October 28th, 2002

I Will Not Defame New Orleans.

When Life Hands You Lemons, Pour Yourself A Chartreuse & 7 And Squeeze Dem Puppies In Dere!

I was a little blue last night during my obligatory two hour pre-work nap from 10:30p – 12:30a. Okay, more than blue. Having one of those teary-eyed evenings pledging my æternal and exclusive love to my stupid cat because she's the only one who understands, maaaaan! (And she can't talk back. That helps.)

Biked down to the Quarter around 1:45a. At that hour, it's pretty safe to bike through Jackson Square past St. Louis Cathedral. Safe from cops, I mean. They're the real terror. I can handle muggers and derelicts. Hell, it's my bloody profession after all.

So I'm lethargically biking through the square, wiping the end of my little catharsis from my tear ducts, groggy from not sleeping and too much work, and then of course: "Woo-woo-woo!"

Cop drives up behind me and pulls me over.

Red-rimmed eyes and snotty nose on me. Empty, sleepy dead stare to boot. I grab onto my little squeaky Satan head horn on the handlebars for comfort.

"How long have you lived here?" asked the becrewcutted, meaty little officer.

"'Bout six or seven years."

"How often you ride your bike through Jackson Square?"

"I don't. I usually ride up Decatur," I lied.

"The ticket is $250."

I kept silent.

"Personally," he opined, "I don't see the point in writing a $250 ticket for just biking through the fucking Square…" he left a pregnant pause.

I caught the cue. "I'll never do it again," I lied and smiled, wiping my nose.

"Don't ride through the Square!"

"Gotcha, boss. Thanks a million," said without sarcasm.

Dealing with New Orleans cops is always harrowing because it's basically a military state and they can — and will! — do anything to you they want. I lucked out by getting the cool cop. Things can get ugly for no reason. I've seen it happen to too many people.

Slammin'Continued on to work. Couldn't shake my blues. Had another little quiet breakdown in the back office while I counted out money and such.

"Let it be a quiet night," I threw it out to the universe.

The universe gave me just the opposite. My Sunday graveyard shift more than doubled the best of any other Sunday graves in my year-plus of working there. I didn't stop moving for seven hours. The entire bar was two lines deep full of thirsty people with fistfulls of cash and I was doing my rockstar best to pour three drinks at once while taking two more people's orders and working the register behind me with my foot. It was hand-over-fist. I love nights like those. 'Specially when I'm working alone. I get my groove oan, bay-bee!

And the greatest bit was that the universe must have heard my little plea for a quiet night, discerned the reasons behind it, then gave me something better, because my mind was so not dwelling on my own silly nilly problems.

So I'd just like to say, THANKS Jesus, God, Allah, Yaweh, Buddha, Isis or Mr. Stay-Puft! I owe you one, buddy!