Sure The Saints Can All Come Marching In, But Can They Win the War?

That’s a line from a song I started writing as I walked to Walgreen’s Friday morning in NOLA. It’s probably a bad song. I was envisioning it performed by Tom Waits. Sort of that cheezey boozey washed up piano bar genre Waits does better than anyone. Maybe it wouldn’t be so bad done by Waits. He could sing “Happy Birthday” and make you cry and/or vomit.

Two new rules for travel. I will never again fly via National Hairport, and I will never again fly via U.S. Hairways. Of course, were it left to me, I would never fly anywhere again, evar. Ihave been developing the hypothesis lately that a nation’s general living standard can be among other things indexed by the quality of its transportation infrastructure, and, if this is true, the Untied States of Americais just plain fucked.At least five on our staff flew with me on the way there and spent a few hours in the hairportthey didn’t need to. And they all with me witnessed the idiocy of the U.S. Hairways employee who got on the overhead and said “Um,we’re running late because, um, we have not put together an entire crew for this flight, um, and, um, the pilot hadn’t been told about it yet, and um, well, he’s stuck in traffic…” I’m. Not. Kidding. And then we got on the plane and spent another hour on the tarmac before takeoff. Only recently in my recollection has it been acceptable to leave people on the tarmac for any stupid length of time. These days, it’s just part of the job.

Anyways. Convention was groovy. My niche for convention has become running the raffle drawring. And since we were in NOLA, I ate a lot of delicious food. Here’s a story. My coworker and I were walking down the street looking for a restaurant called Mr. B’s, which she all week kept insisting on calling “Mrs. B’s,” which I thought was cute AND annoying all in one, because their shrimp ‘n’ grits is something of legend. We asked the cab driver. He pointed up the street and said it’s right there, but I’m not sure if it’s open yet, and we said, well, surely it’s open by now, it’s 8 p.m. and we have 8:30 reservations. So we went there and ate the best crabcakes ever and shrimp and grits with shrimp that weren’t shrimpy and were wrapped in bacon and, oh, sweet gods, I can live on bread and water the rest of my life now. It was so good. So, so good.

My coworker is somewhat of an extrovert, which I find both cute AND annoying all in one. So she went to speak to the chef. And she learned that Mr. B’s had just opened its doors post-Katrina two days before that. Thus shining some light onto the cab driver’s comment and onto some intracacies of the English language when two attemptors of communication are basing their exchange on two completely different schema.

I did not have as much outrageous fun as I could have in New Orleans, as I generally avoidtitty bars these days and especially on trips for the business. As one fellow remarked at 6 a.m. today at the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport, one could possibly really enjoy New Orleans when one is 20-something and completely without morals. Plus, I was generally exhausted from conventioneering. Generally, nice dinners out was the order of the day.

But I will tell you that New Orleans is still quiet. Which is weird because New Orleans islike thatloud obnoxious yet captivating friend who can always convince you to do things you’d not ordinarily consider doing. Maybe we were just there off-season. But it seems rather quiet, uncharacteristically so.

Glad to be home.

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