Wednesday 20 January 2016

Montecristo No. 4

One of the few benefits of working as a domestico is that, when one's employer is feeling particularly benevolent, one will enjoy an occasional taste of their lifestyle. The new-year period is especially rich with these opportunities, and I found myself smugly nestled between one of the manor's opulent lawn chairs, and a Montecristo No. 4. I take the latter to the flame, and am met with a mix of mild tobacco, and a hint of even milder cream.

In mid-2014 I attended a friend's wedding in Sydney. I arrived early, and checked into my hotel on the eighth floor on Sydney's Kings Cross; an area known for it's violent night life, and a mix of pimps, drug dealers, and arsehole millennials. The wedding was fine. I remember being besotted with a fairly average blonde thing from Tinder back in Melbourne, so I ignored the harem of dapper beauties and focused on drinking. I'd made nice with the bartender, and was double-fisting blasphemously coke-diluted premium liquor on the host's basic drinks package. I quite publicly kissed the bride on the lips that night, and tried to kiss the groom too to assuage his anger. It was disgraceful.

About two inches in the cream fades, and is replaced with a very slight bitterness. My employer chastises me for inhaling too much smoke, but agrees that a very faint sourness can be tasted.

I don't remember getting back to my hotel or going to bed, but I do remember suddenly running around the hallway of my hotel dressed only in boxer shorts, and trying to force my way into the other rooms. I needed to piss. I needed to piss more than I've ever needed to piss, and I knew that one of these hotel rooms must have a toilet. My own room had a toilet, but I 'woke up' running around the hallway, and wasn't in a state to consider this obvious solution.

The bitterness intensifies at the midpoint, but is accompanied by roasted walnut, before fading in the final third, with medium tobacco emerging that pairs perfectly with the Beluga Gold Line vodka that's steadily replacing our pale ale. This vodka is packaged with a hammer with which to smash the hardened wax seal that protects the cork, which all present enjoy. The vodka is excellent, sweet but not sickly, and I taste it and the cigar individually on my tongue.  The burn is even throughout. This is a fine afternoon.

Ignoring the lift, I opened the door to the hotel's stairway and, with one hand gripping the head of my penis to stem the flow of urine, made my way down eight flights of stairs to the underground car park. However, I identified no way out without a key, which I'd left in my room. On retreating back up the stairs I lost all control, and I pissed deliberately and enthusiastically into my boxer shorts, soaking them and my legs, and leaving a huge puddle of hot piss all over the stairwell. My load now lightened, I managed to find the green door-release button on the car park, and made my way out into Kings Cross wearing only piss-soaked boxer shorts, at 0300 on a Sunday morning. The Filipino cleaning girl who answered my frenzied banging on the hotel's security doors was very nice, considering the mess she'd later have to clean.

In the final inch the bitterness comes back, yet I smoke it to the requisite nub; my pinched fingers burning on the sodden wrapper. I beam at my employer, who claps twice, and gestures at the mess of late-Montecristo and smashed wax seal on the table. I have work to do.

Montecristo on the Cuban Cigar Website.

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