By Liz Tracy
By David Rolland
By Alex Rendon
By Terrence McCoy
By Natalya Jones
By County Grind
By Liz Tracy
By Chris Joseph
When my friend brought over her flat, java-flavored cigar, Al cut her cigar with his miniature cigar cutters and lit it with an impressive, blue-flamed metal lighter.
"Now drink it in," Dennis instructed. "Sip it." He demonstrated by inhaling smoke and letting a thin stream of it gently curl from his lips. She tried to emulate him but ended up in a coughing fit.
"Hold it to your lips but don't suck yet," he commanded.
She held it to her lips and gave him a vacant stare.
"You're sucking in!" he scolded.
"I'm not sucking in," she snapped back. "I just suck at smoking!"
He discharged her with instructions to go practice, and I drifted over to talk to Jason, a tattooed dude in a black baseball cap who was sitting alone, texting on his phone and smoking a cigarette.
"You come here a lot?" I asked.
"Yeah, I know all the regulars and bartenders," he said. "This is a great place to sit after work, have a drink and a smoke, and not have to deal with a bunch of kids running around."
"You're not even smoking a cigar," I said.
"Yeah, well, cigar smokers are gonna get cancer too," Jason said. "Like lip cancer and stuff."
"Cigarettes will give you lung cancer," pointed out Heather, who had joined Grace and was hanging out behind the bar.
"Yeah, but that's internal," Jason said. "Lip cancer's visible. At least with lung cancer, I'll still be pretty."
I decided Florida Cigar Co. is like hanging out in your rich uncle's sitting room only if he employs lots of hot blond hangers-on, keeps around a collection of cigar connoisseur buddies, charges you for drinks, and can pull off listening to Nelly Furtado and Michael Jackson while smoking a $25 Cuban cigar. But lounging in big comfy chairs, smoking cheroots, sipping liquor, and pondering whether the cancer I'm being exposed to will ruin my looks is fun just once in awhile. What I really need are some uncles with yachts.