Monday, April 30, 2012

Views from a Vieux Carre' balcony

 I met David Akin through my buddy Richard at the Internet Cafe. Richard is a networker with both computers and people. He would meet up with me at my gate to tell me about this "Guy with a bunch of really high end camera equipment and he's a huge fan of the Quarter Rat." I'll admit, my ears picked up and I said I would be willing to take a few minutes out of my fast paced and hectic schedule as a cartoonist to meet with him. 
Living here in the Quarter,  you live in the midst of as much talent as history. Especially since NOLA has become Hollywood south.  You also meet a lot of bullshitters and wanna be's who couldn't direct a funeral down a one way street.  Shortly after meeting with David I knew he wasn't one of those. Impressed by his creative passion, being a resident of the French Quarter with a real resume. He does a bit of writing on Facebook called "Views from a Vieux Carre' balcony" I offered him this blog as a forum of life in the Quarter. Here is a recent post of his.
Views from a Vieux Carre' balcony: (still being redesigned).....take a gander at this website, if you dare! The real steamy, seamy, creamy underbelly of the Quarter and the trials, tribulations and victories of the French Quarter service industry will be revealed.....can you handle it bible belters and zombie tourists? I've partnered with Quarter Rat magazine mogul Otis B. Easy and animator/illustrator Eric Styles to produce a reality show and spectacle like no other before, taking you to Bourbon and beyond, Toulouse and cut loose, Royal and roll over, Burgundy and a month of hung over Sundays. 
There will be competitions, there will be infinite shots of Grand Marnier and absinthe, there will be gratuitous nudity, female/male and in between, there will be snockered shot girls, there will be fist fights with homeless drunks, there will be Asian lady boys, vampires, witches and ghouls. There will be Harleys and biker cowboys sporting colors, there will be no rice rockets. There will be battling bartenders and wily waiters and waitresses, glitter coated cranked up strippers and bluesy bayou swamp pop pickers. Dark temptations will be found on every corner and there may or may not be light at the end of the Harvey Tunnel. There will be sweat and various other body fluids....there will be blood. There will be an EMS team and mounted NOPD on stand by;) Stay tuned for over the top gutter gravy drenched decadent dilemmas and a bawdy Babylon Big Easy-palooza sports fans! Recommended for immature audiences only:)

Sunday, April 22, 2012

About this month's cover...

The longer I live in the French Quarter, the more people I have gotten to know. Locals are a tight group. Tough to imagine the small town feel when 10 million strangers a year crowd your local streets. Even on the most congested nights I can walk down Bourbon Street and get a nod from a dozen or so people who I call neighbors.  Doormen, bouncers, street performers are all just people that you meet each day. Clint the strip club barker who has the persona of a River boat gambler, Chad the "Swamp Creature" performer and Disaster Dave doorman at Molly's. My day wouldn't feel complete unless I bump into somebody I like.

Do you know what it means to miss New Orleans
When that's where you left your heart
And there's one thing more I miss the one I care for
More more than I miss New Orleans

One young lady who was perhaps the most highly regarded Shotgirl on all of Bourbon Street is a Facebook friend of mine. Moe has written some incredibly funny stuff for the magazine over the course of it's publication.  She raised the bar for all future Shotgirls on Bourbon.  Moe  messaged me about how much she was missing New Orleans. Recently she had moved out west to pursue a career as a chef. She and her close friend Steph were homesick and meloncholy about the Quarter. Moe asked if I could do a cartoon of the two of them partying it up in the Quarter to cheer up Steph. 

I'll do you one better, we'll put you two on this issue's cover. I'll admit I did "slutty" them up just for the cover. After all, this is the Quarter Rat and I am a creepy old guy.  I hope you like the cover. Best of luck to you two young ladies, I know that you will return someday when it's time. This city will be even more special to you when you have gone without it for a while.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

I'll be right back...

I've been busy, that's why I haven't been doing much writing. Lots of interesting things have happened, no time to tell you about them. Conversely, when I have time to write, life is boring. Seldom life is boring in the Quarter. If you need some interest in your life, just walk out your front door and there will be something waiting for you. Sometimes it's a parade coming down the center of your street, sometimes it's a chalk out line and police tape.

Some weekends you walk out and find a half million strangers shitfaced in your front yard. You remind yourself that these people pay your bills, tighten your emotional seatbelt and push through the party to run an errand.  I went to an art opening / birthday party for Peter O'Neill a week ago. Great art, cool people and good wine. You know, wine that come with corks, not in boxes like my art openings.  Before the gallery could be closed for the night there was one loose end. Some tourist passed out on the sidewalk in front.

From what I heard he had stumbled in shitfaced earlier, wondered out and got about eight feet. At closing the gallery manager and myself searched the blocks around the gallery to find a cop. None. If I had decided to piss behind a dumpster there would have been four. NOPD was called as we tried one last time to wake the guy. "Dude, you are about to have a very bad night unless you start walking." I told him. It's amazing how a flash light shining in the face a stern demand for I.D. will sober one up usually.  You couldn't get this guy's attention with an M-80.

He was tossed into an ambulance as we departed the gallery, "Geeze, it's only just after 10:00." I busted on Peter for having someone taken away in an ambulance from his show. I was jealous, the best that ever happened at one of my openings was that I was bounced out for being too drunk and trashing the place. Just once.

Monday night I came home from work of physical labor after a long weekend. I crashed and burned until about 1:00 AM,  waking up to just a half a pack of remaining smokes. I swear, I just went out for cigarettes.  On Bourbon Street I ran into "Disastrous Dave and Catastrophe Curt."  You can tell where this story is going. Remember from High School those boys that hung out behind the shop class smoking and constantly bitch slapping one another? Now fast forward 20 years and put them on Bourbon street with a good buzz going.

"Buy the ticket and take the ride..." Hunter S. Thompson once said. The secret to having a good time in the French Quarter is not going out to have a good time. The secret is to go out and try not have fun. Rowdy but well liked every place they went, I followed behind Dave and Curt as they just pushed through the crowds with loud voices and flailing arms.  Like two middle aged versions of Steve - O, bar stools were over turned, drinks spilled and at least one almost fist fight with a street hustler. I would have been there just to watch for cops.

I spoke to Curt about the meaning of New Orleans. Locals can spend hours discussing the spiritual meaning behind living here. Trying to define the undefinable, describing the unseen.  Curt struck upon  the  notion that there has to be some sort of magnetic anomaly here. We developed the "New Orleans, the G-Spot of the Earth theory." More research is still needed.

From Molly's to Erin Rose and back to Molly's. The best was in the back bar of Erin Rose where Jacob was working. After the second time he had to speak to the muppets for rough housing Jacob barked "Why don't you two just fuck and get it over with." PBR came out of my nose. 

As the sun rose over the west bank I stumbled across Toulouse to unlock my gate. "Shit, I forgot to buy smokes."

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Easter Special

I have had people tell me "Oh you shouldn't publish your scripts on the internet, someone might steal them..." Well, once it appears on the web it's considered "Published Material" and therefore becomes copy written automatically. Besides if some one steals this one script idea, fine. I have hundreds more in my head and they obviously have none.

Thinking about animated series, I noticed they all do Holiday episodes. Charlie Brown has Christmas, Simpsons have Halloween, what's left? There hasn't been a good Easter cartoon since Davy and Goliath went off the air. This script is kind of like that.

Quarter Rat Easter Script

Starts with a sunrise service of a guy dressed as "The DUDE Lebowski" delivering the sermon on the mound speech on the river levee in the Quarter. Large group watching, including Lance, Jody and Binge. Everyone has cups and joints.

After the service the part take in the "Homeless Easter Egg Hunt" Everyone leaves money in brightly colored eggs around the Quarter for the homeless to find. Of course Binge drops his in disgusting places to be mean. Later it turns out he needs money quick or he's going to get his ass kicked. In desperation he is forced to dig through donkey crap, reach into urnials, and empty a soiled condom in order to cover his debt. The Dude keeps popping up with words about karma.

Leaving the hunt, Lance and Jody start to discuss brunch plans as the walk down the sidewalk.  Ahead of them is a diner. Suddenly the windows explode from gun fire.
I love the omelets at this place. Last time...

Pop pop pop
Glass shattering,
voices yelling angrily.

Lance pushes Jody between two parked SUVs,
shields her as he does.
Cut to the two between vehicles.

More shots, 

Ok, the diner is out. Where do you want to go?

Automatic gunfire burst

Frenchman sounds good right about now...

Frenchman? That's too far. How about some wings at "Daddy's Little Girl?"

You have got to be kidding?It is Easter Morning,
I am not going to a strip club for chicken wings. Try again big spender.

SFX Police sirens, horses galloping,
helicopters circling, bullhorns of cops
plays in the background of this
mundane conversation of a couple.

You know you love their hot wings and Bloody Maries.
Think about it, it will be the only place in the Quarter this morning not swamped by loud families
with out of control kids that you despise and always end up ruining your dining experience.

And you want to look at boobies on Easter.

They have them painted as Easter eggs.

The two return to the sidewalk as gurneys are pushed past by EMS.

Cut to the interior of "Daddy's Lil Girl" club.
Both Lance and Jody have a huge plate of
wings and six Bloody Marys in front of them.

And three for one drinks.

(eating) These wings should have been at the last supper....

Dancers walk around with boobs painted like
brightly colored Easter eggs and bunny ears.
Jody rolls her eyes in disdain. Lance smirks.

A skinny, goofy dancer with bunny ears
and HUGE bucked teeth hops up to Jody.

Goofy dancer
Having fun? Enjoying your Easter?

Jody looks up, bursts out with stoned laughing.
Points to goofy dancer.

I LOVE the fake teeth. Totally works, Lance give her a dollar just for the extra effort in her bunny costume....

A shocked, hurt and tearful dancer looks
at Jody as her trembling hand removes the ears.
Tears roll down her cheeks.

Goofy Dancer
Just the ears and the boobs are fake. These are my real teeth... (Bursts into crying)

Dancer scurries off.
Jody sits there dumbfounded in embarrassment.

Damn girl, why ya such a hater?

OH MY GAWD! I did not mean that! I thought she was wearing those fake goofy teeth from the Mardi Gras Depot.
I never would have believed that a human could grow such appendages. Never in a million years would I ever...

You just hate her because she's skinny with fake boobs. Admit it.
You saw her flaw and you zeroed in on it to rip her apart.

I did not! I was complimenting her efforts in a costume...

Let me bring Zoey over here so you can make fun of her big nose.
Or lets wait for Daisey to take the stage with her club foot....
Ya know, these dancers are people too, they have feelings.
They are not just pieces of meat for you to inspect and criticize...

Stop it! I feel so bad right now. I made a dancer cry on Easter, I am going to hell.

Jesus died for dancers too. I read on line they had BRONZE poles back then.

Goofy Dancer is sobbing in the background.
Second Dancer Zoey scurries over to Goofy
and comforts her.

I feel so bad right now...

What happened?

Goofy Dancer
The fat bitch made fun of my teeth!

Both dancers scowl at Jody.

Never mind, I don't feel so bad right now.

Twinkles the dancer comes up to Lance.
She is wearing a white toga and a tinsel
"Crown of thorns."

Hey Lancey Pants! Going to stick around for our Easter Show? I play Hey Zeus!

Oh gawd! Could today get anymore blasphemous?

We have a cross thingy on stage and Athena will be playing a Roman Soldier....

Answers that question.

Athena walks up dressed as a sexy Roman soldier / Dominatrix.

Oh Hi Lance and what her name. Have you seen the Binge?
Tell him that I miss my play toy and I want to model some new outfits for him.

What's the real reason?

(Abruptly angry, not seductive)
That sorry piece of dried DNA borrowed two hundred from me and hasn't paid me back yet.
Can you believe that I got taken by that wad of stupidity?
I mean if I let it slide and word got out, I'd have everyman in the Quarter owing me money.
That would be hundreds of men thinking that they can take advantage of innocent women. Tell Binge I'm looking for him.

We know. He's a jerk.

So, now you're attacking my friends now?

How dare you talk crap about one of the men who love me?

Tell me about it. She's been like this all morning. She even made fun of Zoey's nose.

I did not make fun of that dancer's huge nose...

Jody turns to see Zoey standing behind her.
Jody cringes.

Gawd Lance! What do you see in this bitch?

Starting ask myself that today too....

Promise you'll stay for the show? I'll wave to ya from the wooden thingy.

Of course I promise.

They pinky promise.

Twinkles and Athena start to exit

I think I left my flog in the VIP room last night...

Jody starts to stand

Can we go now?

(turning to the crowd)
Hey everybody, she got drunk, embarrassed herself, now she wants me to break a pinky promise with Twinkles....


Jody sits in humiliation.
Binge flops down besides her.

Hey guys! Sure I'll join you.
(to bartender) Yea Bonnie, three of my usual, on his tab. What's new?

Well, I'm just trying to celebrate the most important and holiest Christian holiday, but Jody has ruined it by insulting all of the dancers.
You always ask why she has no hot single friends to hook you up with. She has none, this is why other women hate her so much.

Did she make fun of Daisy's foot? (disgust) Of all days too.
This day is not about hate, we honor the death and erection of our Lord and Taylor.
But haters must hate. I told you dude, you never see this side of them until after you marry them.
You take her out for a traditional Easter morning breakfast and she starts calling Daisy "Hoof-Foot"

(Walking up) WHO called me "Hoof - foot?"

She did.

Better hope I don't follow you into the ladies room.
You'll get a hoof up the ass...


You know, I dance in front of hundreds of men a day. They never mention it.
Men like Binge are sensitive towards women feelings.
I don't know such a sweet man could be friends with such a witch.

I'm starting to ask myself that too lately sweetheart.

Bonnie the bartender over hears
conversation as she's bringing Binge his drinks.

Gingers have no souls...

Jody is furious by this point how everyone is attacking
her for something she didn't mean. She snaps at Bonnie.

At least my hair and boobs are real!

Dead silence falls over the club.
Music stops, lights stop blinking.
Dancer stops mid slide, everyone
stares shocked at Jody.

(enraged and in tears)

Bonnie rips off her wig to show a shaved head.

I had hair as beautiful as yours until I lost it FROM CHEMO!

Jody's jaw drops.

(shot from back)
You want to know for what?

Rips open her blouse and two falsies pop out,
Binge catches one holds it up like a prize.


Binge and Lance slide down each direction away from Jody.
Pretend they don't know her.
Lance takes off his wedding ring and slips it into his pocket.

Jody starts to convulse, beet red, eyes tearing up, trembling.

Bonnie's falsey slides down the bar from Binge,
stops in front of Jody. She looks down,
Binge drew a sad face crying on it.

Oh, that reminds me, man... you better get out of here. A woman you love wants to kill you.

Can you be a little more specific?

Suddenly a Roman spear flies past all three and sticks in the wall.


Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Big Weekend

I'm goin' down to New Orleans to see about a friend of mine

Down in New Orleans good peoples they's hard to find

I bet he's making gumbo and drinkin' homemade wine

A jukebox shakin' and breakin' down in New Orleans

 I'll be the highest hillbilly that Bourbon Street has ever seen

 Kid Rock

Although there's not much planned for this weekend in the French Quarter, I'm looking forward to it. The rest of the month we have French Quarter Fest (April 12th to 15th)  and Jazzfest (April 27th to May 08th.) Any local will tell you if you have company coming in to visit the Quarter, do it on a weekend when theres not an idiot convention in town. Last week was miserable with Kentucky fans.

I know its how we make our money in the French Quarter. Doctors make their money from sick people, it doesn't mean that they enjoy being around them all day. Dealing with people with contagious diseases, incoherent, comatose, bleeding, vomiting and lying in their own bodily waste, doctors and Quarter Rats call these people customers.

Except for a SLUTWALK and a few other smaller events, this should be a quiet weekend. Fortunately this is the weekend that my big brother from Las Vegas will be in town for a few days. My brother is about 11 years older than me so we never really spent a lot of time together growing up. When he was 17 he joined the U.S.A.F. for twenty years and settled in Vegas for retirement.  I was trying to remember today if he and I have ever sat a bar together, I really never remember drinking with him.  We have about 30 years of catching to do, I think the Quarter is the perfect place to start.

I'm really looking forward to showing off the French Quarter like she was my hot new girlfriend. Compiling lists of where to take him for food, booze and history.  Where do you start? Of course Bourbon Street the first night, I'm thinking Frenchman Street on Saturday then he might be ready for Lower D on Sunday.  Molly's, WW2 museum, Molly's, Clover Grill, Molly's, ferry to Old Algiers for a couple beers and a couple hundred other "must do's."

I mention the impending visit to a property manager that I was doing some work for today "How do you show someone who lives in Vegas a good time?" I asked. Sam, a many generation local who is very bright and well traveled replied. "Vegas is what it is, what makes New Orleans different from every place else is the history and the people." I'll try to make it a point not just to show my visitor the hundreds of landmarks, but introduce him to as many of my local friends as I can.  That is for me the best part of the French Quarter, the people. Keep an eye open for us, even though he kind of looks like a cop, he's cool, he's with a Quarter Rat.

And if you're payin' for fun a french quarters really all you need