Friday, August 15, 2008

Not a begonia in New Orleans

Po-boy Views
Phil LaMancusa
Not a begonia
The column that ‘twern’t
I had decided that it was high time that someone did an article about the abundance of bellies in New Orleans. From the petite and pretty pooches of the barely post pubescent to Ponderosa paunches approaching personal postal zones, like the cone heads in Harry Nilsson’s ‘The Point’, “everybody’s got one” here. Including me. Then I thought: how does a future friendless sound after I’ve made light of that subject?
Then I thought that a complete page devoted to George Carlin would be the ticket; you know, the guy that thought that six six seven was the neighbor of the beast and reportedly was disappointed that when he put a dollar in the change machine… nothing changed. Too deadpan?
What about a trip up Saint Louis Street, from the cradle of the Mississippi to the grave of Saint Louis cemetery? We could go up past Johnny’s Po boys to the Napoleon House, the old Royal Orleans Hotel, Antoine’s, Herman Grima and crack alley etc. Maybe a little too real.
Then I remembered a trip to Walgreens where a young black kid swiped a bag of potato chips, compounded by a trip to Whole Foods where thirty something white guys snitched chocolates from the bulk section while their girlfriends looked on smiling. Kids these days.
What about the carpenter/musician that had three fingers cut off in a construction accident? Bad visual.
Well, what shall I write about? My twelve favorite places to kiss in New Orleans? I can only think of three… the mouth, the ear… make that four.
The weather here could inspire tomes. We don’t have room for that subject, stick around fifteen minutes, it’ll change.
How about my upcoming trip to Paris as I teach myself to speak Italian? How weird is that? “dove posso trovare” and fill in the blanks? Present, past present, future subjunctive imperative? Want to watch some paint dry? What the Dickens is a ‘past present’? Lingerie?
Murder, mayhem, crime, corruption and the jerking off of the hopes and wishes of New Orleans optimists? Old news and we’re down to losing only a quarter of our population as rents rise and locals in need of pharmaceuticals go haywire watching dreams dashed.
Good news! You can recycle cans and paper at the Green Project, give them some kind of donation (cash) to help on the cost, they’re still fighting the good fight. AND, I’m a grandpa! A baby girl, eight pounds eleven ounces, twenty-one inches long. I told my daughter that she did not have a baby…she gave birth to an anaconda! Woof!
Alright, I’ll tell you a story. I was a kid that ran away from home a lot, so it stands to reason that as an adult not much changed. You know, they say that in any situation there’s love, then work and then love comes back, Well, I’m not the person that ever stuck around for the work part. When things get tough… this tough guy gets going.
Anyway, to make a long story longer, one time I decided to get a mule and wagon and start traveling (at five miles an hour) for the rest of my life. No kidding, I’ve got pictures to prove it. It’s really not such a long story. We had a wheel break in Homer, La. back then it was the home of the KKK. They didn’t like the idea of some longhaired guy, even if he was with woman and child, passing through their turf and in a very short space of time, the mule was poisoned and the wagon was burned. That’s not such a good story. Let’s try again.
A limerick? An excuse, an alibi, an amusing anecdote? Sorry, nothing comes to mind. Does the word ‘embarrassed’ really come from being bare assed? Do catfish have kitten fish? How much sawdust does a chicken have to eat to lay a two by four twelve inches long? Can you picture those motorcycle dudes on tractors instead? Talk about penis envy.
Still here? When was the last time you saw a quarter with red fingernail polish on it? How old am I?
I’m old enough to remember penny candy, rotary phones and correspondence in long hand. I remember Grand Funk Railroad on vinyl. I remember when Keith Richards didn’t look like Frankenstein and Etta James didn’t resemble Jabba the hutt. Hell, I’ve forgotten how much I remember!!!
Okay. Now it’s your turn, what do you want to talk about? The war? Crime, poverty, education, where to have dinner or how to stop drinking? Politics? A statue of a baby with a clock in it’s stomach? Bob Dylan’s unlisted phone number?
Enough about you, let’s talk about me. Me? I have Opus envy. I want to be that pintsize penguin. Oh, I know, I could have Martha Stewart envy or Kermit Ruffins, Doctor John, Bill Gates or even Jenna Bush envy. Noooooo, I wanna be Opus and hang out with Bill D. Kat and that whole gang. Do you think it strange to want to be a cartoon character? C’mon; Wonder woman, Garfield Batman, Snoopy, Sylvester, Mickey…they all have charm. Get Fuzzy, Pearls Before Swine and Doonsesbury are all cool; but Opus…he’s da bomb! Who do you want to be? Brad Pitt or Jennifer Anniston?
Chatter, chatter, cosmic debris. I read about California wildfires, Democratic leaders, car bombings and civil unions gaining ground. I must be on overload; now it’s American Indians selling drugs, anti Cuban exiles getting released on bail, an ex judge is guilty of bribery and a woman in New York that had her gall bladder removed through her vagina!
I sometimes think that the world cannot get any more strange and then it does. I kinda wish that the government would re-institute the draft just to see what would happen.
Rounding third and heading for home. By this time next month, I’d had gone in for a procedure involving my colon that they tell me is common for guys my age. Tune in and I’ll tell you how much a pain in the ass doctors can be. Good night Irene, I’ll see you in my dreams.

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