Russian spy ship docked in Havana harbor? Nope. Repression of dissidents? Nope. Cuban involvement in Venezuela? Nope. Cuban arm shipments to North Korea? Nope. And so on…
You will be hard pressed to guess what CBS finds newsworthy: a contest held in Havana for foreigners (naturally). The contest? Well…. read the article below and weep.
Two lines from two very different songs come to mind:
1. “Now laughing friends deride tears I cannot hide….” from Smoke Gets in Your Eyes (that schmaltzy classic performed by many artists, from Fred Astaire to Nat King Cole to Miles Davis, to The Platters) .
2. “And as things fell apart, nobody paid much attention…” from Nothing But Flowers, by Talking Heads.
3. …. and, wait, a third line popped up too: “You make a grown man cry..” from Start Me Up by The Rolling Stones
Bastards. Cabrones. Too bad there’s no line “Vete pa’l carajo, hijo’e puta…” in any classic Cuban song.
This is the equivalent of reporting from Berlin in 1944 on a “Let’s-see-how-many-Hitler-Youth-can-fit-in-a-Volkswagen” contest. Both products involve slave labor. Both settings involve absolute evil.
Cuba cigar festival features unusal long-ash contest
HAVANA — Pungent smoke filled the room, obscuring the lights and leaving clothing and skin reeking. There were applause, shouts and laughter, and above all plenty of H. Upmann Sir Winstons – formidable 7-inch Cuban cigars.
More than 450 stogie aficionados took part in an unusual contest Thursday at Havana’s annual marquee Cigar Festival: competing to see who could create the longest unbroken ash.
“I love it,” Argentine sommelier Flavio Lanfredi said good-naturedly despite falling out of contention early on. “For me this is like going to Mecca, or a kid entering a toy store and they tell you to grab whatever you want, it’s yours. It’s really exciting.”
In a cavernous room in Havana’s Palace of Conventions, contestants exhaled clouds of smoke and handled their cigars gingerly to keep the gray ash intact as long as possible. They lolled on luxurious leather chairs set amid tables holding dozens of ashtrays, lighters, chocolate-flavored hard candy and snifters of aged Cuban rum.
Many, like Lanfredi, lost their ashes before smoking even halfway through. Others managed to keep going until their cigars were little more than tiny stubs.
“It was a little bit stressful, and I’m somewhat dizzy,” said Cuban restaurateur Andres Espinosa, one of the better finishers with a 6.2-inch ash.
Continue reading HERE, where you can also subject yourself to a most offensive video.