Sunday, March 17, 2013

Cigars and Berets

No surprise after yesterday's post on 'Pipe's and Berets': Cigars and Berets! Never thought I'd turn into a smoking-promoter, but there you go...
A cigar is a tightly-rolled bundle of dried and fermented tobacco that is ignited so that its smoke may be drawn into the mouth. Cigar tobacco is grown in significant quantities in Brazil, Cameroon, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Honduras, Indonesia, Mexico, Nicaragua, the Philippines, Canary Islands (Spain), and the Eastern United States.

Most famous beret wearer smoking cigars is without doubt Ché Guevara and many photographs testify of his habit (or addiction). Ché famously claimed that smoking cigars was the only way to control his asthma (and he studied medicine, so he should know). 
Parisian bookseller, smoking cigar
In the 1980s and 1990s, major U.S. print media portrayed cigars favorably; they generally framed cigar use as a lucrative business or a trendy habit, rather than as a health risk. Rich people are often caricatured as wearing top hats (not berets) and tails and smoking cigars. Cigars are often smoked to celebrate special occasions: the birth of a child, a graduation, a big sale. The expression "close but no cigar" comes from the practice of giving cigars as prizes in games involving good aim at fairgrounds.

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