Saturday, July 9, 2011

Life as a RAT

Tonight I went on my paper route. Started out working on August's cover at the Internet Cafe on Toulouse. Met with the editor Otis at Molly's  for a couple PBRs and talk about how we can take this rag to the next level. I ended up walking around the Quarter dropping off the next fistful at all of the drops. After doing web graphics for so many years, it's great to finally get to see the reactions on faces to my work. The ego digs it.

Zipping in behind Otis as he darted between bewildered tourist looking around as if they just found themselves beamed aboard the Mothership of debauchery. For us it was like running across our backyards to deliver newspapers. Bartenders beamed as a new stack was dropped on their cigarette machine. Bouncers and doormen snatched them from our arms with huge grins like teenage boys who just found their Father's Playboy stash. My artwork has hung in a few nice galleries back in New Jersey but leaving a copy of my latest work clenched between the butt cheeks of a stripper on Bourbon has been the high light of my career.

We dropped a couple of cases at Molly's while we hustled around hundred of copies. Hitting Bourbon and our busiest side streets, we ended up at the Dragon's Den for a final round. Back up to the Canal Street end of Bourbon for the final drops and parted ways at at the streetcar stop. At the end I commented on the wheelchair rims on a metallic lime green Jag. I stood there having a smoke waiting for a Streetcar named DELAYED. When over my shoulder on Bourbon I hear "POP, POP, POP."

By the third pop I was on my hands and knees behind a relay box for the traffic lights. I always make it a point to stand next to heavy object while 6 lanes of drunk drivers surround me.  On the second pop while dropping I could see a muzzle flash from Bourbon next to the sneaker store. Kneeling behind the three foot high metal box I was also protected from being trampled by a thunder of baggy pants and sneakers.

About five to six shots were fired, large caliber, or maybe it was just an echo from the buildings that made the shots sound even more menacing. I looked over at the passengers waiting in the glass streetcar stop laying on the ground. Ground which by the way will make you ill if you stare at it too long.

Fifteen seconds or so after the last shot I peered around the side of my bunker half expecting to see some one who just reloaded after clip one. The only ones standing out in the open were a tourist couple standing on the corner with cell phones taking video. Turned out the driver of the lime green Jag was involved.

"You two are both the luckiest and dumbest mothers fers in the French Quarter." I thought, almost wanting to see these two idiots taken out of the gene pool. The first two cops on scene were mounted on horseback on a Bourbon beat. To see mounted cops riding up Bourbon Street with weapons drawn is better than any fuckin parade I've seen since I've been here.

That was my day at work, I am a Quarter Rat.  New Orleans police investigating shooting on Bourbon Street