The Great Usian Mardi Gras Adventure, Day 1

Late in the year 2000, a man made a decision to go have a great time on vacation. A man with a website. A vacation... to New Orleans. A great time... filled with alcohol and partying. That man was me. So in February of 2001, I left my safe normal California life and headed to the big scary city of New Orleans (Hint: there was sarcasm in there). Now, I shall chronicle the first day of The Great Usian Mardi Gras Adventure.

I arrived on time in New Orleans, hoping to see my good friend Toad waiting to pick me up outside the gate. Unfortunately this was not to be, I waited around and he did not show, so I went to baggage claim and got my bag. Then I went back towards the terminal and waited some more. Time passed and I decided that he was nowhere to be found so I called Ian, who also lived in New Orleans, I told him Toad had not arrived and Ian ended the conversation with: "I'll be right down." As luck would have it, I stand up to look around just after closing my phone and there goes Toad, walking briskly towards the terminal entrance. I catch him in the nick of time, call back Ian and we are on our way to the parking lot to leave the airport. Toad had gotten somewhat lost on the way to the airport, which incidentally is not actually in New Orleans, it's 30 minutes outside of town. He had taken the highway too far and ended up on a very very long bridge that would take him closer to Baton Rouge when he was off it. Regardless, we were ready to leave now, so we headed for the car. And then we realized that Toad didn't actually know where the car was. We wandered around the parking lot looking, thinking: it's parked next to a Lexus, because that was what Toad remembered of where he parked. When we finally did find it, two floors down from where we thought it was originally, it was parked next to a Mitsubishi, without a Lexus in sight. Then, we left the airport.

I admired the scenery of this new city and was content on the drive back. This was to be an intoxicated vacation and toad had brought some intoxicants for me on the ride back. New Orleans does not have an open container law, I should add. I can have my beer in the cup holder of the front seat and be drinking while he drives and it's all good with the NOPD. That's a wonderful thing, especially for this town.

We drove back through the ghetto where I saw two black guys jump onto the back of a garbage truck and ride it around a corner, hiding from view of the driver I thought. It looked to me like they were going to hijack it, but Toad said they were supposed to be there. We arrived at the CrackCave 3.0 shortly afterwards, noting that Toad's neighborhood's streets are full of fatally deep pot holes. Toad's apartment itself was messy as I expected, so I gave him shit about how unclean he kept it. We sat around for a little while and waited. Toad's friend Metzger was supposed to arrive by train later that day. When three o'clock got closer, we picked up and headed for the train station.

Sitting outside the train station several strange things happened. I was lucky enough to get audio for a couple of them on my microcasette recorder. You can listen to the clip here:

Train Station

The woman we were watching was walking up and down the street transporting luggage in about 30 foot intervals. She looked like a crack whore in almost every sense of the word. When we lost sight of her she had moved the length of the entire block and around the corner an entire block, several bags in tow, just moving them up one at a time and going back for the rest. Very strange. Toad eventually went to go get Metzger from inside, leaving me with the car and Thunder™ the Crowbar for protection against locals.

In celebration for completing the days goals, which were pick up myself and Metzger, we bought two 12 packs of Corona and returned to the Cave in order to own them. We finished I believe an entire case just that night, possibly more. There was much merriment and finally, we went to sleep.

Little did I know that the adventures of this day were to pale in comparison to almost every other day to come. I slept on the couch of softness in Toad's living room, influenced highly by the bad feng shui of his apartments designs. There are large objects hanging from the corners of the walls that are just poorly shaped. Toad claims they influence his dreams. I myself dreamt of a strange office building in which a mock of Temptation Island was being played out and then of Ian destroying the stairs to my apartment with his car... truly strange.

Mardi Gras Photo Gallery