Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Black Cat's Path (Part 2)

To pick up right where I left off, there I am at Carrolton Station, watching the Dawgs play Kentucky. The paragon of bartenders convinced me that the Wild Turkey and Coca-Colas had worked so well for the mojo during the Auburn game the previous week that such should be my beverage of choice on this day as well.

I couldn't have agreed more.

The assembled crowd of mainly Georgia alumni and LSU fans continued to gather throughout the game, prognosticating the way only semi-rivals may as to the impending UGA v LSU game in Baton Rouge next year (LSU and Georgia are natural allies in most zero-sum SEC regular seasons, as both teams play Florida and Auburn every single year). Once Georgia had picked up steam and began to outplay Kentucky in the second half, the LSU - Ole Miss game came on, as well as the final quarter of the Vanderbilt - Tennessee game. You see, if Vandy beat Tennessee, Georgia would end up playing LSU in Atlanta for the SEC Championship. This encouraged what can only be described as 'inspired' debate. Most LSU fans, while confident, do not like the idea of yet another top 10 team showing up on their schedule while Les Miles considers the Michigan job.

In further evidence that New Orleans is indeed the World's Largest Village, and that being a University of Georgia alumnus is one of the most far reaching social networks on the planet, I found out that one of my fellow Dawg fans is also a teacher in the RSD. And that he had been at Mimi's the previous night hanging out with the same teachers I was hanging out with. So a sub-plot emerged in between the football banter: the never ending discussion of the state of New Orleans' schools.

Before too long, the Dawgs had won, and the world I was a part of was glued to the Vandy - Tennessee game, and I realized that I had been at the bar for six hours. You have to go waay back in my history to find a time I spent six hours at a bar without thinking about it or even entertaining the idea of moving the party somewhere else.

But there would be no party to move, Tennessee beat Vandy and they still control their own destiny to Atlanta. Only Kentucky stands in the Volunteers' way of a season finishing dance with LSU in Atlanta on December 1.

As I'm leaving, a fellow alumni lets me borrow his copy of Party Out of Bounds, an intimate look at the beginnings of the alt-pop scene in Athens back in the late 70's and early 80's. The detail struck absolute fear into my heart, as I know that there will one day be a book named "Olypmic Four Square and Other Notorious Legends from Creswell Hall: 1996 - 1999." That is a book that will end any future political or professional career I may have, I am sure of it. Least I know how to wash dishes.

Back to Saturday, there I am, home at last and resting, when friends begin to call me to come out, pile my ass in the truck and roll back down to the Quarter for some fun. Sorry, folks, I am funned out today, as six hours of screaming at a television is wont to do that to a man. I call it an early night.

Sunday, I arise with the knowledge that there is something to do today, but I can't remember what. Calling around for a lunch crowd, I am told of the Po' Boy Restoration Affair or some such business going on over at Oak Street. I was especially unaware of the endangered nature of the Po' Boy sandwich, even here in New Orleans (you know, where I can get so many different variations of sandwich other than po boys...).

It is the Dangerous One who alerts me to this fact, while she is also telling me that, no, she will not be hanging out with me today, she has a date. Outstanding, I tell her, and we proceed to talk politics until her date actually calls her.

So I roll to the bank, and here's where the title of the story comes into play. I get out of the 4Runner to go up to the ATM, and I hear some crazy noise. I had heard it before further Uptown, but had given it little thought. Crazy noises go off in this town with surprising regularity, and my naturally curious and neurotic mind had let it go. But here it was again.

Coming. From. My. Engine.

But this was no engine noise. This was a living thing. A mewling living thing, and my shock turned to horror as I thought about the possibility of driving around these bumpy roads with a cat in my engine.

One cigarette later, with some rather quizzical looks from the Felicity Street passersby, (as I unwisely had my head up underneath my vehicle's nether regions, meowing loudly AT my engine...), I decided that the only way to find the creature would be to pop the hood and look inside.

Even though I knew what I would find there, it didn't contain the shock of having a small black kitten leap at you from the insides of a motor vehicle. I was fully unprepared for this small black ball of hissing puff and fang to then retire deeper into the bowels of my engine, deftly weaving in and out of what are surely vital and expensive pieces of imported machinery. Angry eyes glowed up into the sun as my face towered over the engine. At this point, said black cat must have decided that the ride down St Charles was over, for he evacuated the undercarriage of my vehicle in what can only be described as loud complaint.

Now, I was going to try and catch the thing, because he looked healthy and fed, and was really only a young tomcat in the making. I have caught more difficult kittens with my hands, but this one was fast. He made his way to a parking lot at the corner of Prytania and Felicity and jumped up inside the engine of a Honda Civic.

All I could do was stand there and look very, very dumb.

A half hour later, I had my cash from the ATM, had composed a barely believeable note for the hood of the unsuspecting Civic owner (much smaller car, much smaller engine, greater probablility of involuntary felicide), and dropped off some IAMS cat food onto the parking lot in hopes of feeding the smallest new resident of the Lower Garden District. Hopefully this one would come outside and become someone's pet. I had done all I could.

I said my goodbyes to the puffy one before taking my leave to the Po' Boy festival to gorge myself on tasty sandwiches. He didn't want to come along = his problem.


Dante said...

"That is a book that will end any future political or professional career I may have"

I don't know. I think most things you've personally done could be slotted away as "Mostly harmless." We put a man in the Oval Office who got pulled over for a DUI while driving an AMC Gremlin. I don't think Olympic 4 square or even the dope tent (though I believe that was none of your doing) could ruin a political career if the candidate plays it right.

dangerblond said...

Oh ma gawd! Is there an extra term of bad luck years if the black cat rides around on your path for a while, instead of crossing it?

BTW, my date and I rode our bikes past Carrollton Station. There were a lot of people outside. I said, "I wonder if my friend Patrick ended up here?" There were three older guys on bicycles who looked like the guys in ZZTop. One said, "Yeah, Patrick's coming, we're waiting for him."

I was like "you know Patrick? Pat Armstrong?"

They're like, "yeah, we're waiting for him."

Eventually, we figured out that it's different Patricks, but for a while there I was thinking, "wow, Patrick hangs out with an ecclectic crowd."

Leigh C. said...

'for a while there I was thinking, "wow, Patrick hangs out with an ecclectic crowd." '

You got that right, madame! ;-)

Leigh C. said...

Oh, and "Party Out Of Bounds" is a good book, by the way.

S.A.W.B. said...

[There were three older guys on bicycles who looked like the guys in ZZTop. One said, "Yeah, Patrick's coming, we're waiting for him."]

Naah. VDOPM, Corwyn's Toolbag Ass, and myself weren't in NOLA last weekend...

S.A.W.B. said...

oh, and, Olympic Four Square is likely the least of your worries in regards to holding public office. That thing that cause the divot in your skull is entirely more likely to keep you out of office...or at least the story that leads up to the divoting...

sophmom said...

LMAO at Leigh's response to DB. Ecclectic crowd it is.

Speaking of aforementioned crowd, I miss y'all and wish I'd been there to do my part to save the Po' Boys. What a story!