A divided day, half spent at the bibliothèque and the other half at the cigar shop. Both are volunteer gigs, one gives me free cigars, the other gives me time. I put various items on the shelves in the bibliothèque , mainly DVD’s, CD’s and Blue Rays. After that I made my way to the cigar shop where Shlomo was anxiously waiting on my arrival. Once again Shlomo had other places to be, so it was up to me to open the shop and run it. I don’t mind that the carrot at the end of the stick is a cigar.
Brandon stopped by after Shlomo hit the road and blessed me with a cigar that a salesman had dropped off last night. I’ll smoke it and if I like it it might be picked up by the cigar shop. I’m not the only one who was blessed so once all the reviews are in, a decision should be made. Brandon split after a few minutes and I set about cleaning up and doing some data entry on the computer, holding the clipped and unlit cigar in my hand or my jaw. Since the board of health stopped by, smoking is verboten in the cigar shop.
I occasionally have a puff though and when I do, I don my overcoat and stand in front of the cigar shop next to a politically incorrect native American wooden statue that a lot of cigar stores used to have. But there was no time this morning for that and I sat chomping on an unlit stogie. Shlomo came back and we moved a few items around. Then my cellphone rang. It was Israel, one of Shlomo’s partners in cigars. Israel was quite irate, in fact I think furious would be the best word to use.
Israel was yelling into my cell phone, asking who was smoking in the shop this morning. I told Israel that there was no one smoking in the shop. I explained that if I would be smoking I would be right outside the shop, and if I needed to come back in I would leave my cigar on the wooden indigenous person outside. It turned out that someone from the board of health (or a twenty something tenant) was probably walking by and saw me with an unlit cigar in my mouth and figured it was lit and I was smoking. Which of course I wasn’t.
But the board of health (or a twenty something tenant) saw what they wanted to see and complained about nothing. It’s bullshit and these guys who are trying to open a legitimate business here in downtrodden Hoboken have the full weight and heft of the obese direction of the board of health. Perhaps they’re looking for a greased palm, perhaps they are actually doing their job however haphazardly. Shop Local Help Rebuild Hoboken say the signs on a lot of stores in town, and on the other hand you have foolhardy zealots seeing things that aren’t there and causing a lot of stress and commotion when it’s not needed.
Ode to Billie Joe