Tag Archives: poison

New Orleans Diary: Week Five

30 Dec

Goal: To keep a weekly diary of my time here in New Orleans. This is Week 5! Which means I have been living here for over a month. And also it has been almost two whole months since I left Brooklyn which is pretty crazy. Hi, Brooklyn. Do ya miss me?

Waterbugs, Information: You may recall that last week I saw a waterbug in my bathroom and subsequently hid from the bug, also the bathroom, for a considerable amount of time following the sighting. Then the bug mysteriously disappeared. Dun dun duuuuuun. I then posted about the bug on my Facebook page at which point I received all kinds of comments. Some of them were full of concern, some were full of disgust and vomit emojis, and some were from people welcoming me to Life in the South. As a result of the post, I also received a few bits of information.

  • My friend Heather told me that New Orleans-style waterbugs fly at your face. AT YOUR FACE! Which, since my face is the face that is currently here, means that they will most certainly fly at my face which is not something I hope to experience. She told me to get the Raid in the silver can because it is full of chemicals and the shape of the nozzle allows for pretty good aim which means that you can, from a distance, spray that noxious shit and hopefully hit the attacking bug in mid (at my face) fly. That sounds like a really great idea until one remembers that time I accidentally maced myself in the face. I decided, as a result, to forego airborne chemical warfare and simply go for some traps.
  • My friend Rob told me that here in New Orleans they call these bugs “palmettos.” I am glad to know what they are called here so that when I tell people about The Bug and they think I am talking about silver fish (also ew!) I can use the appropriate regionalism to correct them so that we are all on the same disgusting, flying-at-my-face page.

Waterbugs, The Update: Following the initial sighting I was living if not a carefree life at least one seemingly free of waterbugs. That is until the day before yesterday! I walked into the kitchen to grab something when <BAM!> There it was! Sneaking around on the floor like the huge and disgusting flying hunk of roach that it is. Naturally, I screamed, ran into the bedroom and jumped onto the bed which clearly wouldn’t have helped me one bit if the bug had decided to fly at my face. Luckily for all involved it did not. I’m pretty sure it actually also screamed and retreated under the refrigerator. What to do?! I quickly mined my brain for information and remembered a story my friend Carrie had told me in which her basement apartment became ground zero of a short-lived waterbug infestation during a huge rainstorm and she lined the inside of her doors with duct tape. It worked! And so I snuck into the kitchen and, looking out for monsters (AKA waterbugs), I retrieved some gorilla duct tape – extra sticky! – and laid it out all around the refrigerator so that if the bug decided to try and sneak out it would get caught! Inhumane, I know, but it was the only way I would be able to sleep.

And then I waited. And slept. But also waited.

When I woke up in the morning I went into the kitchen to see if the bug had in fact gotten stuck. I discovered the most awful thing. Not only had the bug not gotten stuck, but it had used its brute strength to actually move the gorilla tape a good 3 inches away from the fridge and then somehow dislodge itself to live another day. It also left behind one leg on the tape. So gross.

In summation the waterbugs down here are like other fucking level. They are like terminators. Seriously if we could train waterbugs to do our bidding we could use them to fight wars. These fuckers are no joke. And this said by someone who now has a 5-legged waterbug wandering around her house, waiting for the next opportunity to fly at my face.

Clothing: I have lost all my pants. I was putting my clothes away yesterday and I can’t find them. I know I had them because I recently wore them but now they appear to be missing. Has anyone seen them?

Driving: But seriously, people cannot drive here. Or, well, they can’t drive in a different way from the ways in which people up North can’t drive. So here is the new thing I have noticed. You’ll be moving along at a steady clip with all of the other people except for the one guy who is driving 25mph above the speed limit and is, like everyone else, allergic to the use of blinkers. And then, as if from nowhere, there is the person driving 20 mph below the speed limit. I don’t think I have driven on a highway in Louisiana once without encountering this person. And he/she is always in the middle lane. ALWAYS. Which is an extra big problem here where the right lane oftentimes goes from lane to exit only lane and back again with basically no warning whatsoever. So it actually isn’t really a lane at all. But the slow person isn’t in the next lane over, oh no. The slow person is in the other middle lane. So this is what happens:

  • The right lane is oscillating between exit only lane, new cars merging in lane and regular right lane where slow drivers are supposed to live so they don’t bother the rest of us.
  • The middle right lane becomes this lane where no one really wants to be because you have to be aware of the constantly changing status of the right lane. That being said this would be the perfect lane for a slow driver because all the other drivers who are merging and exiting and generally confused by signage can easily move into the slow driver lane because the slow driver is, well, so slow.
  • The middle left lane is where the slow driver now lives for reasons that I am not entirely clear on. This messes up all the other lanes because now there is a serious slow-down in the middle left lane resulting in a lot of tailgating. People love to tailgate here.
  • The left lane is basically the only lane that operates under normal lane procedures from what I can tell. The slow driver generally doesn’t venture over there. Although there generally is someone in a mini-van using cruise control at exactly 8 miles over the speed limit which can be problematic.

The result of all of this is a complete and total free-for-all. Every lane is a passing lane. Every car is tailgating some other car which means that every car is simultaneously tailgating someone else while trying to lose its own tailgater. And then there is the asshole who drives like he/she is from New Jersey. You know the guy. Driving really fast, weaving in and out of traffic with no warning whatsoever, squeezing into teeny tiny spaces. This person is almost always in a busted up coup with tinted windows. This guy has watched Fast and Furious too many times. I don’t not like that guy.

Conclusion: That’s all I’ve got for right now. The New Year is fast approaching and everyone seems pretty pleased that 2016 is over since it gave us Tr*mp and pretty much killed everyone that we love. And I don’t want to be the bearer of bad news, but unless 2016 flexes its muscles yet again, we will be inaugurating Tr*mp on the 20th day of January. And then we are stuck with him for the next 4 years unless he gets impeached at which point we are stuck with Mike fucking Pence. So I am sorry to say that 2017 is not looking like it’s gonna be all that much better. But there will be more New Orleans diary entries so that’s something, right?

Tip #7 on Being a Good Bar Customer

18 Jun

And here it is, Tip #7.  You know what that means:  if there is a #7, then there must also exist #s 1-6 and guess what?  You’re in luck!  And you can read them all by following these links!  It’s like magic (or hyperlinks…).  Tip #1, tip #2, tip #3, tip #4, tip #5 and, finally, tip#6.

So in this blog I am going to tackle a topic that seems to be slightly divisive: kids in bars.  This divisiveness can be easily proven by referring to a comment I made on my Facebook page a few weeks back that simply read “No, I do not have milk for your child.”  The responses were diverse, to say the least, ranging from “bar life is slowly being destroyed in NYC by entitled parents” to “You’re right, people with kids should just stop trying to enjoy themselves.”  I am not here trying to start an all out war, but I have some opinions.  So, here goes.

I am not going to put myself strictly on one side of the argument or the other, but I think those who know me, and those who have gotten to know me through my writing here, can probably guess which way I tend to lean.  That being said, there are people who come in with their kids who I actually like having in there.  One couple specifically comes to mind.  They have been my once-a-month customers for years now and recently, about 2 months or so ago, they adopted two little girls who I lovingly call “the ladies.”  The ladies are very cute.  They are also very well behaved, always snoring away in their little baby bjorns, one on the front of one daddy, one on the front of the other.  The second one of them starts fussing, one of the parents takes her outside and bounces her around until she quiets down and goes back to sleep.  If that doesn’t work, they close the tab and head home.

I have noticed over the years that people who were customers of the bar before they reproduced or adopted were the best customers if they chose to bring their children in, although many of them do not.  Many of them will pop in with the baby every now and again to say hi and then be on their way.  But if they do decide to stay, they are incredibly attuned to their child, or children.  They respect the bar, they respect the other customers, and they respect me and understand that a crying baby will drive customers away, thereby lowering my income and making me angry.  And they don’t want to make me angry.  I am told I can be scary.

It’s the people that weren’t customers before that are the problem.  So a few weeks ago there I was at work when this guy came in.  He ordered a beer, drank about half of it, and then said he would be back in a few minutes.  Like a good bartender, I placed a napkin over his beer so no dust or little flying friends would go in it (also so I wouldn’t forget he was coming back and dump it out) and went about my business.  About ten minutes later he walked in…with his 6-year-old daughter.  Apparently she was at a birthday party across the street at the Little Gym.  He took his seat back up at the bar and she sat down next to him.  Just as an aside, I hate it when people let their little kids sit at the bar (to the person who follows my blog who brings his kids in, you are an exception because your kids are awesome and also they write stories about me and also neither of them is 6).  I actually think it is illegal and normally I would have said something about it but I wasn’t feeling up to the conversation and also he had been there before and I felt weird about it.  So, whatever, I just ignored it.  The dad was super distracted watching a monster truck rally on TV and was not paying any attention to his daughter at all.  When they got up to leave about 10 minutes later I noticed that she had scribbled all over the bar!  There was marker everywhere!  Why did he give her a marker?  Also, being in a bar is not an excuse to stop watching your kid.  I am a bartender, not a babysitter, I will not pick up the slack unless you pay me at least $30 an hour and even then I would probably tell you to go fuck yourself, I serve booze.

And here’s another example.  Just this past weekend these 3 adults came in with 2 toddlers.  That means there were 6 eyeballs to watch 2 little dudes running around.  They went out to the back, which immediately prompted all my backyard customers to move back into the bar.  About 1/2 hour later, I hear the mother screaming “Marky! Marky! No! Put that down!!”  And she runs over to where her son was standing with a rat trap in his hands.  He had dumped poison all over himself.  She didn’t realize what it was at first and said something along the lines of “ew, I don’t know what that was.”  I happened to be standing by the back door and, putting it all together, leaned my head out and said, “yea, that was a rat trap.  You might want to take him into the bathroom and wash his hands, arms, legs, and shoes with soapy water before he puts something in his mouth.”  The parents were actually cool about it, blaming their lack of attention for the oversight rather than the fact that we had a poisonous rodent trap on the ground.

Here’s the thing.  It actually doesn’t even matter what I personally think about you having kids in the bar because the reality of the situation is that bars, and my bar more specifically, tend to not be child friendly.  This does not mean I will cast you dark glances and spit in your drinks if you come in toting a toddler, it means that there are accessible outlets, furniture with sharp edges, there might be broken glass on the floor, and, as Marky found out the hard way, occasionally there is poison.  So I might talk a good game about how they cry and it gives me a headache or people change the diapers in the bathroom and then the whole bar smells like poo (this has totally happened before!) but really, I worry enough about my adult customers maiming themselves without adding two-foot-tall curiosity machines into the mix.

So, in summation, in the words of my brother (about something completely unrelated but whatever), “just because you can does not mean you should.”  And in the words of me, if you do anyway then watch your damn kid.  Going out to a bar to blow off some steam is only a vacation from parenting when you leave your kids at home.  Don’t make me parent for you because, guess what? I won’t.