I had the time and inclination to go out a couple of days before everyone else. I had several reasons for doing this, but most of them are personal and I’m not going to share them here. I flew out on Tuesday the 19th of October, 2021.
I arrived at the airport around 12:30p, parked my car, rode the shuttle, checked in, had another smoke, and then headed for security. Security was fast and easy. Grabbed a few snacks and headed to my gate. The flight boarded around 1:45p, I managed to get a row to myself, which was very nice. Watched ‘A Quiet Place’, looked out the window, and slept a little.
On arrival, I found a cab and headed straight for my hotel. My room was small, basically a bed, and a shower. There was a ‘desk’ mounted to the wall (about 12″ deep) that I set up my laptops on, and a fridge for my future sodas, so I was content.
I left the hotel pretty quick and went across the street to a gas station. It was enough of a walk and already dark, so I was able to hit my pen a few times to get the proper headspace. I walked into the gas station and was immediately yelled at over not wearing a mask, which I realized was back at the hotel. So I walked back to the hotel, and then back to the gas station, got my necessary supplies, and once again back to the hotel.
Leaky and I wanted to get in a couple of games of LegionTD but the login servers were having issues, so we played some Underlords instead.
At some point during our gaming session, I had gone out for a smoke. So there I am, surfing some Reddit and smoking when a woman comes up to me, asking for a handout. First, let me describe this woman. She was bald (shaved) and heavy set. At first, I thought she was a he, but after talking with her for a few seconds I realized she had giant breasts that were hanging down in such a way that I initially thought they were part of her belly, but they kinda hung to the sides creating a very strange silhouette.
She didn’t speak, it was more of whispered mumble, and as far as I could tell, it was only like 3 words per.. sentence? She said something about God, and cartoons, that I couldn’t fully make out. And then, as she was attempting to ask me for some money, she changed the ask mid-sentence to “whatever you’ve got”, which made me laugh a little on the inside, might as well go for gold right. I replied with something along the lines of “I don’t have any cash on me” which was true, and she wandered down the road.
Normally, I wouldn’t bring up a random homeless (I assume) person and our interaction, but this lady shows back up a couple more times. I’m going to call her Whispered Mumbles, so it’s easy for me to refer to her.
After that and a couple of games of LegionTD, I decided I needed to go find more soda, I was moving through what I had gotten earlier very quickly. A little bit of googlin’ later, I found a ‘grocery store’ down by Bourbon street that looked like something I could walk to pretty easily, and off I went. Unfortunately, they didn’t have what I was looking for, so I tried both a Walgreens and a CVS that were a couple of blocks away from me and managed to scrape together enough from these two stores to get me through the rest of my evening. So I hiked back to the hotel for a couple more games with Leaky.
I don’t give a fuck!
Leaky finally got tired of entertaining me and bailed. So I went outside to enjoy the weather, smoke, and smoke. So I’m standing outside and here comes Whispering Mumbles. It’s about 3 hours from our last interaction. She was still whispering, but this time was much more concise in her request for money, and then she noticed I had a Mountain Dew on the wall behind me, and asked me if she could have that, to which I said no to also. Then she continued down the street.
She didn’t get more than about 50ft from me when a full car screeches to a halt next to her, and a thin, kinda small, maybe 115lbs woman jumps out of the car screaming at Whispering Mumbles. She jumps out of the car, in a head-to-foot bright orange sweatsuit and runs right at Whispering Mumbles. She’s screaming something about “You can’t kick at my friend and get away with it” and “I don’t give a fuck”. and proceeds to attempt to throw what I believe was water on Whispering Mumbles from a 2 ltr bottle. The water is coming out pretty slow because the bottle opening is small, but she’s whipping it in the direction of W.M. the whole time, while W.M. is dodging it and moving away from the upset woman.
After what seemed like minutes, but was probably only a few seconds, W.M. starts to run, with this woman chasing her. They got about half a block away when the woman stopped chasing and walked back to the car yelling to her friends “I don’t give a fuck!” about 8 times.
So now W.M. is about a full block away, crossing the street, and the car races up on her, and nearly hits her, and the same woman jumps out and chases W.M. around the car two or three times, trying to kick W.M unsuccessfully, all while screaming “I don’t give a fuck!”. Eventually, W.M. takes off running in one direction and the woman gives up, and they drive off.
When I finally went in to sleep, the Hotel staff was playing Prince’s When Doves Cry and were jamming out to it. It was awesome.
Day 2 – Wanderin around
I woke up at 7 am and had plans to find a good breakfast before things got hot, a place called Twisted Waffles. I spent 30 minutes trying to get hot water to come out of the shower. Managed to get barely above cold water by turning on both the shower and the sink. I only hate a few things in life, and a cold shower is one of them. Pretty much ruined my morning. I ended up eating breakfast at the hotel, smoking a bit, and then going back to bed.
Woke back up at 1p. Checked for hot water, none. Called an uber and hit the closest Walmart. It was the only grocery I could find. Bought the supplies I figured I needed for the week and then caught an Uber back to the hotel. I knew I needed to grab some more smokes, so I walked across the circle to the gas station. While I was at the register, I swear I heard the guy behind me say “Fake ass beard” kinda under his breath. I assume he was talking about me because I didn’t see anyone else with a beard, but I’m not sure. He was giving off a hostile vibe. I ignored it and left. Strange.
At this point, it was too hot to wander around. So I decided to go back to my hotel and hide from the heat and humidity for a few hours.
As soon as the sun went down, I broke out my GoPro, strapped it to my backpack, and went out intending to find a unique magnet for my ‘I’ve been to these places – magnet” collection. I walked up and down the streets between Burbon and the water about once each. Most of the stores were super touristy and weren’t what I was looking for. I did find a few pieces of art I might have been interested in, but I didn’t want to worry about getting them home.
I stopped at a place called Mambos to get a po-boy. I got a fried shrimp one, and it was fine, but nothing special. Mostly I was looking for a place to hide from the humidity and sit down for a bit.
I messed up with the GoPro a few times, and the video is far from complete, and it looks like I waddle like a damn penguin. I’m going to cut it down and speed it up, if it looks ok, I’ll post it here. Don’t hold your breath.
On this walk, I saw a few strange things…
A dead bird that had flown into a window and killed itself.
Barbed wire covered in Mardi Graz beads
A young woman, dressed in a catsuit (leather or vinyl, including ears and tail) pulling a 2-inch stack of bills out of an ATM
A homeless man, sitting on top of a couple of large bags that I assumed was his stuff, locked eyes with me, and then started laughing. It was a genuine laugh, and I could hear him laughing as I walked past, and a couple of hundred feet away
Cool gnarly trees, hundreds of feet tall.
Buildings that were sinking. You could tell by the way the brick sidewalks were gradually slanting more towards the building the closer to the building.
I ended up back at the hotel around 10p, and spent the remainder of the evening surfing Reddit, watching south park, and smoking.
Day 3 – Peeps arrive
I got up around 9a, took another cold shower, managed to grab a plate of eggs and sausage from the hotel before they closed up for the morning. Sat out on the hotel patio area, in the shade, ate, smoked, and smoked. Did a bunch of googlin’ about New Orleans, just details, activities, and specific stores. Went back into the hotel and took another nap.
Around 2, I decided to go find some lunch. I had read about Port O Call being the best burger in town, plus it was on the opposite side of Bourbon street so I could walk back through. The burger was fine, way drier than I expected. I sat outside in the shade at one of their picnic tables because I didn’t realize they required proof of vaccination to go inside. I informed the crew, but it was too late, they were already in the airport. We found an app, that worked perfectly.
This was the hottest day while I was there, and it was pretty miserable in the sun. But I was determined to walk around some more and see more of the sites. About halfway down Burbon street, I turned and went to the other side one or two blocks, keeping to the shade as much as I could. I finally found a magnet that I liked so I bought it. I only got a few more blocks before I called an uber, like 4p. On the ride back to the hotel, the uber was playing WAP, the fun version.
It gets dark around 6:30p this time of year in New Orleans, which is also when the crew was supposed to land. I waited until they were in a car on the way to their AirBnB before I hopped in a car myself and headed that way. It took me a minute to figure out which place it was. The Uber driver and I drove around the block twice, and three different times he asked me “are you sure this is where you want to get dropped off?” The neighborhood was rough. It was a super poor neighborhood, with a lot of people hanging out on their porch, drinking, and wondering what I was doing there.
Godoloju had sent the gate code so I went in and took a seat at a picnic table to have a few smokes and wait for the crew to show up.
The Airbnb had an 8ft, iron fence surrounding it. But really, it was an older apartment building, with 8 units that someone had remodeled and cleaned up. Pretty bare inside, but had the required furniture. Nothing special, but not bad either.
The crew arrived and settled in. I didn’t have to wait long as everyone was hungry and ready to get out on the town. We called an Uber and headed to a restaurant called Red Fish Grill.
This was our largest dinner bill of the week, and there was a lot of good food and drinks to be had. I ordered a shrimp and grits, Godoloju warned me that it was supposed to be ‘spicy’. I honestly thought it was delicious, great flavor. However, it caught up to me later that night and I spent half the night on the toilet.
At some point around here, we were walking down the street and walked past an open lot surrounded by a wooden fence. The gate to this lot was missing and Hail Sagen walked into the lot for a few seconds and joked about something like “here’s the place” and we continued to walk down the street. I noticed a girl sitting on her porch just to the far side of the open lot looking at Hail Sagen like she was a crazy person. After Hail Sagen and Leaky walked past her, she said under her breath “You think that’s you” while glaring at Hail Sagen. Buddha and I got a chuckle out of it.
It’s a couple of hours later, and we’re on Bourbon Street. A couple of people needed a restroom so we stopped at a Pizza by the Slice/Daiquiri place. They were slow filling orders, and the bartender was complaining about how much pizza was being served and why weren’t people buying more drinks. It seemed semi-genuine, but my guess is it’s his nightly routine. Probably helps sales a lot.
Leaky bought a piece of pizza, and Buddha and Godoloju bought some syringe-style jello shots. Then we set out again. We quickly found a place selling ‘Fishbowls’, which is about 40oz of hard alcohol with a few blue popsicles dropped in it, all in a small plastic bowl. It’s a “let us fuck you up” drink. Godoloju bought one and put it in Buddha’s hands.
It was around here that Buddha told us the one thing his boss said about New Orleans was “Stay away from Fishbowls”. Godoloju told Buddha that it cost $80 so that Buddha would drink the whole thing. It took him a few hours, but he pulled it off. He may have had a little help, and it wasn’t without complaints.
It was probably 1 am by this time, and we caught another uber back to the Airbnb. Leaky later told us that on the uber back to the Airbnb, Buddah snuck the Fishbowl into the uber. He was giggling the whole way back, cuss he was being sneaky, as it loudly sloshed around.
Leaky, Hail Sagen and Buddha got back to the Airbnb before the rest of us. The rest of us didn’t know that. We went into the Airbnb, talked a little, used the restroom, and then I sat down on the couch and Godoloju and Mandeez were in their room winding down a bit.
A few minutes later Godoloju walked out to talk to me and stepped close to Leaky and Hail Sagen’s room. These three drunk, giggling jack-asses jump out screaming “boooo”! Godoloju jumped and Leaky’s feet slip right out from under him and he ends up flat on his back with a thud. Needless to say, we had a good laugh.
I hung out for a bit and then headed to my hotel to sleep, which I did very little of.
Day 4 – Still no hot water.
I got up, didn’t need to shower, I had taken several cold showers throughout the night. So I got dressed and tried to bail on the hotel altogether. The guy at the front desk told me because I had booked through Expedia, there was nothing he could do. So I scrapped that idea and started texting the group to see who was up and what the plan was. We met downtown at one restaurant and then ended up ditching it for another. Lunch at Cafe Fleur De Lis was good. And once again we ate and drank until everyone was sated.
We had plans to go see Dune in a theater in a few hours, so we headed to the Death Museum. We probably got there around noon, and there was a little line built up, the shop area up front was pretty crowded. We got tickets and went in. I was pretty disappointed, I’m not sure what I wanted, or expected, but this wasn’t it. There were random collectibles around all of your major Serial Killers, taxidermied and embalmed animals, and some random graphic images of death. Most of it you could print off the internet with minimal effort. DONT THESE PEOPLE INTERNETS!
The one highlight out of this, I learned that the image from the album Acid Bath – Pageon Terrisim Tactics, is a Jack Kavorkian painting, which I didn’t know, but fits the motif. Buddha and I ditched out a bit early and grabbed a soda at the little vegan place next door so we could sit in the shade while the others finished.
Another uber ride to the theater and a couple of hours in comfy seats and air conditioning did us all some good. On the way out of the theater is when Hail Sagen figured out she was missing her purse. They made a few phone calls and found it in an Uber we’d been in a few hours earlier.
Leaky and Hail Sagen went off to find her purse, and the rest of us headed back to the Airbnb to relax for a bit before dinner. We had stopped for a few supplies and just hung out for maybe an hour before they had the purse and were back at the Airbnb with us.
We went to Luke for dinner and enjoyed the shit out of another meal. I got a burger, as I didn’t want a repeat of the night below. But everyone raved about the Pate and the Tuna Tartar.
At one point during dinner, buddha and I were talking about something, and I was responding to something he said and I totally blanked midsentence, sat there for a few seconds in silence, and since he was looking at me, waiting, I said “Pussy” and put some food in my mouth.
A few seconds later, Hail Sagen leaned over to me, and kinda quietly said something along the lines of “I know you come from a time when that was acceptable, but maybe don’t use something that refers to women as an insult.” Goddamnit. She’s not wrong. She’s right, it is a shitty thing to say. But I kinda hate her for ruining “pussy” for me.
We headed back to Burbon street for a bit, and just strolled around checking things out and people watching. At one point we were headed to a CVS so someone could get something.. and we ran into Whispering Mumbles again. She came up to Leaky and me, and hit us up for “what you got”, and then she recognized me and moved along.
Later, when I got back to the hotel, I sat out on the patio surfing Reddit until probably 3 am, when I finally felt tired.
Day 5 – Call me Moose Finn
I woke up early cuss that’s how I roll and took a HOT shower. We had plans to take a Paddle Boat ride up and down the river. I grabbed a little breakfast and headed out to the patio for a little fresh air and a headspace change. While I was sitting there, a marathon happened. It seems the circle in front of my hotel was the turnaround spot for the yearly Halloween Marathon.
Some were dressed up, some were not, and they were blasting ‘scary’ music like the Adams Family theme song and Thriller. There were probably 200 people running, and it took them a good half hour to all cycle through the circle area and run out of my sight. People seemed like they were enjoying themselves.
We met around 10:30 am for the Paddle Boat w/ Brunch we had scheduled. They had some really weird shit on the boat like you had to go stand in the long lines at the bar to get a coffee. But then again, now that I’m thinking about it, coffee was kinda difficult everywhere. The brunch was buffet style and most of it was fine, but the shrimp gravy for the biscuits was off the hook. We ate our fill and then went to the upper deck to see the sights and listen to the band.
The smokestacks on the boat were fake, but the paddle was real. The boat went about 1 mile one way, then back and about 1/2 a mile the other way back past the dock, and then back to the dock. Overall, it was about 2 hours on the boat. There was less traffic on the river than I would have guessed, but we got to see some big military ships, I think an oil tanker, barges, and several tugboats. The whole experience is exactly what you’d expect of it, or maybe a little less.
We wanted to see the famous New Orleans cemeteries and took a quick uber to one of the more famous ones. The first one was huge and super well maintained. Not the gritty, half-mud half-broken cobblestone cemeteries I’ve seen in movies. I had a thought that maybe those get destroyed fairly often, but then later thought I saw one from the freeway during a ride somewhere.
Many of the gravesites were just walls with elevated dirt. Some were marble and carved. And some were just brick. Some were hundreds of feet long, with hundreds of spaces, made for veterans with no family plots.
It’s kinda sobering seeing all of these spaces for corpses, a part of me felt as if it was a waste of space. But then again, I feel that way about all cemeteries. There were some specific statues that we had seen online that we were trying to find, and we figured out that they were in the next cemetery over. Off we went.
There were no dirt or brick gravesites at the next cemetery. They were all huge, super well built, decorative, and maintained tombs. It was super hot and humid by this time, so I mostly hid in the shade while everyone walked around. Hail Sagen got a lot of good images, I’ll post a link to her album below.
We had a little time before the Halloween Parade and dinner, so we went back to the Airbnb to relax for a bit. We struggled a bit to get a dinner reservation, ended up at like 8. The parade was at 630.
Somewhere in here, we were talking about something, and I laughed pretty hard at this quote:
“Being Bi is like being a squirrel. It’s all about gathering a nut, and storing it for winter.”
We headed down to the parade with a little time to grab drinks on the way. We found a decent spot and waited for the parade to start. There were a lot of people there, turns out it was the first parade after two years due to the pandemic. The parade turned out to be kinda lame. There were motorcycles, lots of RGB, Lucha libre groups, a few cars, a band, and one set of 50+-year-old witches. We didn’t stay for the whole thing due to our dinner reservation, but I didn’t see a single New Orleans-style float. Disappointing.
Dinner was a few blocks away, and at a sushi place called Tsunami. The food was good and at one point the table was full of rolls. The conversation was flowing tonight, as I think people were pretty intoxicated at this point. But a couple of highlights
Incestion – exactly what you’d think
Quote: “Bob – which is funny, because his name was Bob”
Godoloju and Buddha did their best to drink the place out of alcohol and were in a pretty good place by the time we were done with dinner. My phone was dead, so I walked to my hotel to get a charger and rest a bit before planning to meet them at their AirBnB. 20mins later, I get a text from Leaky saying he was headed to my hotel and to wait for me so we could ride over together. Cool.
Within an hour of getting back to the Airbnb, everyone except Godoloju, Buddha, and I were in bed. The three of us stayed up until about 2a talking about life, weiners, and how pussy is ruined for me. Three old friends hashing out a few stupid issues and touching weiners.
It was during this little love fest that I noticed I had several little itchy bumps on both of my lower calves and ankles. When I got back to my hotel around 2:30a, I took off my pants and got a closer look and there were probably 30-50 on my right leg and more than a 100 on my left leg. Turns out I must have stepped in a chigger’s nest somewhere and they were insect bites. As I write this, it’s nearly two weeks later, and I’m still dealing with the leftover scabs.
Day 6 – The last day
I woke up early enough to grab a little Hotel breakfast and get a headspace change. Then I packed up my stuff, checked out of the hotel, and jumped an Uber to the Airbnb.
The crew was moving, slowly, so I sat outside and waited for them to get packed up. We had plans to take a swamp ride on an airboat today. The boat left around 11 am, and the crew was dragging their feet a bit. The ride to the airboat place was about 20mins, but we made it in time.
Dropped our bags in the office of the airboat place and hopped on the boat. Our guide was a big round guy that had a very ‘swampy’-southern accent. The ride around the swamp lasted about an hour and a half, and I thought it was pretty entertaining. The way the vegetation just floats on top of the water was something I hadn’t seen or noticed on my own. They showed us 5 gators, ranging from 3 ft to probably 8 or 9 ft long. We learned, gators like marshmallows, and it was pretty obvious that these gators were conditioned to people and free food when people were around.
Our guide told us the big gators were all gone after the last storm. Me being the skeptical ass that I am, assume that they probably don’t want big ‘wild’ gators around, and prefer the ones that they’ve conditioned. But what do I know?
We caught a shuttle back to downtown, we still had a few hours to kill before we needed to head to the airport and planned to grab some food. Went to a place called Trenasse, I barely remember this meal, but looking at the receipt, looks like everyone took it pretty easy on food and alcohol.
During this meal, Godoloju figured out he’d left a stack of CC’s in the Airbnb, so we stopped by there on the way to the airport and was able to get them.
We got to the airport, and security was pretty stupid. Long lines, probably 30-45m in line. On the flight home, the plane was pretty full, but I still managed to have an empty seat next to me.