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“A cigar, let me say if I will, my dear ones, is a great and wonderous being. It exists possibly as the only way to reinstate your manhood after your wife has forced you to spend all day cleaning the house in a little black apron instead of watching the World Cup with your buddies. Delicious. Quite delicious. Deeeeeeliiiiiisssssshhhhhuuuuuusss. *EXHALE*”
“I have come here to smoke cigars and kick ass. And I'm all out of cigars.”
A Cigar is a roll of tobacco that is infused with relaxation, addictive goodness, mellow smoothness, and above all, conspicuous consumerism. They range from about 3 inches to 2 feet in length, and anywhere from 1/2 inch to Earth in diameter. It is never inhaled, unless the inhaler wants to endure the eternal derision of the cigar-smoking community as a whole. People who inhale cigars are idiots and totally miss the point.
Invented in Rome
Cigars were invented by the Romans in 18 B.C. following their twice-over-conquest of France. The cigar, known then as immaculius magnus was used as an implement of celebration. Following the Caligulan Decree, which regulated cigar usage and manufacture throughout the Roman Empire, a cigar was mandated to be 8 inches long, 1 inch thick, wrapped in olive leaves and comprised mainly of this wonderful little plant known as tobacco. They smelled like naked angels and tasted like burning innocence. They were ignited on the pure agony of French prisoners being burned at the stake.
Modified in Switzerland
Of course, in due time, with the establishment of large sub-mountainous vaults in the warmongering nation of Switzerland, the prevalence of cigars fluorished. The Swiss, however, had no olives, because olives are a symbol of peace (ironic in the Romans' idiom) and Switzerland is famous for never being able to stay out of any conflict, no matter how small, trite, trivial, or irrelevant said conflict may be.
The Swiss, therefore, replaced the olive-leaf wrapper with pure tobacco. They left the leaf green in order to get more chlorophyll out of their smoke (the Swiss were health nuts, and, just as for people who inhale cigars, people who smoke "mod" (modified) cigars for their health completely miss the point). They replaced the "Frenchman" method of ignition with the "use the flames from a melted bar of solid gold" method, which improved combustion and efficiency reliably, as well as lowered the cost of ignition, since Frenchmen disintegrated after one ignition, while melted gold would burn the air and stuff around it as long as it was hot, and could be re-used ad infinitum.
Perfected in Cuba
Not much needs to be said here. In the early 1900's, a young Fidel Castro discovered that if you roast the leaves of the wrapper before you wrap the cigar, the flavor is actually palpable. He roasted his completely black, letting all those delicious oils soak into the 'baccy, and made some of the greatest cigars the world has ever witnessed. Zeus himself is said to have smoked a whole case in one day, after which he took some punk comet named Shoemaker-Levy to his gut and never quite recovered. He damn well loved those cigars, though.
Castro revolutionized Cuba, providing a welcome respite for farmers by requiring them to produce nothing but tobacco, even if they didn't want to. He shot some of them just to prove his point (whilst smoking a legendary A. Fuentes Man-O-War, mind you). Cubans grew only the finest tobacco; those who didn't were shot. Their cigars were exclusively hand-rolled by skilled artisans with the greatest of care; those who didn't measure up were shot. Cuba departed from the earlier Roman and Swiss traditions of packaging their cigars "in whatever the hell we have lying around" by cutting down an entire forest (the environmentalist protestors were all shot first), quickly chopping it up into planks (the slow axemen were shot), and varnishing it all in the recently-nationalized AT&T (former) cell phone factory (where all the capitalist executives were happily shot before being allowed to leave the country in coffins made of cured tobacco).
He created wonderful wooden boxes out of the planks (planks that were too small, too large, or had knotholes in them were shot, just for principle's sake) and carefully laid 20 - 50 cigars in them at a time. Everyone viewed this as "fucking awesome" and the boxes became collectors' items (people in Cuba were forced to collect them, and those who refused were shot. Concerning the rest of the world, only the really cool cigar boxes (with hand-burned lettering and fancy cursive and gold medallions showing all the l337 awards the cigars won) were allowed to be exported; the rest were shot).
Following this "Cuban Revolution" the world demand for cigars exploded, and Castro could barely keep up. Realizing that his human farmers could never grow nearly enough tobacco to feed demand, he determined to increase supply to what the market desired, by building robo-tobacco-farmers and shooting all of his farmers to make room for the 'bots. He immediately nationalized the farmers' money and created a great healthcare system with it. Unfortunately, in the late '90's Cuba's healthcare system was taxed to its breakage point as decades of cigar smoking caught up almost simulatneously with millions of people. To this day, Cuba spends more money on emphysema treatments than any other nation, ever. Ever. Those people can't breathe for shit (incidentally, Cubans who are really good at breathing are summarily shot, because the rest of Cuba is too damn jealous of their health-nut ways. All health nuts are shot in Cuba. Most Cubans are shot in Cuba. Few ever recover. Those that do recover are shot again). They couldn't breathe to save their damned commie lives.
Totally Fucked Over by the Americans
America was jealous of Cubas' total domination of the Cigar market. We tried to make our own cigars. We tried really, really hard, but we made the mistake of miniaturizing them, wrapping them in paper, putting some bullshit filter at the end that let every bit of the harmful smoke through except for the flavor (flavor was deemed by the Congress in 1918 as hazardous to the American way of life, including most prominently its cuisine), and dipping the whole shebang in formaldehyde and rat bait.
Castro tried to make nice with the Americans. In 2000 he sent this nice little boy named Elian or Elijah or Ian (or whatever, I don't really remember) over with a box of Cigars for President Clinton (Castro had heard from several very close sources, as well as from the entirety of the Associated Press(AP), about Willy's insatiable appetite for cigars). However, this frosty bitch named Janet Reno decided she was going to run the country for a while, and made up some crap rumour about tobacco giving you lung cancer and making your dong fall off. Riding the tidal wave of public indignation as Americans finally realized that God did not give us lungs in order that they be filled with fumes, Reno publicly captured and shot little Elian and threw his body into the sea. It floated back to Cuba where a voodoo man resurrected him and taught him that America was the "Great Satan."
Reno created the Embargo act which eliminated Cuban tobacco from America. Period. Except for the fact that everyone who smokes (which is, like, half of fucking America) knows that Cuban tobacco is the best, and given that many law enforcers are smokers, this law doesn't tend to have much enforcing done to it. Still, most people are too cowardly to jump on the "Fuck Janet Reno" bandwagon and stupidly comply like sheep. Cuba was devastated. The Cuban people were very angry with Castro, even though it was clearly Reno's fault. They strapped him to one of their nukes leftover from the Kennedy Administration (a gift from Teddy (D-Mass.) perhaps?) and shot him into the sun. Shortly thereafter they discovered democracy by isolating it from the mineral Americium, and elected Miguele Corleone as their new Jeffe Presidente Badass-e. Corleone decided Cuba was done making cigars, and sold all the tobacco to the rest of South America, decommissioned the robots, and mandated that his illustrious company go into the olive oil business.
That's...kind of ironic, isn't it? They started with olives and ended with olives. As with everything else Italian. Those people need to quit obsessing over some green berry and get back to being Catholics and conquering the world (UPDATE: As of FIFA '06 their futbol team conquered the world by proxy, defeating France, after which, according to tradition, cigars were had).
Coffee is Better, Anyway
Don't even try to argue this one. Anyone who'd take cigars over coffee is missing the point. Completely.