November 5th, 2002

I Will Not Defame New Orleans.

(no subject)

I did a bad thing at work on Sunday night. And I'm still giggling about it. In a good way.

So there's this guy — we'll call him 'Dork'. He occasionally comes in and tries to bum a draft beer from me. In the past, I've let him get me ice and do other dreadful little chores, and I've given him his request on rare occasions.

He's an idiot. I don't mean that in a mean or opinionated way. I'm just stating facts. The boy does not have it going on upstairs. He doesn't have the option of not being a moron. Wasted potential is one thing; lack of options is truly sad, however.

I never really knew much about him. Didn't care to, honestly. Idiots are dull and the less one knows about their sad little lives, the better.

Last night I found out about him. Between Crazy Shannon, Wende Firecracker (my spunky, punk-rock day girl), her boyfriend Jodi and the rest of the Forbidden Art tattoo crowd, I pieced together this little dossier:

'Dork' is homeless. 'Dork' is, as I suspected, a dim bulb. 'Dork' went to a party at Sylvia's a few weeks ago, and when the party ended and everyone went out to a club or some place, Sylvia locked up the house and went with. Sylvia came home later to find that 'Dork' had broken into her house and was merrily sitting at her kitchen table eating her food.

Wende Firecracker expressed her unmitigated hatred for this loser, and said it was only compounded and cemented by the Sylvia story, while I had previously just been bored by him, but harbored no active animosity. This was changing quickly.

Sunday night, 'Dork' breezed through my bar several times to use the bathroom. This is a pretty big faux pas. You don't just waft through a bar, pee, and leave. Not in the French Quarter. It's considered Rude and Tacky. Finally, the last time he drifted through and locked himself in the loo, Jodi, Wende F. and the rest of the burly tattoo boys began discussing him. "There's 'Dork'. Hey, Marquis, can we do something about him?"

All my regulars know that I really don't appreciate them flirting with potentially violent episodes in my bar. It's not that I'm against a good ass-whooping when someone needs it; it's that a fight in my bar becomes my responsibility, and I just don't want it on my shoulders. Somebody's gotta mop up the blood, and it's usually me. I hate blood.

So my regulars were surprised when I said, quite unexpectedly, "You wanna kick his ass? I'll look the other way," and grinned evilly.

The room instantly acquired the exuberant air of a 2nd grade class that has been told they're going to have McDonald's for lunch. "Yay! Marquis is gonna let us fuck with somebody! At last! At last! Whee!"

'Dork' came out of the bathroom and six people instantly buzzed around him like angry hornets, pushing him, provoking him, and shouting things. "Stolen any food lately, mutherfucker!?"

I sat at the bar languidly smoking a cigarette and drinking juice, pretending none of it was happening, but smiling inwardly.

'Dork' was unnerved, to say the least. If six tattooed men descending on a body isn't frightening enough, having Wende Firecracker in your face would surely put one over the edge. 'Dork' was making a hasty exit.

When he was nearly out of the door, Andy, full-sleeve tattoos, wearing a wifebeater and fedora, ran up behind him and punched him in the back of the neck.

"Hey! Ow!" quoth 'Dork'.

The sluices were open. The bar cleared out. Everyone was out on the street, and I was touched by their consideration to take it outside. The dawn lent an eerie blue glow to the buildings. Dogpile on 'Dork'. True to my word, I stayed out of it and kept my blind eye trained on Gunsmoke on the telley while I snickered throatily à la Bert from Sesame Street.

Eventually, they let 'Dork' go, relatively unharmed with skin and bones unbroken. They filed back into the bar like cheery children and bounced around and laughed and giggled for the rest of the morning.

Crazy Shannon had missed the mêlée. She came back soon after. I explained what had gone down. Crazy Shannon lives to punch people in the head, but out of deference to my severity, manages to restrain herself when at my bar, often letting some asshole leave unharmed, then squirming uncomfortably and asking me, "I was a good girl, wasn't I? It's only for you that I let him go."

"Yes, Shannon, you were a very good girl."

On Sunday night, she looked at me with incredulity and even some reproach. "You mean you let people beat someone up and I wasn't here?"

"It's timing, honey. I'm so sorry. I would have enjoyed seeing — er, not seeing that happen. I'm truly sorry."

It's best that she was gone. She would have hospitalized the boy.

I shouldn't expect 'Dork' to come around any time soon, but who can prophesy the actions of a certified idiot?

If anyone asks, the whole situation was way beyond my control and happened before I could put a stop to it. I am a gentle and refined person who occupies his mind with complicated Rachmaninoff harmonies and 18th century French literature.

But no one will ask.

Current music:
Some damn fucked up left-hand fingering in Rachmaninoff's Prélude in Gm, measures 47–49.