Fake Cohibas




By Steve Siciliano

My wife and I were cruising in the Caribbean last week and while on shore in Cozumel we spent a few hours sitting at a shaded table outside a waterfront bar. While we sipped Salty Dogs (Grey Goose vodka, grapefruit juice and a slice of lime in a salt rimmed glass. Refreshingly cool on a blistering hot afternoon), we watched roaming peddlers hawking wares to hordes of meandering tourists. One peddler standing on a nearby street corner was waving a small box above his head and when he glanced in my direction I motioned him over to the table.

"How much?" I asked after inspecting the cigars in the glass-topped box.

"Fifty dollars," he said.

"How do I know they're real?" I asked him.

He assured me that the five cigars were authentic Cuban Cohibas.

"Hmm," I said. "I'm not sure I like the way they look."

"Forty dollars," he said.

"But they look pretty rough."

"Thirty-five," he told me. "The best price."

"Let me think about it," I said.

I handed the box back to him and he went back to hawking the cigars on the crowded sidewalk.

I knew the Cohibas were fake. I knew they were fake as soon as I looked at them but the stash of cigars I had brought with me on the trip was running low and I was willing to take a chance on the bogus Cubans if I could get them at a good price. "How bad could they be?" I thought to myself.

After I paid our tab I stuck a twe