Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Back Stabbing Rat

I really love living in the Quarter, it's the first place in my entire life that I feel like I belong somewhere. I love the people, they are my family. I plan to spend the rest of my life here and someday I want all of these brilliant misfits second lining behind my horse drawn hearse bottles in hand dancing. I hope to look down upon a crowded Mollys on Toulouse at my loved ones raising glasses in toast to one of their own. As of now my reputation is in jeopardy due to the actions of my former business associate, the former owner and editor of Quarter Rat Magazine.

I am amazed at the loyalty and zeal of the fans of the publication. It's more than just a humorous magazine for the service industry, it's a cause of sorts. About a year and a half ago, the former editor and I decided to think big,  go for broke and full throttle to bring this bizarre beast to a national level in the form of an animated project. I had already started to develop the characters back in 2005 for a web comic named "BiNGE" Those characters worked perfect in the French Quarter and months were spent writing and drawing to bring this to a reality. 

I under estimated the criminal and evidently sociopathic mind of my former editor. I saw his street thug bullshit as a potential asset in the sell of this project. Like an ambitious street hustler looking to make a big score. A LEGITIMATE future for us and our daughters. A chance to set up our two daughters for life so they will never have to sling drinks for a living, never have to go hungry. I felt as if it was for a bigger cause, something epic, a chance to immortalize this incredible place. It wasn't just about us making it big, but a chance to salute our family here in the French Quarter. 

During the months of our labor (mostly mine) my editor somehow managed to garner the attention of a television executive who expressed interest in the project.  To produce the needed sizzle trailer of our proposed project, we needed time, software and help. And an investor. A very good friend of mine with a heart of gold and a belief in my talent offered to front the money for the means to make this a reality. About $20,000 went towards voice talent, a new computer, sound technicians and other costs to produce our seven minute reel. Professional animation can run anywhere from $3,000 - $5,000 per minute to produce. Ours was rough, but good enough to show the potential and to high light the talent of all involved.

CUT TO THE CHASE... My editor was full of shit. He didn't have any contacts with television people, it was a scam. About a month ago, this con started to come unraveled and he had to flee New Orleans like the preverbal rat. I guess there were warning signs, ashamedly I'll admit that I was used by this piece of shit to scam my other friend out of cash. I was hanging in the Apple Barrel with a buddy when one of the voice actors approached me to tell me that he still hadn't gotten paid for his work as the voice of Otis. I informed my editor of the oversight, which of course was never reconciled. Promised deadlines kept getting pushed back, more work was needed, a few more scripts were required by the imaginary television producer. I foolishly ignored the red flags. It seemed that after toiling on my dream for eight years, hard work and belief in myself was finally paying off.

Low life maggots like my former editor will eventually be found out. His personal life soon started to spin out of control from his compulsive deceit and the scam started to be revealed. He fled town. In the following weeks, I was approached by several other people whom he had screwed, lied to, stole from and I ended up holding the shit bag while the street thug slipped away like a thief in the night. 

I intend to stay here, unlike him, my reputation is important to me, friendships are a greater value than any amount of money. Now I am forced to do damage control to salvage my life, career and reputation.  The magazine is under new ownership and direction. The magazine is too important to too many people to allow it to disappear. The new owner is also in a position to distance the publication from the former owner. Evidently a few advertisers paid for ads under the previous management and they were never delivered.  I am sure that we have no true idea of the depths of deceit and criminal actions taken by the POS.

HOWEVER, under the new management things are looking good. Not in the bullshit con artist fashion promised by Daniel, but in real tangible ways. An overwhelming amount of support has come from the  ones who really are the magazine's strength. Former talented writers, sales people and an Quarter Rats have rallied around the flag. Not only will the publication survive, but it will flourish. Also, just recently legitimate television people have seen the trailer and wish to talk. Ironically, with out the negative criminal mind in control, the Quarter Rat is building up momentum towards a real future.

Daniel, I hope you get to read this. I blame myself for trusting you, my bad. However I still feel like the winner in this out come. I got to keep the French Quarter while you had to slink out of town in shame. I get to call these magnificent people my friends. You obviously have now idea what friends are, you only see people as marks to be used and taken advantage of. I take back what I said about you being a good father, far from it. You used your precious brilliant child to win over and scam people. A father's greatest responsibility is to instruct a child in ethics and honor. You have absolutely no concept of right from wrong. Like a true sociopath, incapable of any sense of decency or empathy. So slink back to whatever Floridian swamp trailer park that spawned your miserable sad ass. You turned out to be exactly like those low lifes out on the street selling fake drugs that you always made fun of. At least a real drug dealer has some integrity. 

My only recourse of retaliation against you will be my success. I vow Peter will get his money back, those actors will get paid and we in the Quarter will only vaguely remember your sorry existence with contempt. I am sure that you will eventually find your place in life, a prison cell.  Fuck you, you low life piece of shit.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Oh. That's what that switch on my wall goes to....

I mean, there had always been duct tape over it and marked "DO NOT TURN OFF! EVER!" I got bored. Flipped it off and looked around, I didn't see anything happen. I went out for my smokes and energy drinks during the game because the streets would be less crowded. Everybody had found their spot. Returning home I passed the Dive on Toulouse and Jet the doorman mentioned that my good friends Dawna and Jeff were in there. That's when I found out about the black out.

I could honestly say that in my entire life, I never cared about, watched or paid any attention to a Super Bowl game. Up until the lights went out. I stayed to have a beer and watch sports casters look panicked while trying to fill the time without letting the world know the are truly the dimmest bulbs in the dome. I chatted for a while with two of my favorite people about what a "DERP" this is. We went from the coolest city in America to a national joke in 27 minutes. As a Quarter Rat, I'm pissed.

For well over a year now, the business and residents have been living in a construction zone. A daily barrage of jackhammers, pavement grinding dinosaur sized machines, asphalt machines and trucks operating dawn till dusk. Street closure pretty much means that your store is closed that day too. We were told to suck it up, take one for this great city. We want to look our best for when the Super Bowl gets here. Just live with the hassle, we'll all be rich.

If I wasn't so lazy, I'd Google the company that did the blocks and blocks of slate sidewalks. I can't remember where exactly, but they were out of Wisconsin or some place like that. When I first read the lettering on the white dump trucks I thought that was odd that a cheese headed contractor from up there got a city contract down here. We have unemployed down here too. Most of the guys doing the work looked like they might have questionable citizenship. However, I am not one to profile or ever be called a crazy birther. Just ignore it all I thought. The city probably got Federal funds when the congressman from Wisconsin said ok, but only if a financial backer of his could get the contract to do some of the work. This is New Orleans, sugar.

Did anybody in the past year drop a dime of corporate money to at least inspect the electrical system of the Dome?  It is kind of a key piece of infrastructure if you plan to host a Superbowl. I am only guessing that it was completely overhauled after the storm.  Sure there has been many events at the Super Dome since then. None with this many cameras, news crews, vendors, and countless other small power draws.  I'm not an electrical engineer so I won't even pretend to know. I do know that I can't use my bathroom heater and microwave at the same time. It's been tested. Hey Mitch, you went from "Pimp-Daddy-Mayor of all cities" to the mayor of Mayberry in the blink of an eye.

Just curious, did anybody notice if the lights ever went off on the Mercedes logo. A whole lot of money was spent on the exterior strip club lighting. One cheerleader plugs in a hairdryer and we lose a grid. What is this? North Korea? All this effort to improve and to promote us for tourism. Promising US higher revenue. Now folks won't to come down here out of fears of rolling black outs and the plague of Bourbon Street STDs. 

This was our conversation at the Dive. I chuckled "Speaking of electrical, remember that light switch on my apartment wall covered thick with duct tape?" As a long time resident of the building her eyes widened. "YEA! The one marked "Never Ever Turn Off!" 
"Uhm, yea, something like that..." 
"My god, you didn't turn it off, did you?" 
"No, no, no, of course not. I was just curious as to what it was for?" 
"After the storm, they were gerry-rigging things all over the city. One day the Entergy guy needed to tap into a free line temporarily to keep a relay on at the transformer that controls something else somewhere else. Why?"

"Nothing, no reason, got to go."