Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Prince and the Revulsion

by J.S. Holland

Dammit, my luck at the leisure-class lottery is about as wretched as Tom Regan's luck at the racetrack in Miller's Crossing. After a string of successful pipeshag purchases, I'm suddenly rolling a gutterball I can't seem to get out of. My selection of Middleton's Cherry Blend was a major misstep, and last week the bottle let me down when I made a reach into randomity for St. Germain's sickeningly-sweet Chardonnay-ish swill, and at the price of a $40 bill.

So, heading once more into the breach, dear friends, I thought I'd go a guaranteed opposite direction from all that sweety-fruity-loopy stuff and grab something simple and solid and meaty and manly. The archetypal titular king of all tobacco, the mighty Prince Albert, seemed like the way to go. I couldn't lose, right?

Wrong 'em boyo.

Soon as I freed the flakes from their triple-protection of cellophane wrap, cardboard box, and foil pouch, I was struck by two things:

Number one, the stuff was dry as a funeral drum, just like Middleton Cherry. Doesn't anyone keep track of how long these products sit on a shelf at Cox's? Like M.C., the texture was somewhere between hamster-cage wood chips and the groat-cluster granola they keep in big alien test tubes at the Whole Foods.

And number two, soon as the foil was peeled to reveal, I was gobsmacked with an overwhelming scent of chocolate. Chocolate. Really. But, kind of moldy chocolate, like an off-brand hollow Easter Bunny at the dollar store. And the taste was, honestly, the nastiest, rankest compost it has ever been my misfortune to inhale. It tasted like straight-up poor people's cigarettes (like Capitol, or GT One, or those foul Floridian 305's) and left a nicotinous coating on my tongue that makes me wanna toss my bizcochos even now, days later, thinking back to the trauma.

I think this ends my swim in the shallow end of the pipe pool, the end that faces the Rexall. Clearly, I got lucky and managed to hit the high points of drugstore tobaccos early on; either that I'm just an lout-savant who managed to remote-view the tastes of these products aforehand with my idiot's intution. From here, I think the direction is forward into the fancy-ass candy-pants blends that can only be had from snooty purveyors of finer tobaccos.

Fortunately, I only bought a small pack and not a whole honkin' huge can; it would be a bummer to throw a whole can into the skip as I am going to do with this nasty package. On the other hand, it would have been so cash to be able to actually say to the clerk, "do you have Prince Albert in a can?"

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