Sunday, December 19, 2010


When I first got into Heriot-Watt, the handbook for my hall said that I can smoke in my room. I was very, very happy. Banished to the cold, harsh, and deplorable conditions of a New York winter in order to smoke, the idea of smoking a cigar in the warmth and comfort of my room was heaven. Thus, I began planning. Scheming, if you will. I was hell-bent to send all of my cigars to myself over there and smoke until my face resembled a catcher's mitt. In one year, I was going to smoke so much I would start to look like Keith Richards. So I packed up 100 cigars (the customs limit) and put them in my luggage. The rest I carefully (read: CAREFULLY) packed in Ziploc bags with plenty of bubble wrap and padding. This I shipped. Unfortunately, due to circumstances beyond my control (my mom put CIGARS on the customs list form) my package got the friendly inspection from Customs and a healthy £332.84 bill (about $525). I can't afford this, let alone should I afford this for cigars I bought for my personal consumption (some almost 3 or 4 years ago). Thus, I declined. Customs said that they would return it back home after 20 days. Since I had packed it with some of my humidity beads and some disposable gel humidifiers, sealed it up good and packed it tight, I was happy to let it go home. It only took about 2 weeks to get there anyway. Wouldn't take too long to come back, right?

This was the end of September.

Flash forward to last week. I call home to check in with my parents and my mom says "I have a surprise for you. You have to guess what it is".

I asked for three clues. The clues she gave were:

"You know what it is.
It didn't weigh much.
You've been expecting it"

She told me my package of cigars had finally come home. I'd been worried (since Customs never told me if it actually got shipped home). She said that she wasn't going to open it and that I should deal with it when I got home. I got home last night and opened it up.

At this point in time, I suggest removing small children and those faint of heart from the room. If you are in any way, shape, or form, a lover of the leaf or cigars in general, I suggest purchasing a large, economy size pack of tissues from Sam's Club or Costco. You will cry. A lot. Here is a picture of what I got back.

This is what I could "salvage":

This is what I couldn't:

Some of the damage:

That's wrapper on the right.

As you can see, they apparently hired some fine, upstanding members of society to run the rock tumbler that they call "cigar inspection". All of the packing from the cigars was GONE. The only thing holding them in was the other crap I put in the box and the lone, flimsy piece of bubble wrap. They were allowed to just roll around in the box. I also say "salvage" because, despite my humidifying bead's best efforts, these things are BONE. DRY. I picked one of them up and the thing audibly cracked. The rest have wrappers (or, in some of the worse cases, binders) that flake off like dead skin if handled for more than a few seconds. What stable ones I could find I put in a humidor with a bunch of humidifying beads and whatever else I could find to hold water. But, seeing as they've been dehumidified for almost 3 months, I give them little chance of survival. In any case, I do have something up for sale. I'm now specializing in snuff:

I will DEFINITELY be contacting Customs. Granted yes, I didn't pay for them to ship it back, that doesn't mean they can beat the shit out of my stuff. Here's a picture of the box:

So yeah. Snuff is $3 for the lot of it. Gotta make some money back somehow.


  1. Dude, I stopped reading as soon as you said, "My mom put cigars on the customs list form." Your mom? Really? Really.

  2. Anonymous: Yes, my mom. Heaven forbid I ask my mom to drop off a package while she's out and I'm sick. Also, this is coming from a man that had to search for "George Thorogood alcoholic". Just sayin'.

  3. Good god, that's painful to see. Are you rethinking the ridiculous fees they were charging? How much were the cigars themselves worth?

  4. They were worth a LOT. Some of the cigars in there were pre-release samples from the IPCPR show and others were just plain expensive. If I had to guess, probably about $300-$400 worth of tobacco got shitcanned.