Read by Susannah Holland
The two most popular cigar sizes are Churchill and Panatella. Churchills are long and fat. Panatellas are long and thin. If we’re talking about cigars you can say we’re dealing with length and girth. Length is measured in inches. Tell someone you’re offering them two hundred and thirty millimetres and they’re not sure whether to laugh or cry. Tell them you’ve got nine inches, and tears will fill their eyes. They’ll smile too. Girth is measured by ring gauge, calibrated in one sixty fourths of an inch. That’s what it’s all about. Let’s get down to basics. Girth gives you intensity of experience. Length gives you duration. If we’re talking about Henry, it’s not quite so simple.
Short and fat, that’s another matter. Your Robusto now, that’s anything from four inches to five, any longer and you’re edging into corona country, and we don’t want to go there, and with a ring gauge of forty five and upwards, usually around fifty, sometimes sixty and more.
Now Henry was a sort of Robusto. He had the shortest dick you’ve ever seen. Four inches at full measure. It was so small he couldn’t pee out of his trousers even with an erection. Of course he couldn’t pee with an erection anyway, not properly. Henry’s dick was so short it kept him home nights, doing slow hand jobs over centre spreads, and I mean spreads, in soft porn magazines. He kept it well out of sight of the other guys, which was easy enough, even in the rows of urinals in the college toilets. He kept it out of sight of the girls too, except the night Hilary and he got drunk after lectures. Then, in a moment of maudlin desperation he let her see what had caused him to become such a shrinking violet.
Holy shit! Hilary said, as under the steady scrutiny of her big round eyes, it filled and swelled like one of those expanding indoor fireworks. You haven’t seen one? They’re like a small cock, but they just get bigger and bigger. Henry’s short penis had a ring gauge of around sixty-six.
Bloody hell, Henry, Hilary said. Sorry about all those haitches. If I was making this up I’d have avoided that sort of aspiration. She reached down and gave it a squeeze, or at least tried to. Henry’s short dick had a heart of oak. It was like trying to squeeze a traditional beer pull.
Oo. Henry said. Hilary pulled back the foreskin and eyed the slit eyed end of it. It winked slowly at her from its glistening round face.
Does it work? she asked.
Oo oo. Henry said.
Hilary hiked up her skirt and settled herself on the end. Jesus Henry, you could hoist sacks on this, she said.
The best robustos, as with all other cigars, are those that have been hand rolled. Not just hand finished, though that is nice too, but totalamente a mano is what you should look for. And make sure it has a long filler. If you want it to draw properly that’s what you need. A good cigar, as someone once pointed out, is a smoke. You want a smooth wrapper. Look out for a silky surface, deeply veined. You want it well hung, carefully handled, without creases, tears, or chips. They come in a range of colours, from the pale claro Connecticut, to the rich dark maduro from the Caribbean. A Cuban will always cost you more, but a Nicaraguan will have a hint of spicy sweetness that will make you come back for more. Don’t despise your Honduran either. They can be as full bodied as any.
Hilary had never seen such a short fat dick. Neither had her friends. She thought they just had to see it. They crowded round to get a closer look. Jenny and Ginny jostled for a seat on his chest.
Oo oo, Henry said.
Go on, Hilary said. Touch it.
It’ll have to be one at a time, Brenda said, reaching down. Then, Wow! That is hard.
See, Hilary said. I told you. I bet this makes it longer, Ginny said, leaning forward to lick the end. Nope, just fatter.
Oo, Henry said.
Try this, Jenny said, pushing her sister aside. Thuction, she said, speaking with her mouth full, which isn’t very ladylike.
Oooo, Henry said. Try tickling his balls. Carol suggested. That might do it. We don’t want to make him come, not yet. Does it come?
Oodles, Hilary said.
Oo, oo. Henry said.
Tickle them anyway, Jenny said. It makes them wriggle.
Oo, oo. Henry said, wriggling.
Lighting up is important. Don’t bother with that old fashioned running a naked flame along the length. That comes from the days when cigars had an oily coating to help preserve them. That was what you were burning off. They don’t do that anymore, so neither should you. Just take the cigar gently in one hand and hold it steady. Firstly you have to make a hole in the cap. That’s the blunt, rounded end, the end you are going to put in your mouth. Use a cigar cutter. Biting is vulgar. Using a penknife is just plain silly. Slip the blunt end just inside the hole in the cigar cutter, and slide. Neat as a guillotine. You want a clean cut. The fewer fragments the better. The less debris, the nicer it will feel in the mouth. This is about the senses after all. You may want to remove the band. Personally I like the band. Think of it as a garter. It’s nice to remove a garter, but it’s nice to look at it too. You can remove a garter after you’ve looked at it, but you can’t look at it after you’ve removed it; not in the same way.
Something’s happening, Ginny said. Jenny leaned back. Henry’s short fat dick stuck up, glistening wetly.
Oo, Henry said.
Here, let me, Carol said. She reached out and grasped it. It needs a good pulling. She worked the foreskin vigorously.
It’s not getting any longer, Jenny said.
Oo. Henry said, then Ooo,Oo,Oo.
The girls crowded round. Ginny leaned forward off Henry’s chest.
He looked up between her legs. Oo. O. O. O.
Whoops! Carol said, speeding up. Game over I think. Look out. Get a tissue.
Let me see, Hilary said, pushing in from the back.
Get three tissues, Ginny said.
There’s no point in lighting up a Churchill, or a Panatella if you haven’t got the time to smoke it all the way down. It’s just a waste. Having to leave off half way through is so frustrating. Oh I know, you say, you can always come back to it later: blow out the stale air and start again. But do you? Hasn’t the mood changed by then? That’s the beauty of a Robusto. You can have a quick, but powerful fix, and if there’s time left over, you can have another. You can even have one, dear ladies, while you’re waiting for Henry to recover.
© Brindley Hallam Dennis, 2008
Hecho a mano by Brindley Hallam Dennis was read by Susannah Holland at the Liars' League "Feast & Famine" event on Tuesday 13 May 2008.
Brindley Hallam Dennis has been writing short stories for about ten years. He has won a couple of local short story competitions and appeared in several magazines and anthologies. He writes poetry under the name Mike Smith, but has been doing so for much longer!