Friday, February 11, 2011

"Bourbon Street and Beyond"

I got permission (kind of) to publish a tiny bit of the Quarter Rat book "Bourbon Street and Beyond" on line. If I had to choose one story as a favorite it would be this one. Perhaps because I have done mascot work before. One summer I had a job dressing up as a Seagull on the Seaside Heights boardwalk. Jersey's version of Bourbon Street. I hope you enjoy the sneak peek at the book, it will be up on Amazon.com, and available through out the French Quarter in time for Mardi Gras.

Two Queens and a Joker
An almost love story by: Jay Slusher

When I moved to New Orleans in the mid-90s my first job was at a club famous for its 190-proof, melon-flavored drink. They’re also famous for their mascot who dressed up in a heavy fiberglass suit with a full face of Styrofoam and a helmet. Part of my job was keeping drunks from beating on him. It was nerve wracking. I had to watch the door, the floor, and him. Needless to say, I got in a lot of shit.
Back in the day we had reps from the cigarette company come out and give away free smokes to the customers and employees on weekends. We had Winston and this one girl Gretchen. She was really hot for a merchant of death, let me tell ya. We talked about going out a couple of times.

Well, this particular night the mascot guy, named Chris, decided to drop a couple of hits of acid before he got into his suit. I’m at the door talking to Gretchen when I notice a commotion outside. Gretchen is just starting to write her number down, and I see these two drag queens beating the shit out of Chris. I’m talking two six-feet-tall black guys in heels, wigs, and mini-skirts. One of them is getting in some really good shots with a fanny pack with a brick in it. (Little known fact: NOPD doesn’t consider that a weapon. A lot of homeless people carry them.)

I got the real story from the Lucky Dog guy later that night (one of my network of spies and informants).
When the queens came by Chris says, “What’s up, dudes?”
One of the queens replied, “Say what, motherfucker?”
“You heard me, sir. How are you gentlemen doing this evening?”

They go ballistic. Chris is tripping his face off. So, I push Gretchen off and run out to break up the fight. It got rough, I got hit a couple of times, but finally I got that stupid fanny pack away. I hauled off and decked both of them, and they backed off.

I haul Chris to the courtyard where he fell out in the suit, tripping hard. His helmet was all twisted around, babbling incoherently. He couldn’t get up in that suit, so I left him there, face against a keg, hallucinating like a motherfucker. Now, I’ve had some absurd moments in my life but breaking up a fight between two drag queens and a guy in a Hand-Grenade suit is definitely up there.

I get back in the bar and Gretchen and the other, not as hot cigarette rep, are gone. I ask Jimmy the bartender what happened. He says they got scared during the fight and left. Well, shit! I look down on the ground and there’s the piece of paper with her name and the first three digits of her number on it. Double shit! Of course, I never saw her again. I left Chris in the courtyard until we closed; immobilized and tripping balls. Then to add insult to injury, I hosed him down just to help me ease the pain of the phone number lost.

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