Monday, November 29, 2004

New Orleans

First off let me say that New Orleans is one of the craziest, liveliest, most energetic places I’ve ever been to. It’s a city in the swamps, where people gather to drink and drink and drink and then eat food that is spicy as all hell yet seemingly harmless because you are so trashed that you don’t realize that your insides are spontaneously incinerating with every bite. The whole city reeks of French influences and kind of reminds me of Paris, only the romance in the air is much more uncivilized (a.k.a. “trashy”) and the people are 50 times more inebriated.

I have also never heard more live music in such a short period of time. Everywhere you walk in Orleans there is great live blues, jazz, and Zydeco pouring onto the streets from the bars and the street musicians and artists in Jackson square rival anything I’ve seen in Europe. Also the people are incredibly open and will just come up to you and start bullshitting with you which I’ve never had a problem with.

More nonsense

So after a semester abroad in Europe and reading a couple really good books with similar ideologies, I’ve become a huge fan of backpacking. It’s the whole idea of not packing anything more than you can jam into a rucksack that you can sling over your back. I personally enjoy it because it means you don’t have to check any luggage and you can just bring all of your belongings as a carry on and run off the plane and partake in what I’ve referred to is in the past as guerilla tourism. Guerilla Tourism is trying to see and experience everything that a city or culture has to offer in a very short period of time, at the expense of other less important things like breathing.

The only problem with this whole rucksack revolution though is that people like me who don’t understand the basic mechanics of folding clothes and space allocation just ball up their clothes and try to jam as much as can be fit in the bag and are welcomed by a mass of hideously wrinkled dress shirts and pants when the bag is finally opened at the final destination.

You Have Got to be Kidding Me.

So I’m rocking all these obscenely wrinkled clothes throughout the city of New Orleans for the duration of my 4 night stay for no other reason except for the fact that I just don’t care and I am still laughing about what happened as result. Thursday night after some all expenses paid dental convention dinner and consuming numerous cocktails and about ¾ of a bottle of chardonnay I decided that it would be a bright idea to stumble down Bourbon Street, drink some beer, and try find some similarly intoxicated college students to bullshit with, since they are in high supply over there. Anyways I’m just talking about a bunch of dumb things to various people and this chick from North Carolina comes up to me and says “Why in gods name are you wearing that shirt, its soooo wrinkled?”

Rather than trying to come up with any sort of intelligent answer I went with the tried and true explanation of how “I wasn’t sober and that I wasn’t really sure why.” So this girl says to me, “Well if you’ll come back to my hotel room, I’ll iron it for you.” After laughing for what seemed like 5 minutes, I thanked her for the offer but said that I wasn’t all about ironing with some random chick that I met on the street, and that she might get the creases all wrong. Only in New Orleans.

Girls Gone Wild

Now this cracks me up. On Friday Night I once again got lured onto Bourbon street to hang out on the street and drink these 45 ounce beers that this old guy was selling in one of the alleys for 3 bucks which is a steal when you figure they charge $4.75 - $5.00 for beer in the bars and what do I see?, the fucking Girls Gone Wild camera guys probably filming GGW 453 or something. I was sitting and watching this display and thinking that it was really sad that girls would flash cameras and commit other vulgarities and then sign away their rights in exchange for nothing more than a free t-shirt. And the next thing you know you’re on a nationally distributed video and a few sleazeballs make millions of dollars off of your drunken stupidity. If you’re gonna be a total slut on camera why not get some business sense and just make a good old fashioned porn flick. T-shirts shrink and get stained. Why not make actual money and buy me some beer with it. Anyways I was trashed, some of these girls were gorgeous, and overall I can’t say I had a bad time. Girls will do anything for t-shirts won’t they?

And a few last words…..

If you were feeling sharp pains in your back all weekend, it was probably because I was thinking of you while I was stabbing voodoo dolls in various area stores.

I am going to kidnap someone and force them to come to Mardi Gras with me in the next couple years cause the parades look amazing and it is my destiny to be there.

In New Orleans it is legal to walk down the street drinking beer and any other form of alcohol as long as it’s not in a glass container. It’s kind of how I imagine heaven will be like

When going through the security checkpoint at O’Hare and guards find a large pair of scissors in your rucksack, don’t laugh and say, “How did those get in there?” You will get the frisking of a lifetime, trust me.

The reason that Southwest Airlines recently enacted a policy that makes obscenely obese people purchase two airplane seats if they cannot fit into one seat is because there is no reason the person in the next seat over should only be able to use half of their seat. I was lucky enough to get to sit next to a massive authentic Cajun black woman on the way to N’awlins. I know my tickets were ridiculously cheap but this was a little too much. Thanks United. The skies were a little too friendly for comfort this time.

Orginally written: October 20, 2002

(The Following is a selection from my new book "Two Years in Electronic Form")