Winter Tour Journal, 2013, Entry I

Posted: January 30th, 2013

Dear amigo.moe.litos,

I’m staring at an empty suitcase wondering what to pack. It’s been a couple of weeks since your favorite band, moe., has been out on the road, as it were. Mainly, because “the road” was a 14-story luxury barge and we were afloat somewhere out in the Bermuda Triangle. The band played amidst a hedonistic fury akin to the Khan sweeping across the Eurasian steppes. On any tide, I half expected the boat to slip into a time portal or dimensional rift. Not that anyone would have noticed until the booze ran out. I for one was grateful the fabric of the time-space continuum didn’t breach. I had a cold and a sore throat, and it would have been a real bummer to be lost in time and sickly, especially when the frozen Marguerites ran out.

The sore throat also negated any urge I had to partake in one of my favorite pastimes: smoking cigars. For weeks I had envisioned picking up a handful of Cubans (cigars, i.e.) upon arrival in the Turks and Caicos. But it was not meant to be. I’m not sure if I could have even lit one. The wind was constant and fierce. All the islands that constitute the Turks and Caicos are windy. They’re low-lying and, mostly, right at sea level. The ocean breeze never ceases—for want of a mountain, a ridge, a hill, or even a dune, to break the steady pummeling across the face. We’re so low, it’s as though the islands are floating at sea, but stationary. I know some of you are thinking, why not simply buy a bunch of Cubans (cigars, i.e.) for later? When my throat wasn’t sore and the wind wasn’t pummeling me. The answer is: I would have had to smuggle them back into the country. I would have placed myself at risk for detention and a large fine, but also compromised your said favorite band, who, as you may recall, was rushing to a venue in Ft. Lauderdale to play that evening. No, smuggling Cubans (cigars, i.e.) into the country was not worth the risk. It is prohibited by law because Cuba, as you know, is a Communist country. And in the USA, it is against the law to do business with a Communist country. Unless, of course, the country is the other Communist country on the planet: China. In which case, it is not only okay to do business with them, but to near wholesale our entire industrial and manufacturing base to them under the pretense that American workers demand too much. Even Henry Ford knew that the success of his new-fangled automobile was dependent on its affordability: to the people who built the car.

Make certain, I have nothing against doing business with any country—even with Communist China or Cuba! It’s a big world and our economy is and should be global. Besides, it’s good to see the Commies embracing quasi-Capitalism as much as we’ve embraced that brand of quasi-Communism. As the old Chinese proverb states: when it comes to business—all men are brothers. (In America, we call it, “selling out.”)

Alas, if only the Chinese made cheap Cuban cigars, too—along with cheap Christmas ornaments, shoes, shirts, pants, hats, Bibles, American flags, pens, pencils, iPhone or iPad or i-anything else—my dilemma would be solved. Then, I could embrace the hypocrisy, have myself a Cuban (cigar, i.e.), and maybe finish packing. Tomorrow’s a travel day. NYC awaits me, and all good things that follow after.

For now, truly yours,

brother John