelma a bit. Thelma’s deal was she was smart. I mean book smart, school learning kinda smart. Thelma was so smart she went to Kennedy – King Community College. Now that’s Kennedy as in John F and King as in Martin Luther. And that’s really all you need to know because other than the civil rights leader there ain’t really been much of value named Martin Luther King. If you are on Martin Luther King Blvd right now you better be wearing a vest and have an extra clip. If you are in Martin Luther King Hospital you might die from a papercut. If Martin Luther King had his face on the nickel they would try to make it worth only three cents. So if you are at Martin Luther King Community College I’m just gonna take a guess and say that unless you are majoring in how to flip a key or the best brand of perfume to use to make an NBA player go bareback then your education is prolly not going to be of much value. Every muthafucka I ever met that got a degree after attending Kennedy – King College did so……IN PRISON! And that’s real talk.
However Thelma’s real talent was dating. In the span of six episodes, which is three months or so in real time mind you, Thelma met a businessman with a chain of restaurants, a rich African prince and the first pick of the 1977 NFL draft. And all of them asked to marry her.
Yeah, think on that a bit.
Let it marinate.
If you live in the projects and are so dirt poor that you have to buy brown meat, you only have electric service 12 days a month and your father gets a new job every six days your chances at the good life are pretty damn slim. So for you to be anywhere you can meet a successful business man OR a rich African Prince OR the first pick of any professional sports draft is just beyond unrealistic. Well I suppose maybe one of them could be a lucky coincidence. But if you meet each of those in a three month span and each of them asks to marry you I think you got a system you are working, and the core of that system involves having balls on your chin in the VIP section of a night club. I would in fact hazard a guess that your chin has more ball marks on it than a high school gymnasium floor. I ain’t saying Thelma was a hoe, but that bitch could clearly work wood better than an Amish cabinet maker. If you can elicit three proposals of marriage in three months from moneyed individuals then you are doing the damn thing, you can suck a dick so hard a brother’s head will shrink two hat sizes.
Now hoes ain’t normally known for being book smart, like they ain’t good at turning liters into gallons. They can’t tell you how many apples Jenny has left after she gave Sue and Jeff one cause they ain’t never “gave” nobody shit. They do however excel at turning D cups into Mercedes which is actually a much harder conversion. Just ask Kim “What’s my talent” Kardashian. A hoe can’t make an isosceles triangle but they can sit on a piece of paper and when they stand up there is an origami crane there. I’m just saying that their brain ain’t necessarily the muscle they exercise the most absolute control over. Again I ain’t saying she was a hoe but at a minimum she had hoestic tendencies cause the only people that can meet a successful entrepreneur and a prince and a first draft pick all in three months are Beyonce Knowles – Carter or hoes.
Aight imma let it go for the moment. Cause if I speak on JJ imma get so worked up I might have an embolism. JJ’s no high school graduating, never read a book that didn’t feature Jack and Jill (I don’t want to spoil it but they fucking fall down), unsafe sex having ass is the antiballa; he’s balla kryptonite. One end of the spectrum is JJ and the other end of the spectrum is The Duke of Dü Montê. My dog Dü Montê is the classiest motherfucker I ever met, we were in a 7-11 once and he tipped the dude because he couldn’t make change for a krugerrand. Dü Montê has a car with a wine fridge and a crystal chandelier in the back seat, real talk. Imma breathe a sec and try to bring you back to some real good times. Before I forget I have a special project that I’m going to be bringing you guys play by play starting next week, maybe the week after.
Also I’m going to try to stretch myself a little. I mean as you see by my reviews I’ve been impressed with the last few things I’ve reviewed but I’m kinda cheating. I’m basically smoking out of my Aristocrat where everything in it has been stocked to my tastes. I’m gonna trade for some stuff outside my normal habits to give you a better overall blush on CCs. I’ll also try to come up with 5 cigars you should be smoking right now and 5 you shouldn’t.
This week I’m trotting out an old review as I think I have strep and can’t smoke. Enjoy.
El Rey Del Mundo Italia
One of the driest and roughest cigars I’ve ever seen, it looks 10 years older than it is. Feels like old newspaper almost.
Sweet nuts, like pecans maybe rolled in molasses. Nice leather base, not super strong in my opinion. About 2 inches in and the nuts are mixed its pecans and some other note that I can’t place. The brown sugar has deepened into more of a molasses flavor and the strength has started to come on. That leathery base has developed a toastyness to it.
At about halfway it shows a little youth. It’s a touch of that soury green taste on the tail of its long finish. I slow down my smoking and purge a couple of times but it’s no use. That youth is like a snowball rolling downhill getting large, more prominent and absorbing everything in its path. Curiously, perhaps simply because I used metaphor the greenness achieves its peak. It isn’t gone and it hasn’t become enjoyable but it is also not unbearable. It’s destroyed a cigar I had high hopes for as any sweet notes have disappeared entirely but there are certainly circumstances where I might finish this cigar. This is not one of those circumstances. I smoke another inch, enough to know the great things this cigar has in store aren’t going to reappear anytime soon and let the final 1/3 go out.
Appearance – 8
Construction - 9
Flavor – 7
Value – 7
Overall Experience - 6
Overall Grade – 7.2
Notes: Starts fantastically but finishes abysmally. All the problems with the cigar are attributed to its youth and it’s one to grow on. But I personally only speculate on one cigar a year and for me this year it was the Boli #2 so I am all out of room to grow on.