Cigar Ash Paranoia

How many times has this happened to you? You notice your cigar has a nice length of ash extending from it. You think about tapping it off, but first you gently nudge it against the side of the ashtray. Resistance. Good! You proceed to take your next puff, then...PLUNK!...the ash is lying in your lap trailed by a powdery wake of black, white and gray.

I liken this phenomenon to riding a bike. Ride it often enough and at some point you're going to fall off. Same thing with cigars. Smoke enough of them, and you're inevitably going to get "ashed."

This got me wondering whether cigar smokers who like to let the ash go as long as possible are the "risk takers," while those who who've been ashed one too many times are the "protectors," ashing their cigars more frequently for fear of soiling themselves. Perhaps the latter group has developed "cigar ash paranoia," thus, becoming "ashophobics."

I believe the relaxation that comes from smoking a good cigar should be held accountable. You get so caught up in the routine of reaching for the cigar and bringing it toward you (perhaps you're in mid-conversation at the time), that you just don't realize how long the ash has become and...PLUNK!

In any event, although it's messy and somewhat humiliating, ashing yourself is no biggie. I've seen it happen to the best. So, take some advice from an old song: just pick yourself up; dust yourself off, and start all over again.

If you can relate, please leave a comment.

~ Gary Korb


Anonymous said…
Letting the ash grow is not taking a risk: it is admiring the construction of a good cigar. Too few items are manufactured well, and to top quality standards these days, so a nice ash is something to admire.
Cigar Inspector said…
I have a couple of old jeans/shorts I am wearing almost all the time that I smoke a cigar. This way, even when I get "ashed" (happens), I've got nothing to worry about :)
Anonymous said…
I can definetly relate to your quandry. I have to agree that a long ash is a sign of a well constructed cigar. It is always nice to see how long you can get your ash as you enjoy your cigar. I used to worry about the "long ash" falling in my lap as I indulged in my cigar. The problem was that I had to be constantly mindful of the state of the ash and whatever else I was doing. This is multi-tasking and too close to work. So I surrendered my worry of ashing myself and just enjoy my cigar. Should I ash myself while indulging in my cigar, then I brush myself off and wear what remains as a badge of honor. It shows that you are not afraid to enjoy the cigar expierience.
dmj said…
I had over an inch of ash on a CAO Cameroon the other day. I took a puff and decided I'd better tap off. As I lowered the cigar toward the ashtray...boom! I made an ash of myself! Thankfully, I narrowly avoided my iced tea.
Quite a few people ashed themselves at the Summer Cigar party in Devonshire Walk, London, UK. I expect there might have been a connection to the amount of booze flowing. Most of them fell into the risk takers category but there was a good percentage of protectors too

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