March 13, 02
"..what the whole hep world would be doing on Saturday night if the Nazis had won the war." -Hunter Thompson, from Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas

The Club-- Well, this is an occasion to remember. Sitting down to some barroom gonzo journalism for the first time in months, and in my most frequented bar no less. Wednesday, "doubles-for-a-dollar" night at New Orleans most (in)famous 24-hour crawl, corner of Magazine and Napoleon and really in all truth the epicenter of the Mardi Gras/Carnival season. It all starts here. Every major Mardi Gras parade starts here. And if you're on an all night binge, this is probably where it ends as well. My thoughts go to Doc Atomic, my friend and cohort, back in Albuquerque. Him waxing reminiscent of the glory daze of his college experience, hitting Jack's for a few drinks in the morning before an exam. What would Doc do in a town with all-night bars? Ooooh. Banish the thought. It's too gruesome. Not even my rather brazen imagination wants to GO THERE.

So, back here in The Club it's Jim behind the bar, Jules conspicuously absent for a Wednesday night, Lisa with her wild Pippi Longstocking long hot red curls and the Celtic cross tattooed on the back of her neck, the only part of her head I'm seeing tonight at the bar what with all her attention focused on her pretty-boy boyfriend Ron (no sarcasm there, he really is). Bars. Why do they.. I mean, WHAT FOOL invented the typical bar? With its linear, straight line aesthetic, or lack thereof, anything more than a 2-way conversation is half-impossible.

Scott is with me, drinking cranberry without booze. He's a straight pill man, if ever the word straight could be applied to a junky, a junky of any ilk. I'm a pill junky at heart. But unlike 51-year old Scott, I haven't learned yet not to mix pills with booze.

Typically a Wednesday night here at The Club would have Jules "da mayor" here holding court over a bevy of babes: Eileen, Claudia, Lena, Lisa to name a few, croaking out clever soliloquies about this or that in his alligator rasp voice, deep yet somehow high at the same time, ever-confident, never a wavering thought, even under the 10-ton brain burden of a dozen bourbon and coke doubles, his wide eyes forever scanning the scene, seemingly never on you for more than a millisecond, with the possible exception of when he's speaking right to you, telling you a story he wants you to appreciate. Yes, typically he would be here tonight. But according to Jim, Jules has been and gone, got his buzz on and bailed "before the drunks took over the place," he said, truly an ironic comment from the King of The Club.

The Club. What can I say? Dirty meat. Huh? Don't ask. Ornate molded tin ceiling, peeling paint, 10:51 p.m. on the Budweiser Clydesdale clock, which translates into one hour and nine minutes to go on the doubles for a dollar deal. St. Patty's décor strewn about, Dixie, Bud, and Lite beers on tap and every kind of booze lined up behind Jim like in every bar in every city from here to here again, round the globe and back. Chandra the Camel cigarette girl passing out free packs of Camels every night, so long as you sign on the line and take a pack of the promo Turkish cigs to boot. A non-smoker, I sign and collect mine for my friends.

I hit the men's room and play target practice with little air freshener thingy at the base of the latrine. It makes having to pee fun, which is nice. In general, I suffer the opposite conundrum as little Haley Joel Osmont's android character in Spielberg's film "A.I." I don't want to be a real boy, let alone an adult. I would much prefer to never have to eat, piss or shit again. I do, however, love to sleep. So, if ever I get to be a robot, there will have to be some kinda compromise.

Well, The Club's hoppin' but Scott's pacin' and tonight's his night to learn the fine art of driving Duke (on account of my sudden, unforeseen insobriety). So, I guess I gotta go. Nice thing about NOLA (New Orleans, Louisiana), is I get to take my drink with me, which is good, cuz it's full, a double rum punch sure to punch me square in the face tomorrow when Scott and I get up to hit the Food Stamp office at dawn. God damn, life is good!

RSM


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