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Cigars as metaphor - the product of a rambling mind

This is a discussion on Cigars as metaphor - the product of a rambling mind within the General Cigar Discussion forums, part of the The Cigar Lounges at Puff category; I had trouble deciding whether to post this in the General Cigar forum or the General Discussion forum. I thought ...

  
  1. #1

    Elder Puffer Fish Leader


     

    Cigars as metaphor - the product of a rambling mind

    I had trouble deciding whether to post this in the General Cigar forum or the General Discussion forum. I thought briefly about posting it both places (got the July contest to think about, you know!), but decided it belongs here. If I'm wrong, Mods, please move it.

    Sometimes I pretend to be a philosopher. Like now. I guess I really need a pipe to look the part, but (no offense intended to the pipers on the list) I have no particular interest in that corner of the tobacco hobby. So, pseudo-philosopher, pretend-thinker, no-pipe-smoking-dreamer that I am, here's my latest mental wandering ...

    I had no idea what I was in for when I joined Puff. Even though I lurked for quite a while before signing up, I didn't know what I was in for. As a lurker, I was looking for specific information - the health risks of smoking cigars, how to choose a cigar, how to light a cigar, how to puff without inhaling. All the technical details. But I didn't start smoking cigars because of the technical data. If you're interested, you can read about my reasons here:
    How I gave up smoking and why I took it up again

    In the short time I've been a part of Puff, threads like these have shown me that cigars are not really the point - at least, not the whole point - of this forum:
    The things cigars teach
    The End Of A Journey.
    http://www.puff.com/forums/vb/cigar-...s-contest.html

    Puff is truly what so many forums aspire to be, even claim to be, but fail to live up to - an online community. Cigars are the cultural metaphor we (I flatter myself that I have a place in this circle) gather around to share stories in words and deeds. Words of comfort for, support of, and celebration with, Warren and Tash in their cancer journey. Tales of the things cigars teach us, if we can only listen, and words of guidance to help us do just that. And acts of sacrificial giving of time, money, and precious smokes to provide a little comfort for brave men and women far away from home, trying to make the world a better place in the best way they know how. And countless other stories, I'm sure, that, as a newbie, I haven't seen or heard.

    I don't have much of a cigar budget. I don't smoke a lot of sticks - three in a week is wild dissipation for me. Much of the time and money I could spend on cigars I choose to devote elsewhere. I won't blow my own horn more than to say that a lot of my free time and disposable income goes to other people. This is a great part of what draws me to Puff. Two of the things that make Puff a community I want to be a long-term part of are the generosity that members show with their time and resources, and the way that everyone is made to feel welcome and respected. True communities - virtual or otherwise - can survive only when they learn to value people as people, and welcome whatever it is that those folks bring to the table. To slightly paraphrase what another guy with my name has written (about a subject that is taboo on this forum), fulfilling your purpose in a community is not about finding your place in someone else's dream. I feel like that is something Puff members already know.

    As I said, cigars are a metaphor for the Puff tribal culture. A metaphor that teaches, among other things, the wisdom of relaxation and contemplation. The richness of good friendships. The joy of giving freely and the humbling of receiving beyond what you could ever repay. I freely admit that I'm worthless at sappy movies (stick with me - there's a point to this). Hell, I cry when Spongebob and Patrick have an argument. That said, I got teary-eyed at the generosity shown in the first bomb detonated in my mailbox.

    Cigars are more than nicotine-delivery devices. Wine is more than an alcohol-delivery system. Friends are more than companionship-delivery units. Good food is more than a nutrient-delivery mechanism. Cigars, great beverages, good food, and close friends each possess a quality far beyond their scientifically-described active ingredients. Put them all together and you create a synergistic way of life that exceeds the most wildly-dreamed potential of any of them, or even of the sum of all of them.

    Puff may not be that physical community, but it is by every experience the virtual presence of such a reality.

    I had no idea what I was in for when I joined Puff. But (carefully avoiding that taboo topic again) I can't believe it was an accident. I've said before that my wife observed that Facebook is mostly about connecting with and keeping up with people you know, but Puff is about meeting new people. That's true, and I would add that Puff is also about getting to know those newly-met people in the context of the cigar-metaphor culture. Growing up with them, and learning from them new and better ways to live that metaphor away from the virtual village. Puff is what most other online communities wish they could be - a reflection of a real village. And a challenge to, and a way for, the tribe to learn how to make their corner of the real world a better place.
    Puff the Magic Blowfish lived in the sea; But how he smoked underwater is a mystery to me.


  2. #2

    Not Here


     

    Re: Cigars as metaphor - the product of a rambling mind

    You have expressed yourself very eloquently. It is an amazing thing that can bring people together from all walks of life, all types of backgrounds, and all sorts of different beliefs and make them trust and honor each other the way that is seen here. The term BOTL (Brother of the leaf) may seem to be tossed about with reckless abandon but it is a way of life, whether on the internet or in person.

    RG bump for such an outstanding post!
    BIA!!!

  3. #3

    Evolving Lead Puffer Fish youngstogiesmoker's Avatar


     

    Re: Cigars as metaphor - the product of a rambling mind

    To enjoy the flavor of life, take big bits. Eat in excess. Drink in excess. Smoke in excess. Moderation is for monks.

  4. #4

    livin life by the drop ! cigar loco's Avatar


     

    Re: Cigars as metaphor - the product of a rambling mind

    Quite profound and well phrased, that you for your insight !
    I smoke old stogies I have found, short but not to big around....

  5. #5

    The Other Doctor Scardinoz's Avatar


     

    Re: Cigars as metaphor - the product of a rambling mind

    Well spoken and spot-on.

  6. #6

    The Widows Son guitar7272's Avatar


     

    Re: Cigars as metaphor - the product of a rambling mind

    Your posts are always a joy to read, Mike. I agree with you 100%. I've been on internet forums since I was a little kid with a 2400 baud modem and a subscription to compuserve and, without exception, only once have I seen one with the friendly and welcoming atmosphere puff has.

    I joined a long time ago when I was first getting in to pipe smoking (you don't know what you're missing bro!), but I didn't start posting here regularly until the motorcycle forum I was a member of went off the deep end. Long time members got banned and within days the atmosphere changed dramatically. At first it wasn't just random avatars chatting back and forth, but real life friends who just happened to meet there. Friends who met up to go on rides together, who ate and drank together, who even rode cross country trips routed so that their stops were at members houses with nary a hotel the entire way. Now they have posts about donkeys(?) and the discussions are flat and sterile.

    So I stopped contributing there. I took my 9,127 posts and left (some of the members who got banned had over 15,000 posts). I spent the subsequent time bouncing back and forth from forum to forum, doing no more than lurking... then I came back to puff. Within the week, I got triple bombed by Team WA, aka the three bombardiers, and have participated in a number of passes and PIFs - one of which I had the joy of exchanging gars with Tritones. To have members who are friendly enough to welcome newbies by scattering flaming mailbox wreckage across their front yard is just unparalleled in my book. I think I found my new home on the web.

  7. #7

    Full grown Puffer Fish Wild 7EVEN's Avatar


     

    Re: Cigars as metaphor - the product of a rambling mind

    Well said Mike, being a part of Puff has been a fulfilling and life changing changing experience for me. The friends I have met on here, opportunities I've been givin to help others, and the support we all show each other are truly amazing. I had never been part of an online community before I came here, but yeah, I feel that I didn't end up here by accident either, because I feel like I have a home here.

    Thanks to puff, and all BOTL who are a part of.

  8. #8

    Elder Puffer Fish Leader Cigary's Avatar


     

    Re: Cigars as metaphor - the product of a rambling mind

    Excellent post that hits all 4 corners. Some people say it's not a house but a home where you can come in and kick off your work clothes and get comfortable...like Cheers where everybody knows your name. This is what makes a forum the success that it is when people feel at home and that is a hard thing to accomplish. Having never met most of you in person it would be very easy to sit down and enjoy a cigar and drink with great conversation. How many out there in the real world could say the same thing about meeting other strangers and be totally comfortable in herfing without all of that new person awkwardness of what to say? Cigars are indeed as I've always thought a bridge to build a sweeter life and lifestyle. I'd have given you some RG but it appears as if I've given you too much already...maybe somebody else will slap you silly with some for me?
    A mind is like a parachute...it works best when it's open.

  9. #9

    Elder Puffer Fish Leader


     

    Re: Cigars as metaphor - the product of a rambling mind

    Quote Originally Posted by Cigary View Post
    Some people say it's not a house but a home where you can come in and kick off your work clothes and get comfortable...like Cheers where everybody knows your name. This is what makes a forum the success that it is when people feel at home and that is a hard thing to accomplish.

    I'd have given you some RG but it appears as if I've given you too much already...maybe somebody else will slap you silly with some for me?
    Starbucks' stated mission was to become the "third place" for a lot of people. Work is one place, home is another, and Starbucks wanted to fill the "third place" role that work and home don't provide. Like Cheers and neighborhood bars used to do. You nailed it - Puff provides a lot of that atmosphere.

    Don't worry about the RG - I found a bunch of it at Big Lots with a 20% off coupon last weekend. Also I've been slapped a few times today already. Since I started off silly, I don't know where I might have gotten slapped to ...
    Puff the Magic Blowfish lived in the sea; But how he smoked underwater is a mystery to me.


  10. #10

    Leading Puffer Fish


     

    Re: Cigars as metaphor - the product of a rambling mind

    Very well stated, Mike, and mirrors my feelings towards puff to a tee. Apparently I've bumped you to recently but a huge RG bump in spirit for the wonderful post!

  11. #11

    Evolving Lead Puffer Fish rocketmann82's Avatar


     

    Re: Cigars as metaphor - the product of a rambling mind

    Your post was right on the money Mike. Puff is the only forum I have seen where even newbies are met with a warm welcome. Everyone here is respectful and I have never seen anyone ask for help that was not flooded with info. Also, if there is a worthy cause out there, folks here step up to the plate and do all they can to support it. Great bunch on this forum.....

  12. #12

    Double Trouble ejgarnut's Avatar


     

    Re: Cigars as metaphor - the product of a rambling mind

    Well said Mike! This one should be a sticky somewhere....
    Never, under any circumstances, take a sleeping pill and a laxative on the same night. - Unknown

  13. #13

    Smoked Walleye Shaz's Avatar


     

    Re: Cigars as metaphor - the product of a rambling mind

    I'm just here for the chicks!




    Sorry.
    Nice post. I enjoy your input and especially your sense of humor. Nice to see new blood that contributes to the community in such a positive way.
    If it's true that our species is alone in the universe, then I'd have to say that the universe aimed rather low and settled for very little-George Carlin

  14. #14

    Conservative Stud BigKev77's Avatar


     

    Re: Cigars as metaphor - the product of a rambling mind

    What a GREAT post!!
    "I was gonna yell FORE, but I was too busy mumbling "No way that's gonna hit him"

  15. #15

    Press the button Max! Breakaway500's Avatar


     

    Re: Cigars as metaphor - the product of a rambling mind

    Three a week? I'm up to three a day! I can't wait till after lunch usually...there's one. The daily after lunch smoke...there's number two..and lately..a nice walk the dogs before dinner smoke or relax after supper smoke. Uh oh..that could make it 4 a day very easily.

    Puff has a much more mature audience than most web forums I have encountered.The members don't treat each other as just names in cyberspace,but actually have respect for the others as real sentient beings.This has been my observations.

    It's very refreshing.

    Thanks for the wake-up smile,Mike.. You're a beacon in a smokey world...
    When I think of all the good times that I've wasted..having good times...

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