This is a cigar lounge – there’s no smoking in here!

My brother Jeremy was in town for Christmas and we were able to spend time with his family for presents and dinner – but yesterday I got the extra privilege of going golfing with Jeremy and Dad. After 18 holes (Par for the course is somewhere around 72 – I golfed an 85… ON THE FIRST 9!) Jeremy and I (Dad bowed out) went to dinner and then to smoke cigars.

Dinner was OK – but it was Mexican (Jeremy’s choice) so I wasn’t thrilled, but the company was great. We picked up a couple of cigars, Jeremy paid, and we headed for the Ritz where there is a great cigar lounge that we have been at a few times before. Now there was a statewide ban on smoking in public places that passed in November by liberal tree hugging smoke nazis, but it doesn’t go into affect until January AND it doesn’t affect establishments that sell tobacco (like cigar bars and lounges) so we THOUGHT we were in good shape to head for the Ritz. We were wrong.

The Ritz is owned by the Marriot (yes, google it if you don’t believe me) and the Marriot made a company wide decision to ban smoking in all of the rooms and restaurants AND lounges, affective immediately! The lounge at the Ritz sells cigars (at a mark up of around 3x the actually retail price elsewhere). They have a $1000 cigar on the menu. They have a built in humidor AND rent lockbox sized humidors to wealthy clients (real estate tycoons, Phoenix Suns players, etc) BUT they now ask you to enjoy your $1000 cigar OUTSIDE!

I know someone out there is cheering hooray but this isn’t a family restaurant and it isn’t a place where non-smokers spend their time. Even the staff smoke cigars here – they are able to recommend full bodied, medium bodied, flavored, long, short, midrange cigars because they have ENJOYED them all, so we aren’t talking about saving the lives of the poor staff that cannot get gainful employment elsewhere. WHY ARE THEY MESSING WITH A GOOD THING HERE!

Normally, sitting outside in Arizona would not be a bad thing – the weather is nice here 11 1/2 months out of the year. But this time of year the temperature drops 15-20 degrees within a hour of sunset AND last night was one of the three days a year here that it rains! Yes, it was around 50 degrees and rainy last night and it dropped to the low 40’s as the night progressed.

We sat a little crowed under an awning on damp chairs near a couple of heaters with our coats and sweaters on. I had a Rocky Patel AND a CAO Bella Vanilla flavored cigar. They were both good.

There was an upside to the night – we sat next to a couple of lawyers with the same level of passion on political and social issues as me – in the opposite direction! I enjoyed the fast paced, quick witted, sometimes loud banter as we attempted to solve the world’s problems while enjoying a cigar in one hand, a scotch in the other (diet coke for me), and a hockey game in the background.

P.S. While sitting with two lawyers my brother felt it necessary (as did I) to tell them the difference between a shame and a pity:

Q: What’s the difference between a shame and a pity?
A: If a busload of lawyers goes over a cliff, and there are no survivors, that’s known as a pity. If there were any empty seats, that’s a shame.

P.P.S. I tried to tell Jeremy that lawyer jokes don’t work in a crowd because lawyers don’t think they are funny and non-lawyers don’t think they are jokes… OK, OK I’ll stop….

3 Replies to “This is a cigar lounge – there’s no smoking in here!”

  1. “liberal tree hugging smoke nazis”??

    My ignorance extends to most planks in the National Socialist Party platform but I find it hard to believe that with all of their “final solution”, anti-communist, anti-intellectual fervor they still had enough engergy left to hug trees or to care about whether people in Arizona 70 years into the future would or wouldn’t be smoking cigars in the lounge. And they certainly weren’t what I would call “liberal”! But I could be wrong.

    I’m glad that you had a chance to enjoy a day with your brother and ultimately a cigar – even though I find the trendiness of cigars more elusive than the somewhat annoying odor of burning tobacco.

    As for golf: I think that folks like you and I, with our scores in the low to mid-hundreds, should have priority on golf courses. Clearly we, more than those sub-80 showboats, enjoy the game to the fullest, not wanting to miss a single opportunity to swing the club.

  2. Allow me to disect the “liberal tree hugging smoke nazis” adjective:

    Liberal – (taken from Here: Technically, someone who falls to the left in a political system, who believes in government programs (healthcare is a good example, as is welfare) and a larger scope of government, also favors monitoring of business and protection of constitutional rights. Someone who believes that the federal government should have more importance than state government

    Although I take exception to the “protection of constitutional rights” as a condition liberals display, the important part here is “a larger scope of government”. I am referring to those who desire a larger scope of government, i.e. You can’t smoke here because Uncle Sam said so.

    Tree Hugging – taken from Here: derogatory term for environmentalists who support restrictions on the logging industry and the preservation of forests

    The term has expanded in connotation to mean those who believe in restricting others in some manner to preserve anything environmental, i.e. You can’t smoke here because its bad for you and others.

    Nazi – taken from Here: Nazism, or more correctly National Socialism (German: Nationalsozialismus, often abbreviated NS) is a political ideology promoting Germanic racial aspirations and a strong and centrally governed state.

    In pop culture the term Nazi has expanded based on the “strong centrally governed state” implications to mean any person or persons who seek to control others. You may remember the famous ‘soup nazi’ – No soup for you! — here I’ve used it with the word ‘smoke’ , i.e. You can’t smoke here because NO SMOKE FOR YOU!

    I hope that helps clear up any confusion!

  3. Most people think, “The government shouldn’t be in my business, but it should be in theirs” As I remember you were in favor of the ban when it was up for vote here in Ohio.

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