Monday, February 27, 2012

the scrap bin

I have been showing you the artwork for the proposed animation project. We have been doing an equal part writing that you haven't seen yet. Each script runs about 23 minutes. So far we have a solid dozen 1/2 hour scripts written with another season's worth bouncing around in my noodle. This idea for an episode came from my constant chronic viewing on line of news and YOUTUBE videos. A 2012 end of the world type of story line. Dark and macabre to say the least.

You won't be getting an animated series of Star Wars parodies or constant references to pop culture with our show. How would one work the end of the world into a season? It struck me, make it the very first episode. The second episode would start of "THREE YEARS EARLIER."


Binge walks up Bourbon St towards Polly's Pub.
Cut to inside. A customer is flailing about holding
his one hand and screaming in pain.
Brutal is shaking a heavy beer mug motioning towards the door.
GO ON! If you come back here with da cops I'll break your other nine in front of them you ASSHOLE!

The crying customer staggers out the door as Binge
comes whistling in the other. Binge sits down.
Brutal calmly speaks as if nothing had happened.

Ah Binge, thank you.

What for?

You just upped my averages up for the Night.


Now it's TWO assholes per hour. What can I getchya?

Just a shot of the usual.

Ya knows da rule for you. Pay up first, then I pour da shot.

Brutal, I am deeply offended my friend, hurt.
Why such unfounded paranoia in the quality of my understood personality , my character?

You are an Asshole.

Ouch, that hurt a lot. Which is what I had to say to Athena last night.
Want to hear what happened the other night at her place?

Yea? Sure...

As Binge goes into the following monologue
Brutal starts absently minded reaches for a
bottle and slowly looking at Binge banter on with his story.

So as soon as I get over there, I know there is some big drama going on. She found a gun in her bedroom and she knows it's not hers. What she going to do? Call every guy she ever slept with in the past  two weeks who carried a gun? That could take days and tip off some big gang war or something. I'm like hey? Why is this my problem? She takes off her robe and promises me that if I help her she will hump my brains out. A guy who looks like me will say what the hell, I'm in. So I asked where is it? She says the bedroom, and she keeps it so damn dark all the time, except when she filming something. "It's in there" It's dark, everything she has in that room looks like a stinking weapon. I ask "Can you be a little more specific?" She yells "Between the ATM machine and the soiled condom bucket!" AS I put on my rubber gloves I think to myself "And yet, I love her.....

With that note, Binge downs the poured shot and smiles.

Thanks a lot Brutal, see ya tomorrow.

Binge starts to exits


Binge stops, thinks he's busted.

Binge, whatcha do with the gun?

A relieved Binge continues.

So I figured the best thing to do is just ditch it
 This thing could be hotter than hell. I decided to take the ferry to the West Bank
and drop it in the middle of the river. Can I get another shot? Remember the news last week?

You mean the terrorist attack on the Algiers Ferry that triggered World War Three?
 I think I heard about something like that on the news.
That and the Saints won again. You was there?

Dude, I caused it.

Cut to Binge on deck of Algiers ferry. Nice day, decks are packed with cars.
Binge tries to causally pull gun from his waistband to drop the weapon
over the rail. Out of no where a Pelican swoops into him causing him to
drop the gun. It hits metal deck and goes off striking a car.

Before the first shot is fired cut to the back of ferry where a
nerdy liberal is boasting about his eco-friendly car.

Mine is more Eco Friendly that yours. Mine runs on Hydrogen Gas.

Just then his car gets struck triggers a massive explosion.
Cut to ferry going up like the movie DeJa View.

Fireball rip across ferry, Binge dives on deck.
Everyone else hits the decks.
Binge lies face down on the deck as shrapnel
ricochets about him.

He looks up and see the gun he dropped lying in front of him.
Binge stares ta his gun, flings his arm striking the pistol.
It slides towards the edge of the deck, but doesn't fall into the water.
Binge grimaces. Then another car explodes, knocking the pistol,
knocking it into the water.

As Binge is exiting the ferry, police, fireman, and EMT workers, feds
are waiting. Binge pushes past the emergency workers, his back is on flames..

No, thank you. I'm fine, really. No I don't want to go to the hospital.
No, I'm fine, I was already on fire when I got aboard in Algiers. Thanks anyway.

Cut back to Polly's

Wait, you said she has a soiled condom bucket in her bedroom next to an ATM machine?

Huh? Yea, one condom bucket in the bedroom and another bucket with ducks on it in the bathroom.
I know because it's somehow my job to empty them twice a week.
Can I get another shot? Thanks. You interrupted my story.

Mesmerized, Brutal pours the third shot.
Binge downs it, darts for the door.

Brutal is grinning thinking about Binge's story.
He suddenly comes to the realization that Binge didn't pay.
Grin turns into a grimace.

Lance and Jody's house.
They are just chilling in the living room, stoned and
munching out in front of the TV. Local news interrupts
with helicopter footage of smoldering ferry.
News caster is reporting in a hurried voice.
Details are still coming in. Possible Iranian terrorist strike on a passenger ferry in New Orleans.
Our government has placed us in a state of emergency at the highest possible levels.
The president is scheduled to speak momentarily. The latest account is...

With that Binge bursts in smoldering.
He instantly grabs the remote and clicks off the TV.

Hey guys, let's play cards.

Oh, my god! Were you there?

BINGE (not really knowing the news.)
Well, yea kind of. But it was not entirely my fault, ya see there was this Pelican that
came out no where after I found the gun in the soiled condom bucket at Athena's.

Confused, Lance reaches for the Remote.
Clicks on the Television.
A panicked trying to remain calm anchor continues.

...the first waves of Israel fighters and bombers have reached their target.
Their president keeping his vows of defending Israels allies. We now go to  our corespondent in the middle east.

AW DUDE! You fucked up big time.

Niiiiiiiice. You wanted to bang the Whore of Babylon, and the whole world has to suffer Armageddon.
Nice going asshole.

But, it was the Pelican. There's one mentioned in the book of Revelations, Google it.

I can't believe you triggered world war three.
What were you thinking?

I was trying to get laid. You're a guy, you understand...

Lance, don't you ever dare to rag on MY FRIENDS again..

Cut to several days later.
All three sitting in same spots.
Empty food containers and snack bags surround them.
So far that has brought the number of Nuclear detonation to a total of four.
We have been reporting for the last twenty four hours of mass suicides amongst cult members from around the world.
There has just been another in Norway of fourteen thousand who jumped into a Fjord.
Authorities in Norway announce a spiral light...

HOLD ON, we have another incoming report coming in of a
possible nuclear detonation that would bring the total of five in
what is being named "the shot that ended the world. "

Well, was she worth it?

Binge looks to Lance and grins ear to ear.
Nods. Lance looks back, stoned and laughs.

Jody Huffs

Look, there was a pelican I told you...

Which one of the Four Pelicans of the Apocalypse was this?
LO! In the end times there shall be a pelican and a stripper
walking downeth Bourbon Street. They shall encounter the town idiot...

That would be you dude.

I stopped writing it there, I figured no way would it ever make it past the producers. Some funny bits in it, so rather than to never have it heard I thought I would post it in this blog.
Don't worry, the other episodes are a little more up beat.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

So much talent.....

New Orleans can boast of having excess in so many ways, humidity, beads, calories... and talent. Down here talent is the rule, not the exception. I have met and made friends with folks who are just overwhelming with creativity. Painters, musicians, writers and actors. I have hung out on a couch with friends channel surfing and stopped mid click to say "Hey look. There's my friend Robert playing a cop." I get to go out for a beer with the artist Peter O'Neill and we hardly talk about art, just politics.

My friend Chris over in the Marigny turned me onto the music of Canadian born Lindi Ortega. She has a voice that I could best describe as "haunting." Talented guitar player, writer and singer who is not hard to look at either. Chris showed me her video for "Black Fly" that was very well done and shot down in the swamps here in Louisiana.  The song had my attention from the opening chords, her voice had me hooked. I dig old fashion dysfunctional love songs. As we watched the video on YOUTUBE, it suddenly struck me that my friend Chris was playing the drunk asshole boyfriend in the video. Again, in New Orleans you get accustomed to people you know personally popping up in TV commercials, on stage or in background of films. Chris is an extremly talented classical guitar player and actor. Although having hung out with him on Frenchman, I'm not too sure how much "acting" he did in this video.

Here are some links to Lindi Ortega,  check out more of her work.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Throw me some asprin mister!

Well, it's over.  I got to experience Mardi Gras at ground zero. I worked as a doorman at Molly's, tossed beads from a balcony, drank a little too much and got a lap dance from a 70 year old woman.  I really didn't take in any parades to speak of, a little too chilly out for me. Besides it's a crowd thing that I can't cope with.

Fats Domino - Mardi Gras To New Orleans
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Most of my friends in the Quarter had to work through out the past week. Otis would finish his graveyard shift at 6 am and take his 2 year old daughter out to parades during the day.  Most of the Quarter Rats I spoke to said that this was one of the slowest carnival seasons that they could remember. All said they made much better money on New Years Eve.

Things were so slow this year, when you threw beads, women only flashed one boob.

The streets were still packed with revelers in costumes.  I wandered down Royal Street for my daily exercise. Ok, for smokes and energy drinks. I loved the costumes. This city always has a surreal atmosphere, but during this season costumes seem the norm. Simple errands become adventures. 

This guy in the Dallas cheerleader costume I saw all weekend long when I worked at Molly's. He always made me chuckle, more than the midget in a Superman costume being pushed around in a shopping cart.  When this guy walked by the balcony on Fat Tuesday I had to ask him to stop for a photo.

In another two months the FEMA float will be here.

What? Do you mean that you don't pass couples like this on the way to the supermarket in your town? I guess living here takes some of the magic out of it for me. When I first got down here I had roomamtes who spoke of this as some sort of religious / magical event. Perhaps they over sold it, To be honest, I think it's over rated and the city places too much of it's identity in the event.  I understand it's business, the tourist buck pumping up our economy before the slump of summer.

The real magic of the French Quarter is here year round. There is so much that this city can boast about besides being a Mecca for the annual pilgrimage of alcoholics.  Mardi Gras does bring this city closer together. When Ash Wednesday finally gets here, front end loaders are used to scoop up tons upon tons of garbage, fire trucks are used to hose the vomit from the streets and sidewalks. Everyone sighs collectively.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Guess what I did last night...

I worked. My editor Otis asked if I would be interested working as the door guy at Molly's on Toulouse for a couple of nights during Mardi Gras.  Having no social life to speak of (by choice) I said sure if for no other reason than the chance to say I had done it.  The only vocational experience I had to draw from was driving cab at night on the Jersey Shore, this was a lot easier and safer.  Safer because I had other staff and all of the local regulars to cover me if any shit went down. Driving cab alone with one or more belligerent drunks sitting behind you can hang your ass out to dry. 

Fortunately both nights were pretty mellow, no trouble to speak of. I had made my mind up that any if any shit went down that I would dive in. I'm not sure how much help a 170 pounds of arthritis would be in a bar fight, but we are Quarter Rats. We look after our own. Being so skinny, I can't really stop a bullet but I might  be able to slow it down.

Molly's was one of the first bars I ever went to in the French Quarter and I even ended up living across the street from it when I finally settled in the Quarter. A cool local haunt with plenty of characters that is a stones throw from Bourbon Street. Knowing a few of the bartenders made it easier on the new job and a few of the regulars came over with their drinks to keep me company and give me some pointers.  I stood in the doorway from 10 PM to 3 AM watching the mass of madness swirl past down on Bourbon. Small groups would splinter off heading towards me on Toulouse.  I immediately tried to figure if they should show I.D. or not, if they were just looking for a bathroom or were too drunk to be allowed in.

Protecting our bathroom was my primary duty. Across the street next to the Tropical Island the city set up a couple of port o johns. At one point I looked over and some guy was standing next to one, pissing on the outside of it.  All night long women in their late teens were coming up to me with thighs clenched and bodies jiggling. 
"You gots a bafroom?"
"Must be twenty one, one drink minimum." 
"Just to use your bafroom?"
"Yes, customers only. Look , there's port o johns across the street." 
"I don't wanna use dem, there's a line and deys nasty." 
"So you you want us to open up our restrooms to the non paying public so ours become as equally congested and unsanitary?" 
"Uh, yea..."
"Must be twenty one, one drink minimum."
"Yo a asshole."
"That's what my ex says too, have a goodnight."

I met a lot of cool folks, some where Molly regulars, others were visitors from around the country. Two very young attractive ladies wearing bustiers, boots and fishnets walked up to the door. I asked for ID's, and by their reactions I could tell they were regulars who worked as shotgirls on Bourbon. They were polite realizing that I was new and just doing my job. The one dumped out her boot containing her cell phone, rolling papers and driver's license.  They sat by the door and we chatted about the craziness. The two shotgirls would come into Molly's every couple of hours to escape the insanity of the front line. Upon their last exit, one turns and hands me a few singles. "Wait, young, attractive women in fishnets are handing ME singles? I like this job."
The five and six hours shifts flew by as I stood on the stoop watching the real Mardi Gras parade pass by.  Ridiculous hats, costumes and tourists with so many strings of beads around their necks that it just added to the power of gravity trying to pull them down to the vomit slick payment. A constant stream of young slutty dressed women flowed in and out of the Dungeon next door, "Oh, that's where they come from."

Before my shift I went up Royal to Unique Groceries for three $.99 Rip It energy drinks and a pack of smokes for my shift. My first night at Mollys I worked my whole shift just having just energy drinks.  A few drinks were offered during the night, but I declined. As much as I feel at home in this city, as much as I feel like I belong in the French Quarter, the one way  that I feel like an outsider is that I don't enjoy drinking.  It's kind of like joining the Navy when you don't enjoy the water.

My second night I was a bit more relaxed so I said yes to everything offered. Two Spanish dudes from Texas bought me a shot of Tequila because they thought I was "Cool as hell." I always had a good rapport with drunk Mexicans when I drove cab.  I'll take three drunk Mexicans over one drunk Italian any day.  Drunk Australians are hit or miss as tourists. I had a couple bad experiences with them while driving cab. I met one last night that improved their grade curve.

While driving cab, I always had to be on the look out for drunkards trying to sneak drinks into my cab. Weekends in the summer that was a constant aggravation. Arguments like: "I won't spill it" "I can drink in a limo" "It's only water" "You need to lighten up" "No tip for you asshole" Last night gave me flashbacks. I was amazed how many people thought that they could bring full drinks into a crowded bar.  Try to bring a plate of food into a restaurant and reply when stopped, "Oh we're going to buy dessert here." And those GODDAMN Green Handgrenades drinks. Walking up to a doorman while holding one of those is like wearing a T-Shirt that says "I'm a fucking idiot."

The view out my office window, a costumed midget in a shopping cart.
Twice the bartenders came over and reminded me to keep an eye open on people bringing drinks in. I couldn't understand how they got past me. I made it a point to look at the hands of everyone coming in. It's tough to give a once over look to revelers wearing sequin alligator hats and with so many beads that it looks like they're wearing a gay life preserver. Strands of beads  dangling with throw cups, coconuts, dildoes and blinking lights on them. I ain't no TSA agent. Then I figure how the sneaky bastards were doing it. A group would come up, I'd be checking ages in the doorway as the ones outside were handing the drinks to the ones inside through the open window. You muthafuckas.

I saw them coming up Toulouse. A snotty, whorish dressed rich girl texting on a smarter than her phone. Her frat boy companion who you could tell the only thought bouncing around in his alcohol soaked brain was "YES! I'm going to get laid tonight!" Both had three quarter full cups of beer. She looked like she down the rest of hers in one gulp. This girl made Snookie look like Mary Tyler Moore. They came up to Mollys and looked in, and both knew that it was probably the least crowded and most reasonably priced place this close to Bourbon Street. As I check the ID's I mention that they can't bring in outside drinks.

She snaps in that spoiled bitch tone. "WHAT? Are you for real?"
"No. I am a hologram telling you that you can't bring in outside drinks."
"You're an ASSHOLE."
They hang out front sipping their beers, she is texting on her phone as he's rubbing her lower back staring at her 22 year old boobs.  They spin around and slam thier half full cups of beer into the large garbage can outside of our door splattering me with slop from the can. I imeadiatly step to my left blocking the very narrow doorway.
"Sorry, you can't come in."
Her expression was like I just kicked her in the twat.
"WHAT?! We got rid of our drinks like you asked!"
"You called me an asshole. I don't have to let in anyone who calls a staff member an asshole." 
Her boyfriend rolled his eyes realizing they just tossed $6 in beer and I am putting her in such a lousy mood he probably won't be getting any from her all night. He had to restrain her from slugging me.

"Yep, that's what my ex says too. Goodnight."

Monday, February 13, 2012

Louie Louie

Friday night the Quarter Rat delivered the lattest issue (#26) to all of the finer drinking establishments in the French Quarter. Like the previous times the copies were dropped off by topless girls with their breasts painted in festive Mardi Gras themes. We started out with ten lovelies, I think only three managed to finish the route. One didn't even make it out of the first bar. Rather than writing about the night in my blog like I usually do, we videotaped the entire adventure. I know we should be able to edit it down to at least 30 minutes of non stop debauchery, nudity, stupidity and fun.

The Kingsmen - Louie Louie

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As Otis and I were unloading cases of the magazines from his car, I looked up across the street and famed street mime "Uncle Louie" was walking by with his bucket from working all day on Royal Street. It just turned out that Uncle Louie made the cover of this month's Quarter Rat. I grabbed a handful of copies for him and went over to hand them to him. I'll admit that I couldn't wait to see his reaction. Anyone who has visited the French Quarter has seen Louie in his pristine white suit posing on Royal, anyone who lives in the Quarter has shaken his hand and probably had a drink or two with him. A real cool man who is a staple to the French Quarter.

We had to videotape the evening because I really don't think anyone outside of the Quarter believes the stuff I write about. We couldn't get our buddy Zan and his pedicar to help deliver the boxes this time around. Zan said that he had a wheel fall off or something. (Personally, we think his wife got tired of him peddling up and down Bourbon Street with topless young women. We're not sayin, just sayin.) So I dressed up like a homeless guy and pushed a shopping cart around the Quarter loaded with cases of magazines. At one point on Lower Decatur Street I passed an actual homeless guy with a shopping cart loaded with personal belongings. Awkward at first, I had to comment to him about his cart "Nice model, what year is it?" 

Towards the end of the night we had to meet up with the remaining girls and the rest of our krewe at the Ginger Lime Japanese restaurant at 200 Decatur. They treated us great with fantastic food. I vaguely remember eating sushi off of a couple of the women.  We had a few block to travel to get there so we broke up into small groups and hopped into Pedicabs for the journey. I however was stuck with a shopping cart loaded with magazines and almost had to walk. Otis yelled "Styles! Sit on your cart and hang on to the back of the Pedicab and he'll tow you." So, dressed like a homeless guy I was towed behind one of the bikes down several blocks of Royal Street. All night I had been rolling ontop of the shopping cart. It was like "Jackass on Bourbon Street" I did take a spill when the front wheels of the cart dug into a pothole. You'll have to wait for the video.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Don't let the parade pass you by

Last night was the first big parade of the season, Krewe du View.  It jumps starts the carnival season winding through the French Quarter. I had friends with bottles of liquor wandering the Quarter calling me for my location so I could help lighten the load of the bottle. Sorry, I have some work to do. Quarter Rat deadline was more important. Most Quarter Rats have to work the holidays. It's the fact of life when you work the service industries. Man, these folk create their own holidays on their days off.

I listened to the parade pass by a hundred feet or so away as I finished up this month's cover. No loss, I don't do crowds well. Especially down here, a few gun shots and you find yourself caught in a stampede of stomping alcoholics. If the crowd doesn't crush you, the response of mounted cops will finish you off with 3,000 pounds of horse.

I went out briefly after the parade and my work was done. Kind of how you go out and inspect the neighborhood after a severe tropical storm. I brought my pastels to offer my services as a "Police Chalk Outline Artist." I'll get a navy blue windbreaker with PCOA on the back in big yellow letters. The scary part about going out last night, I didn't see anything unusual. By French Quarter standards of "usual." 

Here is a cool site, You can find schedules and parade routes as well as history and backgrounds on the different Krewes.