Baboon Pirates

Scribbles and Scrawls from an unrepentant swashbuckling primate.

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Location: Texas, United States

Monday, October 12, 2009

Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms

Should Be A Store, Not A Federal Agency!

I still smell like a Gurkha...

No, not the Nepalese soldiers, the Gurkha cigars I smoked over the weekend!

This past Saturday was the 13th annual Houston Smoke & Powder Crawl, an event for cigar enthusiasts and shooters alike.

I stumbled upon the group a few years back, and this was my 4th outing with the crew.

We had a great turnout this year. I never got a firm count, but we had 12 or 13 shooters, and 6 or 8 others that popped in and out during the day's activities. I was hoping the Layabout Sailor would be there, but I guess he was being a layabout!

Each participant got a nice sample pack from the sponsors, including a sweet little stick direct from Havana. Freebie samples were to rain down all afternoon! I went home with a huge stash of top-shelf cigars.

We started at 9 a.m. at the American Shooting Centers pistol range. After a couple of hours of blasting away, we hung fresh targets and had a shootoff. Entry fee was a primo cigar from each shooter, and the winner split the stash with the #2 shooter, along with some other cigar-related swag from the sponsors.

My buddy Cisco Kid showed up again this year. Last year he & I placed first & second in the shootoff. This year, we placed at the tail end. OK, I was the tail end shooter. Only 80 out of a possible 100 points. I blame the nicotine shakes. I shouldn't have sparked up that Perdomo Criollo until *after* the shootoff...

Afterwards, we headed to Paul's Boat for lunch, where for the second year in a row I had the delicious stuffed red snapper, served once again by the delicious Czech/Russki waitress Deánna, who I'd gladly volunteer to stuff... Arrr! Cute EuroBlondes with knee-high leather boots! Shiver me timber and hoist me pegleg! Arrr!

The buzzard made a repeat appearance out by the dumpster, but it was probably a bit cold for Mr. Gecko to hang out on the back patio with us.

After lunch it was off to Cigars of the World up by Hwy 6 & Clay Rd. This is a great cigar shop, and they had an amazing collection of Gurkha Cigars, which are becoming my cigar of choice. The staff at Cigars of the World were gracious and hospitable, and practically shoved us into deep & comfy leather chairs to smoke our stogies. They handed out freebie cigars, soft drinks and scotch whiskey, and had a sleight-of-hand magician in the store for entertainment.

After that, it was off to Santa Barbara Cigar & Tobacco for more cigars and a coffee break. Alas, their Cuban Coffee machine had gone tits-up, which was not such a catastrophe for me, as I don't drink coffee that often. I bought a sampling of Macanudo & Perdomo cigars, and then it was time for dinner.

We went down the street to The Fox and Hound, a pub-style place on Westheimer. We had a bit of a problem with service. One waiter for 4 tables out on the patio kept him hopping, and it took quite a while to get everyone served. The other thing that might have kept the waiter hopping was THE HUGE F#(%!$G RAT that crawled out of the bushes and onto the patio deck, nosing about for food and completely unconcerned that 20+ people were sitting 15 feet away.

The food was just so-so. Can't recommend it, and probably won't be back, unless I can bring a rat terrier.

So, another great year for the Smoke & Powder Crawl. If you're in the area and want to join in next year, let me know via email and I'll make sure you get the word about the 14th Annual Crawl when it's announced!