It’s the Piss Test Rodeo!

I went to dba to listen to some music, and got the counterpoint to the sorority girl story. I was seated at the bar, a rarity at dba because they want to keep the dance floor open and have just a dozen or so chairs in the joint. Three women, apparently farm convention people in their 60s, looking very much like they just got off the bus from Des Moines, came in and two found seats next to me at the bar. The third pulled a chair from the other room into the dance hall, and was corrected, none too politely, by the bartender who was not having a good day, working alone and trying to enforce the one drink minimum rule. I gave up my seat, and was told I was the “nicest man in New Orleans.” Not really, but the contrast with the bachelorette who was saving seats to do shots was striking.

I was building karma this week. As I was sitting at Envie one morning, a car pulled up across the street, and a couple of people from the the clothing/costume shop next door were unloading a 300 pound man using a walker from the car. He collapsed on the street, his legs giving way as he tried to stand. The people helping him weren’t able to lift him up, and I ran across to help lift him until he could support himself on his walker. I was told that he has worked on the corner for 40 years, and has sewed Mardi Gras costumes for some of the local politicians for years. I’ll have to stop by and talk with him someday soon.

Last week, I got an email from the guy in Craig that I had been randomly selected for a piss test for my USCG license. All I had to do was give him a call and he would meet me to get the test done. I emailed him back and didn’t hear from him for a few days. Not knowing the rules, I assumed I was just out of it for non-compliance. I haven’t used the license for anything so I figured it was just one of those things that would go away.

After the weekend, he emailed back and set up a test in New Orleans at a medical complex across town. I ubered over, not quite sure where it was so I didn’t want to get on a mystery bus. I found the place and waited for a half hour or so, and went in to the room. They were able to pull the request, and showed me to a bathroom, giving strict instructions on how to give the sample, including not flushing the toilet. I peed in the jar, and immediately reached up and flushed the toilet. Habits die hard. This invalidated the test, so I have to cross town again and do the same thing over again, perhaps this time remembering to not flush. What a pain in the butt, but at least it is expensive.

I consoled myself with a walk down Magazine to Parasol’s, a couple of $2 drafts and a firecracker shrimp poboy. The shrimp were deep fried and smothered in hot sauce, very tasty, and the dressed poboy at Parasol’s is just about perfect. I’m thinking I like the roast beef more, but I will have to return to make sure. The bar is a great neighborhood bar, and I got a seat at the bar between a government attorney on his way home, waiting for his elementary age kids to get out of school, and a bartender on his way to work who was very opinionated about the music on the jukebox, in an entertaining way. I’m fairly confident I didn’t want to argue with his opinion that punk rock ruined the music business, or that Yes was the best band of all time, and perfectly confident that our tastes are very different.

I’m coming to the conclusion that a lot of times the loud voice in the bar is just a straight contrarian who enjoys the Monty Python style of argument. “That’s not an argument, that’s just contradiction.” It helps explain libertarians.

I went out to see Tom McDermott and Aurora Nealand at Buffa’s, not wanting to venture too far afield as the firecracker shrimp proved hard to digest after a week of eating carefully. The room was packed, without a seat at the bar or a table for joiners. So there were three days where every place I was looked like the Rapture had happened and all the music lovers had gone to the Great Beyond, and there wasn’t room for me in my neighborhood club on Thursday. Next time, after the piss test.

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