How NOT to Smuggle Cuban Cigars into the United States

First seen on a fun and funny travel site you should check out.
cuban cigars

My brother-in-law, Gary, is a GENIUS at getting his way.  A self-serving savant. Somehow, he managed to institute a rule in MY HOUSE that during visits, I have to make him drinks until 9pm, at which time he must make his own. I don’t know how that happened, but everyone agrees it’s a rule. Gary could label an empty soda bottle “emergency air” and sell it to a stranger on the street. This is why I found it odd and delightful that he failed so miserably at smuggling Cuban cigars back into the United States after our family trip to Mexico.

Without issue, I passed through customs like a ninja, or like an aging blonde whose complete inability to properly apply eyeliner erased any possibility of hidden talents like spying or smuggling Russian nesting dolls made out of treated cocaine. It could have been the clever way I held my passport next to my face and said, “It’s me! Ha!” before handing it to the customs lady. (They love that.)  However I accomplished it, they didn’t single me out for luggage check.

Gary was not so lucky. Security pulled the only member of our group doing anything vaguely illegal off to the side. At our resort, even our morning toast came deep fried, so we were all smuggling five extra pounds of converted Mexican food. Gary wasn’t the only one looking bulkier on the way home. I guess airport security’s instincts were just bang on that day.

An affable security officer unzipped Gary’s luggage and discovered three Cuban cigars attempting to find asylum in the United States.

The guy looked at Gary. Gary offered his most charming smile.

“Are these your cigars?” asked the guy.

Gary nodded. “Yep!”

Standing nearby, my eyes grew panicked and I looked away, searching for my husband. I had to tell him I wasn’t going down with his brother and talk him into making a break for it with me.  He always wanted to go to the Maldives. The Maldives have no extradition laws with the U.S. This could work.

“But they aren’t Cuban cigars,” said the security guy, starting to tuck them back into Gary’s luggage.

Gary blanched, offended. “Oh yes they are!”

The guy stopped stuffing.

“What’s that now?”

“What’s what?”

The guy blinked at Gary.

“These cigars aren’t Cuban, right?” he repeated in a slow, measured tone.

“Oh, yes! Yes they are!” said Gary, bursting with pride. “I bought them right before we left. Got a good price for them! You can get some pretty good deals on things like that in Cancun.”

The security guy straightened. “But they aren’t CUBAN cigars, right?”

Gary titled his head like a dog confused as to why his master keeps repeating “sit sit sit sit.”

“There are only three of them,” offered Gary.


“Just three cigars.”

“Right.” The security guy took a deep breath and leaned towards Gary. “But. They. Aren’t. CUBAN. Right?”

“Um… but they are?” said Gary, beginning to fidget.

I slapped my face into my hand. My god, I thought. I’m married to this idiot’s brother. The security guy had given Gary every chance, short of calling out dancing girls with signs that read “Just tell me they aren’t Cuban!” to form a chorus line behind him.

The security man let out a deep, disappointed sigh.

“Well sir, since they ARE Cuban, I need to destroy them.”


“You are not allowed to bring Cuban cigars into the United States.”

Gary’s jaw hung slack as the man crumbled his prize cigars into little piles of tobacco dirt.

“I thought you could bring a few,” he mumbled, still in shock.

The man zipped up Gary’s luggage and pushed it towards him.


Gary gathered his bag and turned to walk beside me as we left the customs area. He remained quiet for some time. I could only take it for so long.

“Don’t you have anything else you want to confess to him?” I asked. “Are you sure you claimed all your gifts? Do you want to tell him about the time you lied to your Mom?”

Gary snorted a bitter laugh.

“Shut UP.”

Amy Vansant
Latest posts by Amy Vansant (see all)

14 Responses

  1. Lance

    My wife, The Bobina, isn’t a genius as much as she’s a witch. She charms/spells everyone into believing what she says and getting her way. Honestly, it’s freaky and sexy and awesome.

    On our way back from Mexico two years ago, she put food, vanilla spices (bought on the street), and a ring in her luggage. It went unchecked and Bobina never acted nervous.

    I realize she;s blond, busty, and has a great big smile, but still, the woman has supernatural abilities.

    Hilarious story


  2. Amy Vansant

    It’s the busts. I was so amazed at their supernatural abilities I went out and bought myself a pair. TOTALLY worth it.


  3. Jeane

    I almost feel sorry for him…completely shot over the head. It is hard to feel so short but hell yeah…that’s that best time to kick them!
    I love this post…great writing and hysterical description! Thanks.


  4. Groost

    I was a Captain Olivious like that at school. My teacher sent me to the dean to get a detention, on the word of another student, telling him I was the one talking in class, when it was someone else. I tried to explain this to the dean. The dean kept telling me that she didn’t think I was one of her students, that she thought I wasn’t in her jurisdiction. I kept saying “No, I’m one of your students.” and then kept trying to explain that the other student lied. After about 5 times of trying to get me out of her office by saying I’m not her student, she finally just gave me the detention. — I wish I had picked up on the fact she was trying to help me leave without it! *BUDERR*


  5. Jen

    This was hilarious. It’s like a scene from Dumb and Dumber. I think you should send it in to Modern Family and see if they run with it.


  6. William

    Hey nice story!
    Maybe the officer was actually a cigar aficionado and really disappointed to have to destroy them 😉


  7. annonces plans cul

    I’m not sure exactly why but this blog is loading incredibly slow for me.

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  9. larissa

    Definitely a humorous story! It must’ve been quite a little adventure, especially experiencing all of that! Thanks so much for sharing!


  10. Christina

    Your brother-in-law has a very clever way of ensuring he has drinks available. Gary’s laugh at the end really puts the finishing touch on your story.



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