The plan was powernap for an hour before waking up to head over to Kinko’s at midnight, then tear Bourbon Street a new one.
We finally got over to Kinko’s at 5:30am, having slept through our regularly scheduled drinking. I still feel wiped, and have no stories to show for it.
Tonight, I will do better.
New Orleans is a dirty, beautiful town.
By the time we landed after our connecting flight was cancelled due to the Nor’easter I’m sure our colleagues in New England are experiencing, me and my boy B-Bry the French Fry landed in the 75 degree, partly sunny Big Easy with a 20% chance of precipitation and a 100% of short sleeves for the next seven days.
After nodding politely to repeated warnings of imminent danger, threat, and overwhelming possibility of moral perversion, we set out to skin the surface of the French quarter on our first night. Bourbon Street was a convenient 4 blocks away from our hotel, providing an irrestibly easy journey into this wretched hive of scum and villany.
To anticipate the question most have asked me so far, no we didn’t get any beads and yes we did see some exposure, but it was definitely less Girls Gone Wild and more Animal Kingdom. After last night, I’m seriously investigating the possibility of gaining public support of a New Orleans city ordinance prohibiting flashing by persons greater in weight or closely resembling domestic cattle. Just a thought.
The biggest problem so far has been distinguishing upon first glance regular bars with “gentlemen’s clubs,” which given their proximity and immense number is a more difficult test than one would anticipate. Bourbon Street is definitely Big Business. We literally passed three bars in a row where the cover bands were all playing different verses of Sweet Home Alabama – and they were right next to each other.
There is something very distinctly corporate about the whole Bourbon Street scene, all the way down to the “try before you buy” pot pushers with a money back guarantee.
The light is blinding from up here. It seems lately the only real time I have to write is when I’m at 30,000 feet. High above the stratospheric shitsoup that covers New England, the Big Easy is sounding pretty fine. The snowstorm required 3 hours of attention to finally dig my way *to* my car, let alone clear the way to get back out again. The sad thing is in my neighborhood I got off easy.
The sun always seems to reflect strongest against clouds that have a load of snow. It’s funny to think 10 million New Yorkers are paying with sweat and labor for the blinding light show I get to enjoy for the low, low price of a business trip.
The social act of 21st century travel has become a unique experience. Though years have passed since 9/11, I can definitely tell travelers carry a greater guard than before. The first time I flew I was fifteen years old on a trip to see some girl in Portland, and I remember everyone being friendly and gracious. Right now, a fifteen year old a couple rows back might be on a similar journey with similar inexperience to a similar fate, but I don’t notice anyone calming his flight anxiety or being inquisitive about his destination. Instead of making deals and exchanging cards, the folks in first class preoccupy themselves with warm towels and USA Today.
I’m going to New Orleans right before Mardi Gras, about the same way my sister did a few years ago. She went with some friends in Manhattan and came back with a single set of beads. Naturally, being the overprotective brother that I am, I asked her how she got them. She always had a thing for four leaf clovers, a fascination that now seems sadly, terribly ironic. The beads she had were made out of shamrocks with a large one as a pendant, so obviously they were a set she really wanted a lot. I asked her bluntly if she showed that guy her boobs. She half-shouted back in the negative. The gentleman (read: dickcheese) that had the beads dangled them in front of her, asking for a predictable service in return. In a move of shrewd daring that I would hope would be her signature, she pointed behind the guy and said “44 double D.”
She was apparently a block and a half away before he turned back around, finding his beads gone.
Nugget calls me up as we roll out for the Battle of the Bands over in Taunton last night, clear nervousa creeping through his voice. I told him the meek surrender, and the bold survive. The radio said it was the fifth biggest snowstorm in Rhode Island’s history. I thought it was more likely that it was the fifth biggest overexaggeration. Well, they may have been right.
Needless to say, we got to All About Records and the show was cancelled. We waited around for a few minutes with Russ and his crew, lacing up the boxing gloves and taking a few swipes at each other until it became clear the cause was futile. Sadly, the award of best band of the evening was not awarded to us by default.
Our brave convoy ventured bag with tail tucked between lugs all the way back to Providence; a trip normally requiring 45 minutes taking nearly two and a half hours. T-dub commented as we left it may have been our best show yet and that by our perfect attendance record alone we should get a record deal.
Before he was the head of the Evil Empire. Before he was the richest man in the world. Before the bling bling and before IE, he was on the cover of Teen Beat magazine. That’s right, Bill Gates was an adolescent heartthrob in 1983.
T-dub bailed on practice, so I headed over to The Nice-ups compound to chill and sing a tune. As soon as I walked in it became apparent that our two bands were destined to get along, a fact sealed in stone when I went to the restroom and saw a picture of Amidala with blaster in hand. The house is populated as near as I can tell solely by Nice-ups and members of The Boneheads, all of whom have joined forces to create among the finest collection of Star Wars and Transformers figurines I have seen. In fact, I might have to consider relinquishing the band’s title as World’s Uncoolest Band, cause The Captain had a laser pistol for the Sega Genesis I haven’t even *seen* before. These guys roll the fucking twenties.
To top it off, we’re going to get an interband Star Wars RPG table going. I think to get Nugget to come we’re going to tell them by “Role Playing” we mean “Watching Strippers Play Water Polo In Jello.”