It was a warm day in the city, around 80, and I was expecting FedEx to deliver the new chair. I had promised Courtney I would get her some fish, so I walked across the Quarter to her bar. There had been an explosion of sewer gases on Dauphine that destroyed a couple of cars and damaged some high dollar real estate, and caused the normally slow traffic to stop. Folks turned onto a street, and were just trapped there. There were few people on foot, just mad motorists and Colts fans looking perplexed.

I worked up a sweat hustling back to the Marigny after getting a call from the FedEx guy that he had just dropped the package over the gate. A little risk of damage balanced against the porch pirates. It took a solid hour to carefully assemble the chair, and aside from the urge to say “make it so, number 1” and a surfeit of furniture in our little place, it looks and feels great.

I ran into Cecile, seeing her for the first time since I got back, and walked around the block with her and Roscoe. She is still fighting some kind of crud, and seems not quite on her game. I listened to a set of music at Bamboula’s and had some catfish. I think Jim Rothwell may be right-they do fried catfish pretty good in Columbia. I haven’t had fish to beat the brewpub in downtown Columbia yet.

I watched the Saints demolish the Colts at the R Bar. The usual Touro crowd all went to the game to watch Brees set all kinds of records, so I sat with the Hank was Here group and the R Bar regulars, a younger and hipper crowd than the usual folks I hang around with. The game is projected on the outside wall, and people set up fest chairs in the street, leaving one lane barely open for traffic. People bring food potluck style, and a vendor was doing Philly cheesesteaks for $5.

Lots of people bring their dogs. The highlight was a beautiful bloodhound who would get excited when the crowd reacted to a play on the television and bay “Whoooo”. The crowd replied with “Dat”, making the dog excited again and rewarding it for baying, so it would bay again. It is without a doubt the best football mascot I have ever seen, and I was unreasonably entertained by the dog cheerleader all night.

As the night progressed the crowd changed as the people who had to work in the morning thinned out and the game provided no suspense. A late teenage or early twenties girl, clearly high and apparently living rough from her unwashed hair and traveler clothes, sat down and bummed cigarettes from folks, giggling at jokes she was telling herself. She thankfully made no effort at conversation other than asking for cigs or a light, but she was having a rough night, and probably life. It’s a good thing I am not in the saving teenagers business.

A front passed through overnight and the temp dropped to the mid 40s. Sweating to shivering in 12 hours. I walked through the Quarter to the Walgreens for little bits, and stopped at Mollies on the way home. I made some ramen for lunch to warm up, and went over to the Roberts, where I set a new record, seeing four people I knew from the neighborhood in the store. Pretty soon it will be like Craig. I went to Buffa’s, trying to time the sci-fi film festival so I could just watch the newest episode of the Mandolorian, but Huggie had different plans, starting later than last week. I sat with one of Huggie’s friends, Catherine, and watched the whole series again over a good burger and a couple of beers. The geek runs deep in the old city.

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