"Things I've Learned In New Orleans:"
The only time it's safe to call a cop "BUDDY" is in a sentence like, “Hey, BUDDY, get your hand off my ass!” A bad time would be while you’re waiting for the ambulance.
Only in New Orleans would the announcement that one has stopped drinking be met with, "Oh, I'm sorry... What will you do, now?" Like it's an involuntary career change.
99.9% of all tourists are pure, unadulterated EVIL. Not evil like Linda Blair in The Exorcist, though they do puke more and I've seen them do that thing with the spinning head--they're the more insidious evil; that kind of bland, white, "All-American", polyester-from-Wal-Mart, mini-van complacency that thinks mediocrity is the safe place to be. The kind of evil that prefers Danielle Steele and fat-free hot dogs, while their children are trying to imitate the deader-than-thou goth clones on Decatur Street. And even though they're stupid enough to voluntarily eat Lucky Dogs, they won't feel THAT payback until they're on the way home.
Only since I've lived in New Orleans have I had to actually go down my list of friends and separate the "Junkies" from the "Alkies", and cross-reference the ones who go on both lists. The ones who are really good at it can hold down day jobs. Maybe I should drink more. They can give you every possible chemical configuration of a Noritsu 7400 film developer/printer computer, but they can't remember my birthday. Apparently the drug fiends have better short-term memory than the falling-down drunks.
Since my generation doesn't have any "war" stories, we tend to "top" one another's exploits with comparisons of drug overdoses, dysfunctional family implosions, child abuse and poverty. I never realized, until I lived in a squat, how "cool" it is to wear thrift-store clothes while you're hiding from the dealer that you owe for your mom's hash. Owning a car doesn't disqualify you from the contest, though--it makes you really popular with all the pedestrians and hitch-hikers in the neighborhood.
In New Orleans, just because somebody holds your hair while you puke, doesn't mean they'll become your best friend. 'Course, it doesn't mean they won't, but, somehow, you're never surprised when the phone doesn't ring.
I also discovered that, no matter how old anybody thinks it makes me look, I'm learning to like my grey hair. God knows I earned 'em.
When the classified ad says, "Cute little fixer-upper," it means that the house is so fucked, that the roaches moved out.
When I was living in that squat a couple of years ago, I learned a little bit about ROACHES:
--They do have the quadriceps to move large pieces of furniture.
--They play so well with others, about 14,000,000 of them can live in, for instance, a bathtub.
--The only way to kill them is to wear steel-toed combat boots.
Speaking of cockroaches...(accent on the "cock")...in New Orleans, I've found that when one stands up for one's self and refuses to take any more SHIT, whether it be from a knuckle-walking bug-fucker like my last radio boss, or the balding hippie-yuppie-stoner boss at the photography job, or even the parasitic white-trash "boyfriend" of a freaky little flake who calls herself one's friend, ONE STILL GETS FUCKED. Dry, hard, no hug, no kiss, no reacharound. Apparently, those of us who don't cotton to the taste of others' feces are the "problem children."
I can walk into any bar in New Orleans--including The Pub-- and get hit-on. There are enough horny assholes out there to go around, but ONLY the assholes are attracted to me. And, NO, it does NOT bolster my ego that you tried to hide your wedding band behind a margarita whilst attempting to stick your tongue in my ear.
One-night stands are still simpler than real relationships, but not necessarily easier. The ones you want to get to know-- run, screaming into the night. And the ones you'd prefer to be a happy little memory-- NEVER LEAVE. And every once in a great while, the really persistent ones become your best friend. Even as he's being a self-centered prick who still won't put out.
©1998, Joanna E. Beattie, aka "rantress", from the as-yet unpublished, "Drama Queen"