Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Lizard Eater's Hat Goes to the Big Easy

Auspicious Jots left her home and went to Mississippi to do good work. After that, she drove to New Orleans. Lizard Eater finished up with LW's scans and a big ugly Old Testament midterm, farmed out her kids to accommodating fools, I mean, wonderful people, and also drove to New Orleans. Accompanying those two were Bad Bad Man and The Husband.

Jots recognized me right away, even though I was traveling incognito.

blogcognito? inblognito?

Bad Bad Man is practically an honorary citizen of New Orleans, so we put ourselves in his capable hands. The Husband mentioned that he is a fan of hole-in-the-walls, so BBM took us to nothing but hole-in-the-walls. Dives. Dark and funky. Fabulous, delicious food. Jots wouldn't use the ladies' room in any of them.

She has issues.

Actually, the first was not dark. But it was funky in that you should be thankful you get to eat there, and shaddup about the service. Mother's. We stuffed ourselves with cafe au lait, eggs, biscuits, homemade sausage and grits. Ahhh. Jots had fresh fruit. There's a reason she's built like Barbie.

After Mother's, we went back out into the drizzly rain well fortified. Walked around a bit, then headed into a hole-in-the wall bar/laundry/game room.

My clothes would have been much cleaner in college had we one of those.

Hung out, chatted, talked about our most interesting jobs. I could tell ya, but you know, then I'd have to kill you.

After that, we took a streetcar for a bit of a journey. Tip: don't let Jots ride sideways.

After she recovered, we headed to Cooter Brown's. It's a sports bar with really killer food. Jots, BBM and The Husband scarfed down some oysters before we dove into plump, perfectly cooked fried shrimp and muffalettas.


Later on that day, in amongst our wanderings, we found a pretty special forest. This was right after I spotted a white-bearded fella in a red shirt. "Look!" I squealed, pulling on BBM's sleeve. "It's Santa Claus!"

"Huh. Looks like the same guy who asked me for a dollar yesterday," he said.

Well, duh! How do you think he buys all the toys for all the girls and boys???

Anyway, after that, we found the magic forest. Now I know where white flocked trees are born.

That evening, before we headed out for dinner, The Husband made them one of his famous margaritas. They marveled at them. "This really is the perfect margarita," they said. Yep. No argument here.

For dinner, we met friends of BBM at Mulate's. Zydeco music, great food, yum.

Ostensibly, Jots has retired from ministry. After being around her for 48 hours and watching her minister to everyone including the kindly white-haired gentleman whom she danced with, I say, "Um, tell me when you actually retire." You can take the girl outta the church, but you can't take the church out of the supposedly retired minister.

BBM's friend brought Jots something she'd left at a funeral convention. This is the sort of thing that makes her squeal with delight. Dead Marilyn.

Jots and I danced, thus liberating the floor for other same-sex couples, including an apparent threesome of suburban looking moms. Jots' observation: two women on a dancefloor will dance. Three will stand there and talk.

The Husband and I danced, Jots and BBM danced, Jots and the kindly white-haired gentleman danced.

We ate till we thought we'd pop. Shrimp and corn bisque, frog legs, crawfish, catfish, jambalaya, etouffee ... Laissez les bon temps roulez!

Sunday morning, we got up and headed down to the French market. Touristy, but I wanted a little Cafe du Monde. Cafe au lait et beignets, oui? Ah, non non non. Line going about 2 blocks long. We skipped that and hit a cafe for more grits etc. And coffee!

"Jots, if I take a picture in here, it'll be back lit."
"That's just the way I like 'em, Baby."
She is wise, my friend Jots.

Then, it was time for a mule-drawn carriage ride! On Jeeves! To the cemetery!

"Um, Liz?" said The Husband.
"Jots is positively beaming."

Death becomes her. Really.

We wandered around, marveling at the generations of families all buried in the same crypt. Frankly, I'm envious.

Bad Bad Man found Marie Laveau's grave. He should be careful. I'm sure there's a few women who bought voodoo dolls of him in his youth.

Have I mentioned all the truly horrible dirty jokes he told during this trip? And the fact that my sweet Husband was egging him on?

He's a bad influence.

I'm not saying which one.

It was some time after this, once we'd be returned to the Market, that Jot's knee went out. I mean, OUT. Rheumatoid Arthritis ain't for sissies, folks. We propped her up against a streetpole and continued our souvenir shopping.

Oh, please, it's not like we didn't bring her back a tshirt.

Through a combination of piggy back rides on BBM's back and using The Husband and me as crutches, we managed to cripple down to Coop's, another great divey hole-in-the-wall bar with great food. No, great doesn't do it justice. Incredible.

But first, a Sazerac for me, Bloody Marys for them.

Lunch: four bowls of dark seafood gumbo, followed by plates of shrimp etouffe, jambalaya, red beans and rice, and the most incredible fried chicken I have ever tasted. Ever. And I'm a southerner, y'all. We were moaning with joy. Wisely, we split two plates, so we weren't quite groaning with pain.

Bad Bad Man and The Husband went back to the hotel to get the cars. Gimpie's knee was doing a little better, so we slowly strolled around. There's so many great signs under which to take a person's picture!

Trashy Diva. I mean, really, what can top that?

Well, for Death Becomes Her ...

He's a Bad, Bad Man. But he's a heck of a tour guide. Priceless.

Go to New Orleans. Drink a Sazerac. Dance to Zydeco. Eat some crab claws. And know that you're helping a great place return to life. In return, it'll give you a little extra life in your life.

Even if death becomes you.


John A Arkansawyer said...

I was so afraid that, when Andrei Codrescu mentioned Coop's, it'd be ruined by success. I should've kept a stronger faith in delightful decadence.

Lizard Eater said...

Hey, they cook in an alley. What could possibly ruin that? :)

ms. kitty said...

Sounds like you had a great time! Thanks for the report.

Earthbound Spirit said...

OK - Jealous. REALLY. The only time I was in New Orleans, I was 5 or 6 months pregnant. No dives, no booze. sigh...

Looks like you had a fantastic time.

Shannon said...

i have always wanted to go there :)

sounds like a fabulous time; thank you for taking the time to write about it!

jbgrinch said...

take me next time I need a trip like that or better yet how about a nice ski and sing? time to destress