My neighbor Zane is a tool. He’s one of those obnoxious guys who thinks he knows everything and will always top anything you have to say. Come on, you know that guy: If you say Yankees, he says Red Sox…if you say you need to breathe air to live, he says he never touches the stuff. He’s the guy who always has to be right, and getting under your skin brings a smile to his face.
Now the really weird thing is that he’s not a bad person and will go out of his way to do anything for you. If you need help, he’s there. Actually, Zane’s a great neighbor to have in that respect, but the guy is a roaring jackass to hang out with…and physical violence does occasionally cross your mind when he’s around—if only for a few fleeting seconds.
But, I have a most interesting conundrum: He’s my only neighbor who loves to smoke cigars, drink good booze, and talk sports. And anyone who knows me is well aware that my favorite things to do are to smoke premium hand-rolled cigars, drink tasty whiskey and talk hockey, football, and baseball throughout the night…and Zane is the only camarade I have in my neighborhood to help me enjoy my vices. And even when he invites his uninvited ass to my back patio several times a week, he never comes empty-handed. So, even though he’s a huge pain in the ass, it’s hard to turn away a guy who’s double-fisting good cigars and even better hootch. Like I said: It’s a CONUNDRUM.
So, it’s a Friday night and I’ve invited a few old college buddies over for steaks on the grill, some smokes, some drinks, and lots of good old stories—half of them bullshit, all of them hilarious. But damn…I can NOT believe that I’m stuck at work with a deadline article—I simply can’t leave yet, but the boys will be at my house in ten minutes. While I just hate—and I mean hate—to do it, Zane is my only saving grace.
So, I shoot that tool a text explaining the situation and of course he says he’ll be there to greet my buddies in five minutes. I had to warn him to just bring them ‘round back and have everyone sit tight until I get there and please don’t piss these guys off. And as you would expect, he has no clue what I mean about pissing anyone off. Damn, this is gonna be a disaster.
When I pull in the driveway, I note that the house isn’t on fire and there’re no police cars in the driveway, so maybe the boys are doing okay. DOING OKAY? That’s an understatement. That disgustingly thoughtful son of a bitch Zane had the steaks already searing on the grill, picked up some macaroni and potato salad, and holy crap, get this, he brought over a box of La Gloria Cubana Gilded Age cigars and a great big bottle of Buffalo Trace Bourbon. My college buds are in love with my nut-job neighbor…and why the hell wouldn’t they be? He saw the cigar and booze pairing on the Famous Smoke Shop Cigar and Spirit Pairing Guide and thought this was the perfect audience to test it on. Damn, he was right.
The La Gloria Gilded Age is such a delicious smoke with a wickedly fragrant aroma. It is really one of my faves, a full-bodied stick that’s not strong, just really smooth with some tasty notes of espresso, cedar, and spice. Then there’s the hootch—I’m generally a Scotch guy, and while I don’t know a heck of a lot about bourbon, I cannot believe how easy the Buffalo Trace goes down. I think it’s a great choice for guys who might not drink bourbon too often because it’s smooth with some amazing flavor notes of cinnamon, caramel, and brown sugar.
I’m really not sure what the hell just happened here, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see Rod Serling standing on my porch while smoking a butt and giving one of his patented Twilight Zone intros. This was just plain old weird what went down and I have nothing but gratitude for my know-it-all neighbor.
As a wonderful night comes to a close, I run inside for a quick bathroom break and while I’m draining the dragon I hear some voices getting loud out back. While that perfect evening was almost complete, there was Zane, telling my college buds that their favorite teams suck ass and none of them know a damned thing about, well, about anything. Why should I even remotely act surprised?
It’s really hard to be mad at Zane—that would be like getting mad at Rosie O’Donnell for drinking the entire Golden Corral chocolate fountain. I mean, it’s just nature taking its rightful place in the universe. The old boy cooked, brought tasty cigars, delicious whiskey and saved the evening for all of us. And as awesome as all of that was, the one thing that’ll never change is that my neighbor Zane is, and always will be, a tool.