Cigars are the only ultra-luxury item whose use can earn you a hateful, withering look from everyone else at the bar.
The lawyers at Cracked requested we include the following statement: If you smoke cigars, you will have health issues such as cancer, gum disease, and loss of sex drive. The dangers are equal with women and men alike, and we would like people such as Lisa Guerrero to not advertise the product from now on.
The history of the cigar begins with Christopher Columbus and his band of merry men. And by merry, we mean it was a bunch of scraggly dudes who smelled like rotting meat sprayed by a skunk, living together for many months on the open seas. Women were a fading memory, replaced by a sexual desire for porpoises and their alluringly exposed blow holes. When his ships finally made landfall in October of 1492, you might say that Captain Chris needed a little pick-me-up.
"Dear Lord, please let there be a Hooters within walking distance."
The natives of the island approached the sailors with handfuls of tobacco leaves and told them, "Get off our island, fucking Eurotrash... and take this rancid weed with you." Unfortunately, all Columbus heard was, "Mumblety mumblety oompa loompa dippitty doo," and he assumed some well-tanned people were giving him a gift. Columbus stuffed the leaves in his mouth, said something along the lines of, "Whoa, dudes, I'm like Leaf Ericson," and proceeded to kill only some of the natives as a thank-you for their wonderful present.
After bagging his haul of tobacco in condoms and forcing the crew members to swallow them, he takes off for his return trip to Spain. Forgetting that a sailboat takes a long time to cross the ocean, the crew has to swallow the tobacco bags over a dozen times before finally reaching home (a technique for curing tobacco that is still used in some Eastern European countries). It didn't take long for the plant to become popular, and soon it was being distributed along trade routes. Roman Catholic missionaries distributed the seed among places like the Philippines, where the natives discovered that the new tobacco crops grew wonderfully in their soil when mixed with fertilizer made from dead Roman Catholic missionaries.
She calls that one the "Papal Staff". It tastes like Jesus.
By the late 19th century, tobacco was a hit worldwide, and cigars were the primary source in society for delivering that sweet, mouth-blackening goodness. Nobel Prize winning author Rudyard Kipling even wrote a poem about how he would choose a good smoke over his wife. Granted, he portrays her as a haranguing shrew, and most of us would choose a cigar or even the welcoming grip of death over a spouse like that, but, hey, Nobel Prize.
"...and a woman is only a woman, but a good cigar is a shut up woman, quit nagging me"
Cigar making became a legitimate industry, with Central America and the Caribbean region leading the way in terms of quality and production. Unfortunately, this soon led to the advent of the industrial cigar roller, which was able to create thousands of bland, cheap smokes per day. Soon, the public grew bored of the generic cigars, and demanded something even cheaper, with hundreds of additives. Enter the cigarette, and the cigar's days of ubiquitousness were over. Still, enough crusty artisans held on to the old ways to make the hand-rolled cigar a legitimate art form for connoisseurs who enjoy setting fire to their prized possessions.
The Good Old Days