Dave's Mental Meanderings
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2005-01-05 22:28:41 (UTC)

People and Places - Part II

Part II – A Madman’s Travel Guide to the Big Easy

I’d like to make a couple things clear before you begin
reading. First, entry is called Part II for a reason; if
you haven’t read Part I, you really won’t get much of a
sense of continuity from starting here so I advise you go
back and start from the beginning. And if you did read Part
I, well… to be honest, you still wont’ get much of a sense
of continuity. But it gets better, I promise.

I’d also like to mention that parts of this installation
will undoubtedly be EXTREMELY offensive to some people.
Read this at your own risk. And I guess I should also
mention that any descriptions of or accounts involving any
places of business are entirely fictional and are intended
for humor purposes only. Of course I’m flattering myself if
I think this writing will ever be wide-spread enough to
reach the hands of people who’d give a fuck, but I’m just
covering my ass from accusations of libel.

You’ve been warned. Enjoy.

Having read Part I, loyal and possibly imaginary reader, you
must surely have but one question on your mind. “What
monumental revelation is Dave about to make? What
phenomenon could possibly warrant requiring me to read three
full pages that I only now realize to be an utterly
nonsensical shit-pile of an introduction through which I
have been forced to slog prior to even discovering the whole
fucking point of this writing in the first place? Besides
ingesting two bottles of Robitussin Maximum Strength cough
syrup all at once and then going out in public, what could
possibly jar this fellow’s equilibrium enough to render him
utterly unable to write one of his numerous, if perhaps not
necessarily deserving of merit, poems? Forgoing all further
suspense, though any amount would be fully warranted, here goes.

Rob, Adrian, and I are going to New Orleans one week from
today. The two people with whom I have chilled more than
I’d like to remember (hell, more than I can remember even if
I try, for that matter), thus completing the ultimate trio,
the quintessential triumvirate if you will, for the last New
Orleans trip of my college years. This will mark my fifth
trip to New Orleans in as many years; my fifth time behind
the wheel for the entirety of the 1000-mile road trip down
and the 1007-mile trip back (we have yet to figure that one
out), all the while hooking down Dex like it was candy and
cigarettes like they were little candies with crispy
crack-cocaine centers, scratching the amphetamine itch with
my gas pedal foot, and verbalizing thoughts that somehow in
the context of such a strange and glorious occasion are not
only condoned but accepted and even expanded upon by my
fellow Midnight Riders as we glide through town after town,
state after state like fugitives from the daylight and all
the connotations of correctness and sobriety that come along
with it, under cover of the Southern night whose chilly
embrace has no memory, keeps no score, and betrays not us
nor the countless other beat-down glory-bound sinners who
ride by night and find comfort in the anonymity of the road,
whose holy ranks we join if only for a few kicks while
nobody’s looking; my fifth time at the helm of the
proverbial ship (or the proverbial rusty canoe with a hole
in the bottom and one fucking paddle; back when I drove a
Saturn) on a pilgrimage to the holiest of holy lands across
the two-lane blacktop sea with a motley, rag-tag crew
consisting every year of at least one skeptical but willing
adventurer who has yet to experience the filthy, decadent,
syphilis-reeking orgasm of putrid fun that awaits all who
dare venture into the bowels of the French Quarter; my fifth
time throwing my lot in with company no more fit than I to
be left unsupervised in the absence of Virginia’s Orwellian
liquor laws, risking life and limb and more importantly our
clean arrest records simply for four days of otherworldly
and at unmistakably macabre enchantment and three nights of
no-holds-barred, no-drugs-refused, no-hookers-left-alive fun
in that sinners’ Mecca lurking in the shadows of the city’s
sleek, modern business district… the French Quarter. Merely
typing the words brings forth memories of throngs of
revelers on Bourbon Street stumbling from bar to bar, crowds
beginning to swell for the night when the street is closed
to motor vehicle traffic at dusk, taking shots of liquor
served in little tubes that scantily clad waitresses beckon
for you to remove from their cleavage with your mouth,
progressively considering it a better and better idea to
take one of those upstanding young men up on his offer for
“ecstasy, kind bud, cocaine” that he mutters covertly to all
passers-by as he canvasses the street for potential
customers, bargaining for a beads-for-tits exchange with a
well-endowed young lady on a balcony above the street and
explaining to her A-cup-inflicted friend that we apologize
for the confusion but the offer was not extended to her and
that these fucking beads cost good money you know.

Well that stuff is all fine and good for some folks, but
what if you’re not the kind of person I am? It wouldn’t be
right for me to alienate any readers because of simple
differences between their ideas of a good time and my own.
Maybe you’re not quite desperate enough to throw heinously
overpriced plastic beads at a woman in hopes that she honors
her drunken agreement to gratify you with a brief glimpse of
her tits from 30 feet away that you may not even see because
of the hordes of sex-deprived males crowded on the street in
front of you not to mention the equally formidable threat of
the large-breasted vixen’s ubiquitous fat and ugly friend
who is trying to persuade her fuckable counterpart to leave
the balcony and go back inside to get away from the rowdy
mob of would-be suitors under the false pretense of
responsibility and concern even though it’s painfully
obvious that she’s only doing it out of well concealed yet
scathingly hateful jealousy stemming from a lifetime of
being left at home with only the bittersweet companionship
of a bag of Oreos while her hot friend is out on a date.
And maybe you’re not quite pathetic enough to succumb to the
obviously contrived flirtations of the seductive waitress
prowling around the bar displaying not only her Wonder
Bra-induced cleavage but also a tray of tube-shaped shot
glasses filled with liquors of various colors and flavors
that patrons can purchase and receive the shot glass orally
from between the waitress’s tits and immediately thereafter
prepare not only to be overcharged for the shot but also
solicited for a tip by the persuasive yet robotically
efficient waitress whose I-want-to-suck-you smile disappears
upon receiving your money and is replaced by a purposeful
and emotionless gaze as she locates her next victim and thus
with cold mechanical precision exchanges a few seconds of
face-to-tittie contact and an ounce of watered-down booze in
exchange for handfuls of cash from every last table of
middle-aged male business travelers desperately trying to
relive their “glory days” as douche-bag frat guys whose
susceptibility to her soulless method of attack is surpassed
only by that of the groups of nervous pimply-faced
twenty-somethings trying to make up for all the wild times
they passed up in favor of playing Dungeons and Dragons back
when they were college nerds and still had a chance to
extricate themselves from the agonizingly barren and lonely
descent to friendless post-college nerd existence that has
long since eradicated the last remnants of true happiness
from their souls and left in its place a void that all the
experience points and plus-one-magic’s in Ravenloft could
never fill.

If you’re a little too respectable for all that, or for that
matter even if you haven’t got an ounce of respectability in
your miserable soul but you have the money to afford the
good stuff, there is certainly no shortage of gentlemen’s
clubs on Bourbon Street. And for that matter, there are
even more tittie bars that cater to a decidedly
un-gentlemanly clientele. Whatever your price range, this
place has you covered. Willing to pay for the high life?
Whether you’re an overpaid corporate executive with a
cheating housewife back home or a professional athlete whose
top-dollar lawyer keeps those pesky murder and rape charges
under control, look no further than Larry Flynt’s Hustler
Club for the best adult entertainment available in the
Quarter. Budget travelers beware – the Hustler Honeys don’t
come cheap. You’ll be greeted at the entrance by two
steroid-crazed doormen in tuxedoes who will eye you up
suspiciously if you look like anything less than a 6-figure
kind of fella. Here you pay a $10 cover charge assuming you
meet the dress code and are allowed in at all, then blow
another $20 on the two drink minimum even before factoring
in all the tips you’ll be asked for during the ordering and
serving of the drinks, and expect to pay no less than $50
just for a three-minute private lap dance and a whopping
$500 just to get into the Champaign Room where the stuck-up
high-and-mighty cunt of a stripper will demand another few
hundred just to nullify the “you can’t touch me” rule and
proceed to round your bill up to a cool grand if your cock
happens to be what you wanted to touch her with. Stupid
bitch, thinks she’s too good to just shut up and keep
grinding her beaver on the pole and not give me any sass
when I tell her that maybe later if I’m feeling saucy enough
to indulge in the closest thing to a threesome I can afford
then I just may take her back to the Champaign Room and take
a stab at the juicy little darling whose baby formula my
endless supply of grubby $1 bills will be paying for in a
few months. At the opposite end of the price spectrum lies
the less classy but infinitely more affordable establishment
known as Big Daddy’s, where at the tender age of 18 I was
lucky enough to slip in past the drooling baboon of a
doorman who was absent-mindedly checking ID’s and to whom I
tipped my hat as I staggered out of the place drunk as hell
and maybe a little bit confused but smiling with the
knowledge that never again would I lay awake at night and
wonder what it’s like to ejaculate in my pants while
indirectly feeding the heroin addiction of the stripper who
in compliance with my request to see as little as possible
of her leathery face is half-heartedly grinding her pale
bony ass against my groin to the to melancholy tune of a
shitty Depeche Mode song spewing forth in all its
overpowering lifelessness from a badly damaged CD on the PA
system as I optimistically think that every time the
wretched disc skips and hangs up for a few seconds I get
another pump or two from ol’ Leatherface here. The best
part – I only spent $40 total on drinks, tips for the surly
waitresses who are obviously ex-strippers who got one too
many war wounds and were forced into early retirement
(pretty tough to be too ugly to strip in a joint like this),
dollar bills held in my mouth so the girls on stage would
take them from me by grabbing them between their tits, and
of course the lap dance. Big Daddy’s boasts free cover plus
the one-drink minimum won’t break the bank, and a sharp
negotiator can get himself a Sandy Jesus and maybe even a
Kentucky Flapjack during a half hour session in the men’s
room handicapped stall (no Champaign Room here) with a
stripper that’s almost definitely a real female for a mere
$7.81 – a veritable pittance compared to the high-and-mighty
joints like Larry Flynt’s with their fancy-pants
tuxedo-wearing bouncers, red velvet upholstered chairs,
spotless health code record, and strict inspections to
verify the status as females of all strippers.

For those of you who may have gotten the wrong impression
about the fair city of New Orleans from my accounts of it
thus far, allow me to apologize and set the record straight.
Though sex is quite a commodity in this anything-goes town,
New Orleans is a bustling metropolis known for its diversity
and therefore has something for everybody’s tastes. In
fact, the real reasons I love the city so much are a lot
more innocent than what goes on in even the tamest of
Bourbon Street’s disease-ridden,
disobedient-hooker-corpse-disposing gentlemen’s clubs. For
the benefit of the improbable but technically possible
reader who has not swiftly navigated away from my online
journal in disgust, I have compiled a list of some of my
favorite things about lovely New Orleans which are a bit
more wholesome and appropriate for families, the elderly,
the faint of heart, those who are accustomed to a suburban
or rural environment, people raised in families with a
combined household income above the poverty line, and
anybody else who has not been hardened by a lifetime of
recurring incarceration, substandard living conditions,
stretching food stamp rations just to keep Steel Reserve in
the fridge, killing other human beings in cold blood just in
case they might have tried to kill you later on, performing
oral sex on other men in exchange for any number of illicit
drugs, and raping the young daughters of tourist couples
just to keep your sex life balanced out. For your further
convenience, I’ve listed these sights and activities in
descending order of wholesomeness, so if things start to get
a little hairy, that’s probably your cue to stop reading and
trust my warning that no further items on the list will be
of significant interest to you.

To reiterate, the list goes in order from “most suitable for
a Christian family with small children” down to “most
suitable for a PCP addict with a taste for orphans and who
just hasn’t been the same since Vietnam.” If your tastes
lie outside of that spectrum, God help you.
- Hiring a horse-drawn carriage driver for a tour of the
gorgeous Garden District. (Although gang members swear by
avoiding horse-drawn carriages as modes of transportation
due to the passengers’ susceptibility to gunfire, this is
generally not a problem for Caucasian tourists as they are
easily identified as non-gang members even from a distance.)
- Taking a stroll to admire the rustic and almost haunting
architecture of the French Quarter that for the most part
hasn’t seen restoration in over a century. (Be advised that
rustic architecture is often indistinguishable from the
city’s equally flourishing low-income housing found in
neighborhoods inhabited by unsavory characters such as drug
dealers and gang members, which in fact are often one and
the same. Tourist bureaus generally recommend avoiding such
areas after dark and taking extra precautions during crack
season, which lasts year-round in the warm New Orleans climate.)
- Walking the length of Canal Street to the riverfront for a
scenic stroll down the bank of the Mississippi, and then
taking the convenient and romantic streetcar for the return
journey. (The streetcar is especially recommended for
returning to one’s hotel from the riverfront after dark
because this allows tourists to avoid walking through the
most dangerous part of the city, which is any place where
white tourists are on foot can be easily mugged. In the end
you’ll thank yourself for springing for the 75-cent bullet
shield referred to as public transportation in New Orleans)
- Sampling delectable authentic Cajun cooking at local
restaurants. (Although the vast majority of local
restaurant owners – as well as politicians, civic leaders,
top-brass businessmen, and shop keepers – are at least
connected to if not directly affiliated with local organized
crime rings, most of the city’s hired muscle will rarely if
ever confront and/or murder a shop keeper or restaurant
owner is his place of business, thus preserving New Orleans’
almost spotless reputation as a city where you probably
won’t get killed when dining out.)
- Watching the zany street performers from a café table in
the French Market area. (The street performers are
generally vagrants and can be a bit rough around the edges
as far as manners are concerned, but most put on genuinely
entertaining acts that children are sure to enjoy and
surprisingly few of them will actually attack you without
warning, making this part of the French Quarter a favorite
destination for families. Please be considerate and
remember that street performers work for tips, and tipping
is an absolute must if you take the performer’s photograph.
Remember that it’s only because of the soothing wave of
relief and god-like energy experienced when smoking crack
that allows these performers to stand on a milk crate on the
sidewalk doing the robot for 20 hours out of the day, and
that crack doesn’t pay for itself.)
- Listening to live jazz and blues music at Bourbon Street’s
world-famous music clubs. (Local musicians who play the
club circuit are a notoriously jumpy and paranoid bunch as a
result of prolonged abnormally heavy methamphetamine
consumption to enable them stay wired for 7 nights a week of
10-hour gigs at bars that never close, and also be warned
that virtually all of them carry guns to ward off would-be
robbers of their musical instruments as they stagger in a
red-eyed stupor with a head full of meth through the Quarter
at all hours of the night. For your own safety, follow
these two guidelines to avoid a potentially fatal incident
with a high-strung musician: First, do not under any
circumstances approach a blues singer from his peripheral
vision; and second, while walking in the city and
specifically near known live jazz establishments, keep your
hands out of your pockets and down by your sides in plain
view at all times to minimize your chances of a passing
trombonist gunning you down in a fury of
methamphetamine-fueled paranoid rage.)
- Gambling at the glitzy and glamorous Harrah’s Casino at
the riverfront. (Low-ranking thugs, pick-up men, and other
members of known organized crime rings flock to Harrah’s to
see and be seen, and as a result it is a 24-hour hotbed of
criminal activity. To maximize your safety in the casino
and thereby minimize the risk of having your scrotum removed
with a rusty butter knife in a case of mistaken identity
that will be embarrassing for all parties involved, do your
best not to resemble even remotely anybody involved in any
way with organized crime in New Orleans. But don’t let this
scare you off - rest assured that you will probably not be
mistaken for a rival gang member as long as you are an
Eskimo, an Aborigine, or a beagle.)
- Lastly, the least wholesome and most decadent of my
favorite Big Easy activities… drum roll please… staying at
the lovely Empress Hotel!!! This locally owned hotel
literally reeks of authentic New Orleans inside and out, and
boasts an unbeatable location on Ursulines Avenue just 2
blocks north of Rampart Street which marks the northern edge
of the French Quarter. That means it’s only 5-minute walk
to the world-famous French Quarter from the hotel. And
better yet, that also means it’s only a 5-minute walk out of
the ghetto from the hotel! Each of our cozy rooms is loaded
with luxury furnishings and amenities including but not
limited to (dead hookers are often left in the rooms by
forgetful guests upon check-out, whereupon they are rinsed
off and left for the next guest as a free courtesy in the
event that they have not been laid claim to by a member of
the housekeeping staff first) a surprisingly comfortable
double bed, either a window or a window-size piece of
decorative plywood halfway up one wall (rooms featuring the
window option are equipped with a window-mounted climate
control unit with adjustable thermostat for guests who
happen have a 3/8-inch hex-head socket wrench; rooms
featuring plywood option now come standard with dually
functional space heater and toaster at no additional charge
– just position the heater facing upwards and you can toast
bread in 12 seconds flat right on the grate!), and last but
not least, depending on the phase of the moon and the
current relative orbital radii of Neptune and Pluto, a
somewhat to almost fully functional bathroom… all for only
$50 per night for a two-person room. So bring a friend and
get the bargain of a lifetime – only $25 each per night, and
you’re only two blocks deep in the ghetto just outside the
heart of the most unique and lively city in the United States.