Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The City of New Orleans: Professional Drinkers Association

Day Three.

Because of the shatness of Bourbon Street, on Monday night we bought PBR silos and loitered on the sidewalk behind the cathedral in Jackson Square Park. Okay, sure, technically only Coors Light comes in silos, being the silver bullet and everything [nards] but you can't full well call a 24 oz can of heaven a tallboy when it's more than a tall order and you're drinking double the pleasure. So "silo" it is.

After striding around the block for awhile, two dirty crackheads plopped next to us on the sidewalk. We carried on conversations within our own individual groups, laughed at the same jokes and threw sporadic conversational interjections at each other.

A stranger ambled up after about half an hour, saddled with a low-slung back pack and munching out of a box of Crunch Berries with a long-handled spoon.

"Hey strangeh," called a crackhead. "Where yeh headin'?"

"Down Frenchmen street. There's a [some musical style] band playing at [some bar] and they got [some drink specials.]"

"Niiiiiice. I'll be headin down theah lateh."

"Cooo, maybe I'll see ya."

"Aiight. I'll be lookin fer the boxxah Crunch Berries." They exchanged smiles and a handslapfingersnap, and Crunch Berry Guy drifted away with his box and spoon.

I looked at Muffy. "I am hungry. And that guy was awesome."

"Dude. Yes."

"He is not an amateur."

"Hell no, that guy's definitely a professional. I'll bet he gets paid to be fucked up."

"I would pay him to be fucked up."

"I would give you half."

"And then I'd double his fucking salary."

"Crunch Berry Guy is so pro he's got a Masters In Professional Fuckedupness."

"Yeah, but that M.P.F. was bestowed upon him in the streets. Being a Professional in a field such as ours is a natural talent. That's some shit you can't learn at Tulane."

"Fuck Tulane."

"Unless he went to Kellogg. Now that's a school for Professional management."

"HAH! For sure, dude. And Crunch Berry guy manages to mix business and cereal."

"Dude, cereal is business. That's what they teach you at Kellogg."

"Cereal is serious business."

"They should really leave cereal for the Professionals."

"PDA 2009, dude. P. D. A."

We hung out there for a couple of hours before wandering back to the hotel, where I ate some Cheetos, wrote a drunk blog, and then convinced Muffy and Amber to head back out with me.

I led them to the casino across the street. I was just itching to play craps. Seriously itching. Took twenty dollars cash and an ID, because if I'd had plastic on me I would have diced my ass off. Nearly two hours of craps and free drinks, and I passed out back at the hotel with fifteen still in my pocket. Muffy and Amber weren't as lucky, but then again, they don't play craps.

And I am a Professional.

But the highlight of the night was back on the sidewalk, leaning against the fence behind that cathedral.

"I came here twenty-two years ago with my dad--" the older dirty crackhead began, his voice surprisingly clear and pleasant, without an ounce of the grit we expected, "--and he was like, I'll be right back."

He paused to light a cigarette, taking a long, slow drag. "I'm still waiting," he exhales in an expert stream of smoke. "He never came back."

We exchanged secret glances, listening in on his confession.

"So I fucking went to Mardi Gras and sold my roller skates for crack."



Nikki B. said...

what else do you do with rollerskates besides sell them for crack??? pshaw...

Del-V said...

One time at Mardi Gras I gave this kid $17 for his rollerskates. Now I feel bad.

Mrs. Booms said...

That has to be the saddest story that I ever caught myself imagining my child telling people.

Erin said...

Crunch Berries are so good, but they kind of hurt the roof of my mouth if I eat too many. I OD'd in 1998 and can't bring myself to go back. Not a professional.

mongoliangirl said...

You are SO going to have to give me your roller skates to prevent me from posting that fucked up drunken email you sent to me a few nights ago.

liz said...


Bobbay said...

That was definitely the best quote of the entire trip.

Besides Muffy's quotes, but I'm certain that you'll post those in a future blog, and I don't want to ruin it.

Mia Watts said...

Seriously, Rassles, your ears are alway "on". I fucking need to listen better. I miss some great shit.

Bluestreak said...

Oh, Jesus. Rassles, you could not make this shit up. No, wait, yes you could, you totally could. But I believe that you didn't even though I don't doubt your capability of doing so.

Fucking crack roller skates. Christ.

Can this little piece of dialogue be the first paragraph of your book? Save these characters, they are important.

Slinger said...

I play golf in the PDA sometimes. and drunken post cards are way cooler than drunken voicemails...

Gwen said...

This post gave me chills. Really it did. People are so interesting. And you manage to run into the most interesting folks in your journeys and bring them to life for your readers with your evocative and beautiful writing. I can't wait to read your first novel. Or maybe you've already written like ten best sellers and won a Pulitzer. That wouldn't surprise me in the least. P.S. Thanks for your last comment on my blog. I appreciate you noticing my "disappearing" blogs. I know I've been weird about my writing lately. Putting a blog up, taking it down. I'm just hating my writing at the moment. It's feeling dead to me. Thanks for encouraging me. I actually put up a new blog tonight and it's staying up! I promise :)

Mia Watts said...

Rassels. You write? What about?

Rassles said...

Nikki: One time I sold my roller skates for candy. And by candy, I mean...shit. Of course it was crack.

Del-V: Now we know who to blame. You, sir, are an enabler, and a threat to society.

Boomer: That comment was sheer poetry.

Erin: Did you have to get like, a giant milk-filled Tarantino-sized syringe jammed into your breastplate to counterbalance the crunchiness?

Mongo: I do not have any roller skates. But I have crack. AND I have a pair of hiking boots, some old wheels from a dilapidated desk, and superglue. So you know, give me like an hour.

Liz: That shit's racist. ljka;lkdj;fjkd

Bobbay: It was awesome, wasn't it? Oh, and don't worry. Soon enough. I think I'm going to call you tonight though, because I can't recall some direct quotes from Bloody Mary and Jeffrey Faar.

Mia: Listening to other people's conversations is the best way to determine whether or not they're interesting.

Blues: If I decide to write a book, okay. And then you can be my proofreader.

Slinger: "I WRITE POSTCARDS WHEN I'M DRUNK SOR." Even my postcards are profound.

Gwen: Just wait until you read about the upcoming characters. Delicious.

Mia: I write blogs. And manuals. And acknowledgment letters. And sometimes grants. It ends there.

paperback reader said...

Hot damn, that is an awesome - if not exactly timeless, given the dearth of rollerskating venues in modern American society, despite the valiant efforts of De La's "A Rollerskating Jam Called 'Saturday'" - story.

American in Sydney said...

I love playing craps-- and it's so wrong that it took me a year to realize there was a real casino in Sydney, ten minutes from my house!

I loved the whole "then I'd double his fucking salary" line. You guys are da bomb.

I haven't been on your blog for a while because I thought I added all my favorite people to my new google reader-- apparently I'm an idiot.

Anonymous said...

He should have rollerskated into the cathedral and asked to speak to the resident bell-ringer. That would have been way more fun a time.

Anonymous said...

Rassles and New Orleans...kind of like red beans and rice...it was bound to happen. Oh, and you have developed quite a following down here in Franklin. Not stalkers, just people. A friend was in Chicago not too long ago and was actually looking for you in the various bars.

Le Meems said...

Lavish downtown gallery. A car crashes through the plate glass window. The driver's door opens, and an eight-year-old girl steps out.

you're the 8-year old, I imagine

Kitty said...

Damn. Your dialogue is spot on.
Write the book. I'll preorder it.

American in Sydney said...

I'm finally getting around to checking in on all my favorite people and where you be??? I was expecting some freaking entertainment.

The Ambiguous Blob said...

NOLA is not for kids. Or sane humans of adult age. I keep getting in trouble for talking smack about the city, but honestly, it sounds like a shit hole. And I'm not a fan of shit holes, quite unlike some of my ex boyfriends.
P.S. props for discussion about the silver bullet.

Mia Watts said...

Just here to say: I fucking love you.

Might want to reconsider the book writing thought. My guess is you'd have the next classic Catcher-in-the-Rye but much more enjoyable to read.

A Free Man said...

Crackheads rule. Did any of them have their carpets unfurled with all that shiny shit they pick up? That's the best. They're like magpies.

harper & beatrix said...

sometimes i miss new orleans. if only because this is normal.

oh, and i think crunch berries is post. but still cereal.


Rassles said...

Pistols: I'm not sure if I would have wanted him to elaborate or not. Sometimes, there's poetry in that kind of simplicity.

Flora: You are not an idiot, because you play craps. I'm really, really, really not good at it. Good enough to play for a long time and break even, but I really just don't take the huge chances that the serious players do. Then again, I'm still new to the game, so we'll see.

GullyB: Sanctuary?

Franklin: Ooooo, I like that. Now I'm going to try to be sneaky everywhere I go and pretend I'm famous.

Le Meems: I think more appropriately, I would be watching that eight-year old girl from the street and run up to her, praising her shenanigans, and then we'd be best friends, and then after mass destruction we'd part ways, strangers.

Kitty: I need a plot first.

Flora: Sorry! I gotta work sometimes, too. Jeeze, man.

Ambiblob: Dude, it is totally not a shithole. This is what it's like wherever I go. I always find the dirtiest, chillest motherfuckers and listen in. You know what's a real shithole? Fucking Detroit. New Orleans is amazing.

Mia: Well, thank you.

Freeman: No! I'm so bummed. They basically just had skateboards and backpacks and beers and their eyes were all fucky. Shiny objects would have been so much more fun to describe.

Beatrix: I can totally understand how you would miss it there. I was there for a week, and I just want to go back. I'm pretty sure it's one of my top three favorite places in this country.

Muffy said...

" I gotta spell you something, I think I'm to drunk to get into the casino"

Apparently NOLA is no ROCK