Thursday, December 27, 2012

A Time For Reflection

Stuck Here
The day after Christmas was a Wednesday. It was cold, with a wind chill which made it feel like 32 degrees.
I walked the streets and saw people fashionably dressed (if freezing yourself is in vogue) and seemingly out there because they had planned and booked their "Christmas In NOLA" well in advance and were figuring "We might as well see the French Quarter, that's what we came for..." One young lady almost screamed as the wind rippled through her tight leather jacket and around her painted-on jeans.
Correction: DID scream.
I had woken up that morning

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

The Gift Of Cold

Not much to look forward to today.
I am sitting in the Westin Hotel lobby, using the free wireless; and drinking black coffee, even though I might have slept about 45 minutes total last (Christmas) night. It is 7:40 a.m.
It is probably about 40 degrees outside. Yesterday afternoon saw gusts of wind and rain blow into town, leaving in its wake wet sleeping spots and frigid air.
I had woken up Christmas morning, on the rocks under the deck where the Natchez docks. I had only slept a couple of hours. Missing the last ferry at midnight poses the problem of weather or not to walk a mile back to the other sleeping spot or to stay by the river.
The trade off, of course, is that sleeping by the river, while saving you a walk, exposes you to the guy who walks along the river at night stealing from the homeless

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

A Christmas Story

If you want to win, you have to play...
I woke up Christmas Eve and had a discussion with Howard, who asked me if I was going to go into town and play...
I told him that I was going to "show up." Woody Allen said: "90% of life is showing up..."
I knew that, on Christmas Eve there would be money out there; maybe if only from people who purpose in their hearts to give to those less fortunate than they. Maybe even the Clarksons might be counted amongst that fold; especially after their patriarch made a joke at the expense of myself; and I turned the other cheek, rather than scorching his ears.
I walked down Decatur Street. I had $14.99.
I decided to try to spend 5 bucks on some weed; a departure for me, as I usually wait until it finds me.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

The Battle Over My Soul

Ragin' Cheapskates
The explaination for all of the red clad people walking around the Quarter last evening and not spending money, or tipping musicians, is that they are here to see todays New Orleans Bowl, featuring the two teams on the poster.
The University of Louisianna (at Lafayette) team is called the Ragin' Cajuns.
It could be that they were saving thier money for The Big Day. I even saw hot dog venders shaking their heads in dismay last night; and panhandlers kicking trash cans and cussing (I got a perverse pleasure out of witnessing that spectacle).

Friday, December 21, 2012

My Slithery Slimey Blog

My 13th "Follower."
Somebody had to come along, after I had amassed 12 followers and cast aside their superstitions to become the 13th follower of this blog.
And, it was none other than Wendy C. Allen, a writer, illustrator and doll maker, amongst other things from Maine.
Her biography is quite voluminous; but after a quick perusal, I was able to glean that she, who uses the alias EelKat, is "drawn to eels."
In fact, if the photo to the left doesn't depict a lady who has been waiting in the forest and is just having the realization set in that she has been stood up by an eel; then I guess I have

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Funny You Should Ask...

  • Comedy Goes "Better"
  • Cold Front Moves In
I Played Around This Area...
Tuesday night, I arrived at the House of Blues to find that there was a different guy in charge of signing people up and introducing them.
He was a middle eastern guy and was pretty funny when he went up to kick off the show.
Betty Boo was there, but there were only a couple other comics; 4 total.
The middle eastern guy did a lot of jokes about his experiences with airport security, and other cliche topics. But, I suppose I will eventually touch upon a lot of cliches for the homeless experience.
I decided to do my Little League Baseball routine instead of the Canal Street thing, and it went over alright. 
I am beginning to see that stand up comedy; like any other art form is a craft to be worked on and perfected. How hard I have to work at it vs. how much comes naturally will go a long way in determining how hard I will work at it; if that makes sense...
The other comics; instead of rolling their eyes as if to say I've already heard all these jokes 5 times; seem to appreciate what the others are doing to improve their deliveries
I told the guy to introduce me as "Eric, The Homeless Comedian," just for the sake of using some kind of stage name for no other reason than that...
Afterwards, Betty Boo said "You did better this week" to me.
It was a quiet two days.
Last night I busked for maybe one hour; still using the guitar with only a certain 4 strings on it; and inventing music for it.
An older couple walked past, carrying a large white Styrofoam container; and I could almost see them debating upon weather or not to give it to me.
They didn't, but the gentleman walked over and handed me what turned out to be 8 dollars and said "Take care of yourself," before returning to their car. That brought my total to 9 dollars for the hour.
I was figuring that their meal and drinks probably came to about 70 bucks; they left about a 20 dollar tip and had 8 dollars left over after breaking a 100 dollar bill. They decided to give me that, instead of the leftovers from their expensive meal; perhaps because they had eaten out of it and actually thought that I thus wouldn't want it.
There was a time in my life when maybe I wouldn't have but I count amongst my victories in the personal growth area, the fact that I don't have those hang-ups anymore.
Learn Perl In 21 Days
I worked for about 3 hours on a program that I am trying to write using the Perl Programming language.
What the program will do; is take anything that I type for a blog post, and automatically make the first three words of each paragraph a bit larger and a different font than the rest; and then it will choose colors at random to render each paragraph in (like I do now; but have to produce manually; with a lot of clicking of the mouse).
This program will read my plain text; and then insert the proper HTML in the proper places and then write it out to another text file; which I will cut and paste into the HTML window of Blogger, and this will save me about 10 minutes per day....
But, that is why todays post is kind of brief; I have already fished my limit of time that I can spend on the wireless network; taking up space; after the purchase of one cup of coffee and one refill only..

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

One Week Reflections

Nola By The Numbers
$1.71 -the amount of money that I have found laying on the ground since getting off the train one week ago.
$73.00 -Approximate amount made busking in one week (taking Monday night off, to watch football; and Tuesday night off to do stand up comedy)
10 -the number of minutes between arriving in New Orleans and being asked for a cigarette.
$3.37 -the amount spent on cigarettes for the entire week...
$4.34 -amount spent on guitar strings this week.
Free stuff laying around:
A couple of young ladies, who were inside the restaurant which I stood outside of, watching the Patriots game on Sunday night, came out eventually and asked me if I wanted their leftovers.
I had already been fantasizing about mixing my saliva with one of the young ladies; as I watched them in between football plays; so I naturally said "Sure! Thank you so much!"
The leftovers were; about 5 chicken wings in hot sauce with French fries; and 3 containers, each pretty full of soup. One soup was kind of a seafood gumbo; and one was kind of a chicken and rice; and the other one was kind of like a terryake based soup with maybe stuff like water chestnuts in it; all very delicious (and I will post the name of the restaurant; along with a recommendation as soon as I walk past and refresh my memory on what it is).
We Vacate Sign Spot
"Are We Going Across The River?" "Yes, Howard."
Howard and I have abandoned the sign spot; after having our stuff taken from out of the branches of the trees; and because of the general principle of changing ones sleeping spot every once in a while, just as the criminal element is beginning to note a pattern in your comings and goings and to extrapolate where you might be with the laptop that they have seen you using in the library; and the guitar that you carry on your back; and that pocket full of tip money; which New Orleans street performers are renowned for making (the lore probably originated with Tanya and Dorise and their baskets full of money; and then was applied to all of us by association).
I have shown Howard to the "Algiers" spot, which entails a ferry ride across the Mississippi River, in order to access.The ferry is free and runs twice per hour from 6 a.m. until 12:15 a.m.
Howard is up at 6 a.m. and on one of the first ferries, each morning; haven eschewed the library right down the street in favor of the main branch, because the library down the street is so small that Howard could read its entire contents within a month; and also so that he can preserve the rest of his routine, by stopping for coffee and a newspaper -probably at Brothers Market- and at McDonalds; all on the NOLA side of the river.
The spot is yet another Sue, the Colombian Lady discovery, and I think it was where she used to hide from me after we had our various arguments and she decided to deprive me of herself. 
It is a heavily policed area, being right across from the ferry terminal; but the police ride by with their heads craned the other way and never seem to be interested in searching the stand of American Red Cedar trees on the other side of the road. A Sue-quality spot if there ever was one. The terminal can be ducked into in the event of rain, even. She could pick 'em! 
Findings Are In
Last night, on my way to the ferry, after watching Monday Night Football outside the same restaurant; I found a 1.5 liter bottle of Woodbridge chardonnay which had been uncorked, but was hardly touched.
Riding the ferry across the river and sipping off the bottle; I noticed a young man and a young lady, occupying a couple seats not far from me.
When the ferry stopped, they immediately jumped up; with a cigarette box falling onto the deck from the young man as they did; and scurried off of the ferry.
I corked my bottle; stuffed it in my pack; shouldered my pack and my guitar and then picked up the box and found that it was about half full. I set off to find the young man and return his cigarettes to him; that is still my first reaction in a case such as that; despite having lived in New Orleans for a while -I still haven't adopted the prevalent local belief that God blesses one at the expense of another....
The couple was nowhere to be seen.
Death By Choking?
Tonight is, once again Comedy Open Mic Night at The House of Blues.
I can almost picture the skinny comic barring me from performing behind some excuse like: "The comics that are actually buying drinks are the ones who get the chance to go on stage; besides, the manager tells us not to let homeless people in here; it doesn't look good..." or "You need to get some more experience before you come here; all of these comics have been doing it for years..." and the latter would have been of my own doing after I told everyone that I had just decided to try stand up comedy. It was part of my first joke; I couldn't avoid it....
To combat this fear; I made sure that I will be able to afford one lousy drink, by putting aside 27 dollars. I also did my laundry yesterday; all but what I had on my back.
Money Well Spent
I then replaced the 8 gigabyte data storage device, which disappeared from where I buried it, with a 4 gigabyte one, which was on sale for under 7 dollars.
I then bought a couple of stamped envelopes; to send to the jail in Baton Rouge, requesting the check for the balance of my "inmate account," which will enrich me to the tune of 11 dollars and change; when it arrives.
Then, the only thing keeping me in New Orleans will be the pursuit of the power adapter for the Samsung laptop; and the waiting upon the arrival of a Christmas gift which my mom talked about sending to me here.
I investigated the type of prepaid Visa cards which I would need to use to make an on line purchase; and I balked at spending $15.53 in order to wind up with a card which would have 10 dollars in value.
It seems more reasonable to put a lot more money on the thing, even if it is most of what I have, so as to make that fee seem less substantial (than 55%!); and to reduce the amount of cash in my pocket; as long as I get a card that can be used "anywhere."
And, it would be a good practice to pull it out of my pocket under the bright lights in front of The Unique Boutique, in response to a pan-handler and announce loudly, while displaying it: "All my money goes right on this card; as soon as I'm done playing I cash in my change at the store and deposit it in the ATM right outside. That way, I don't have to carry any cash at all!!" ...get used to it, bum; what are you going to do in a few years when we have a cashless society; carry a portable credit card swiper?!?...
Tonights Comedy Routine; should I get the opportunity?

"Well, I've been in New Orleans for a couple weeks now; the people here are generally pretty nice; unless you corner them, I find....yeah...I'm starting to figure out a little bit of how things work here...
The other night, there was this woman sitting on Canal Street in front of the liquor store; and she had just these incredibly large breasts; I'm talking about triple "z" cups; with a low cut shirt and everything. 
So I got a little piece of paper and I wrote "Canal Street Titty Tour" on it and pinned it to my shirt.
Then, I stood at the corner and when the well dressed male tourists came by, I would be like: "Good evening, gentlemen, how are you doing? -and, of course they would answer me very guardedly making sure they still had their wallets- then, I would say something like: Do you like a nice pair of breasts? Sure you do! What red-blooded male doesn't! Well walk right this way; *in a lower voice* Now if you glance over to your left -don't stare, just kinda look over there- Huh, how about those! That's what I'm talking about; yowsa! just look at them babies!"
Then, at the end of the block, I would say: "I hope you enjoyed my Canal Street Titty tour; and if you did; I gladly accept donations! Thank you very much..."
Then, I would grab the next group: "Good evening, sirs. Do like a nice set of breasts? Sure you do; what red-blooded male doesn't...Well, walk right this way; now, if you glance to the right -don't stare, but kinda just look over there...Check it out! Oh, Lord have mercy; can you say "gazongas!" Just look at them yabos; I'll bet death by suffocation doesn't seem as scary anymore, huh?!?"
Then, the next group: "Good evening, gentlemen. Do you like a nice pair of breasts?
Sure you......huh;you don't???
Ah, I see....well...
Do you like a nice penis? Sure you do. What red blooded male doesn't; -or shouldn't!
Well, if you walk right this way; behind this dumpster here....huh, that's what I'm talking about; check out this monster. I'll bet death by choking doesn't seem as scary anymore!"

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Accumulation Continues

I left the library while the sun was still up, Friday afternoon (yesterday).
I walked down Canal Street to The Unique Boutique and bought two cans of Hurricane Lager, which I added salt to and drank behind The Hotel Montdeleon, to fulfull the first leg of my routine.
I then drifted; looking for a spot to play at.
I found one, but not before walking through Jackson Square and encountering a man who was willing to sell me a 20 dollar sack of weed, which was the size of a strawberry. He let me sample the product by passing me a blunt (strawberry flavored?) but would not drop his asking price to the 15 single bills that I happened to have in my pocket, along with the 20 dollar bill which the Lidgleys had sent in their parcel.
I had qualms about redeeming that bill for just a sack of weed, feeling that I had waited all year (since last Christmas) for it and so I went off and found a spot on Decatur Street, one that I had never played at before.
It soon became apparent that the weed was probably worth the asking price of 20 dollars; as; I soon had no idea where I was; but I was playing well enough to net 21 dollars in a period of time that I perceived to be about 3 hours, but which turned out to be only 1 hour.
The owner of the store next to which I sat came out and offered me a piece of cake at one point. I couldn't help thinking that he might have been infested with traveling kid gutter punk types and was happy to hear real music for a change.
Chomping On The Bit
Well, I have added a third bit to my stand up comedy routine:
"I was walking past the mules stationed by Jackson Square and was a little disappointed to see that none of the drivers was a lady; but I still couldn't resist approaching one of the guys standing there by his mule, waiting for a group of tourists to come along and pay 15 dollars per head to have the mule pull them around on a tour of the Quarter.
I stopped and looked at the animal, and then turned to the guy and said quite plainly: "You have a nice ass, sir....Yeah, I really like your ass...*then I stepped towards the animal and asked* Do you mind if I touch your ass?"
Yeah, I always do that when I walk past the square..."
I will probably post the second bit; if I can somehow render it in print the way I want it to sound live, but time is short, because I'm on the librarys computer.
No Stick
I slept at the Vietnam memorial, about 200 yards downfield from the memorial which Howard sleeps under, but not before discovering that my 8 gigabyte data traveller, which I had submerged in a bed of mulch next to a succulent plant was no longer there. Somebody must have watched me hide it and then swooped in to steal it. There is no way that anyone would think to dig at random in that spot.
I woke up with $34.90 more than I had the previous morning.

Friday, December 14, 2012

In One Hand, Out The Other

Be Color Blind; Don't Be So Shallow...

One of the pictures taken at the Save-A-Lot in Mobile, Alabama on the eve of the departure of Jennifer the assistant manager, of myself and Sherrelle, a blog followere and the person whom I think of every time I encounter a black man who acts like a jerk towards me and I am ready to think that I hate all black people. I think about Sherrelle and I realize that "There is good and bad, in every race..."
Stuff Disappears
Yesterday, after leaving this library, I went to the sign spot, and the trees were bare.
All of the stuff that Howard and I had hung from the inner branches had been harvested by someone or something....
I suspected the workers who cut the grass and prune the trees.
I lost my flimsy sleeping bag and a plastic bag containing to wit: two green apples, one red apple and an orange.
I checked a nearby dumpster to see if they might have chucked the stuff in there, but my search was fruitless.
I wasn't sure what Howard had hanging there, except for his green seat cushion type thing which he uses as a pillow and which he hasn't washed since he found it in August of 2011. I remember seeing that in the branches, because I made it a point to hang my sleeping bag as far away from it as possible.
I decided to go into town, rather than try to find Howard and tell him what had happened. He would figure it out.
The loss of the sleeping bag was not so devastating since the forecast was for the temperature to only dip to about 53 degrees that night; but the problem will have to be addressed before a cold air mass finds its way here from Winnepeg, Canada by following the Mississippi River like a migrating bird.
I went to The Unique Boutique and bought two cans of Hurricane Lager.
I then went behind The Montdeleon Hotel, to pick their ashtray and to drink the lagers; and to add to my standup routine as such:
"Why is it that all the cheap beers are named after things that can kill you? Hurricanes, Cobras, Colt 45s, Earthquakes....
Thats  kind of weird; although I suppose Samuel Adams could put a musket ball through your head..."
Why do none of the brochures show the alley in back?

Then, a black man came along into the alley. He ducked behind the cover of the dumpster in front of me and proceeded to light up a half of a joint.
He smoked it down to an eight of a joint and then walked over and offered me the rest.
I didn't want him to think that I had a problem with putting my lips on a joint after a black man had smoked off it; so, in the interest of fostering unity between our races, I finished it.
Now, with "Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds" ringing in my head, I set out to find a spot to play at.
Crack And Kiddie Porn
I didn't want to go anywhere near Rouses Market on Royal Street because of what had happened Wednesday night.
What had happened was, I was sitting near there playing (and drinking) and I wasn't making anything (even though 2 dollars is something) and neither were any of the other musicians that I talked to and for the benefit of one of them, who is a friend of mine, and who was nearby and would appreciate the joke; and to underscore the desperation of us and to poke fun at the "anything goes" dynamic of Bourbon Street, I started saying: "Crack and kiddie porn; get your crack and kiddie porn here!"
Ha ha, I guess that's what its come to out here; no money in music, that's for sure, my friend.
5 minutes later, the cop who is stationed inside Rouses Market came out and told me that I had 10 seconds to leave there.
Apparently, someone overheard my "joke" -and it was probably a black man, because I have encountered a lot of them who have no sense of humor and who take everything literally- and went to the cop to report it.
I guess some things are "sacred" in Sin City.
I thought about swinging by there and telling the cop (who was white and also had no sense of humor) that the joke was meant only for my friends ears, and apologizing to him for it, but decided to go in another direction and let any possible emotions run their course and settle down and blow over.
You Play Beautifully
Alexander De Santiago
I instead went to my old spot on Bourbon Street, across from Barnabys condo, and where the horse mounted cops had told me I couldn't play past 8 p.m. It was 6:45 p.m.
I made 6 dollars and was visited by an artist; a very good artist; a New Orleans good artist, who has sold stuff for thousands of dollars, who sat by and told me that I played "beautifully."
It was Alexander De Santiago!!
I think if I was playing beautifully it was because I was trying to ease my way back into a playing spot where I hadn't been in 8 months. I didn't want to get there and just start wailing away. I started very gently and melodically; which 
seemed to be the artists cup of tea.
He gave me one of his Albita beers, saying "I don't usually do this; but you earned it" as he did.
"Human Embrace-ment" Art
That was very nice, and I decided to stop at 8 p.m. and not flirt with the horse cops, because it was Thursday and the money I stood to make was not enough of an incentive to risk going to jail over. Tonight, (Friday) it might be...
Monumental Move
Getting back to the sleeping spot, I observed Howard sleeping under the monument to Simon Boliver, a spot that we usually only went to when it was raining. I guess he took the disappearance of our stuff out of the trees to mean that we should disappear also. 
He was wrapped up in his blanket and so I assumed that he carried that with him all day. I had thought that morning about throwing my sleeping bag in my backpack, I really had.
London To NOLA In 10 Days
From The Lidgleys House
Then, on a whim I checked my mail in the morning, and was surprised to see Brother Charles emerge holding a parcel with the recognizable writing of the Lidgleys upon it. 
It took only 10 days to make it here from London, in a time when it takes about that long for local mail to be delivered across the street.
I couldn't help thinking that the postal service had really screwed up and put the parcel just by serendipity, on a flight for New Orleans.
I resisted the urge to open it there at the Rebuild Center, under the leers of the bums. They would surely ask me where I got it; thinking that they could go there and get one of their own; like I knew about some organization that gave out parcels to the homeless.
I opened it at the library, sitting next to Howard, who had been immersed in a book. He reads so fast that the prospect of the library actually running out of books that interest him is actually a valid one. He will read an entire novel in 4 hours and then start on the next one.
But, he soon became engrossed in watching me cut the tape off of the parcel with my nail file, as if he always wondered how that was done and wanted to take careful note of the procedure.
The Lidgleys were right on the money, once again, with their selection of Christmas gift items.
On top was the poem which Alyne had composed upon first encountering me in Saint Augustine, Florida, which I told her that I wanted to set to music.
Then, there were the hard to obtain things, like underwear and socks. Places like the Goodwill store and others that sell second hand clothing never sell second hand socks or underwear. I guess that's just a matter of aesthetics.
Two packs of Benson & Hedges cigarettes in the gold box addressed my immediate need to go outside and try to find a half smoked butt on the ground.
And there was a 20 dollar bill, snacks, two nice long-sleeved shirts, body wash, and a harbinger of the warm weather which is sure to come in a few short months: mosquito repellent.
And of course, a Starbucks gift card, which will allow me to go into the Marriot Hotel to visit the Starbucks there, and all security can do is wring their hands.
I once had 5 hairbrushes, but the cops in Baton Rouge took all of them. They swore afterwards that they had no time for such silly activities as trying to match the DNA from an arrestees hair follicles to some unsolved "cold case" while they had the guy in captivity and at their disposal; nor the saliva from a harmonica which disappeared along with everything else, but I suspect that their detectives are like kids with a new toy and are antsy for more DNA to play with, and that is why they took the brushes.
They took all 5 brushes because (duh!) I probably keep a souvenir from each of my victims, and the brushes would be light and portable and easy to keep organized, so that when I was using them to relive my crimes I would know; this one is the blonds, this one is the red heads (I love the way she squirmed) and this is obviously the black girls...etc.
They are paid to think that way and it is tax money well spent, even if it means having to cut the music program out of the elementary schools to finance...
If whomever did this thinks my music is beautiful...
Well, now I have a hairbrush again, thanks to the Lidgleys!
Now I go to the music store to replace the pick that I lost (although I might get it back if and when I run into Taylor) and the 5th string that I broke last night.
I woke up with 2 dollars more than I had the previous morning, so I guess I am in "accumulation mode," especially with the weekend and a New Orleans Saints game coming to the Superdome, where I have eked out an average of 25 dollars playing outside the stadium each time that I've done so.
I'm almost in a position to order the power adapter for the Samsung laptop, although, I will have to buy a prepaid credit card for the minimum of 20 dollars, while the adapter will only cost 10. I suppose I can find something to spend the balance on; especially since Sydneys Wine and Beer store takes plastic...

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Pour Yourself Some Coffee

The House Of Boos
I went to the place at around 5:30 p.m. to ask the box office lady how to go about signing up for the comedy open mic night.
Having gotten the information that I should be there around 7 p.m. at "the hostess station," I then proceeded, with 48 cents in my pocket, down Decatur Street to try to busk up at least one beer within the next hour and a half.
I felt tired from the combination of the train ride and the two mile walk over gravel afterwards, along with the disturbed night of sleep in the 38 degree air. I wondered if I was subconsciously reserving energy which would burst forth from the stage later...
No Strings Attached
I came upon some traveling kids with their traveling dogs that had just posted up in a spot convenient to Sydneys beer and liquor store, and were already pounding on their raggedy mandolins and guitars which were missing strings, and "singing" typical traveling kid music, or rather yelling it.
Nice tourists were walking past, veering around them in a wide arc with expression as if they were frying sausages and being spattered in the face with grease, as the music hit their ears. The ones who weren't "performing" musically, were performing vocal art in the form of free style poetry, such as: "Can you spare some change; quarters, dimes, nickels?"
I had thought about setting up at that spot, as it is closest to The House of Blues, out of the places on Decatur Street.
I then continued on to what had previously been "my" spot, in front of the red painted door, nearby the massage parlor where the Asian lady would come out and feed me excellent vegetarian food, and where Sue and I had our infamous argument which was overheard by revelers in the balcony across the street; and who broke into applause after Sue grabbed her stuff and walked off, with one young lady yelling "You need to find a new girlfriend," to me. That happened about 8 months ago, now...
Crooner There Sooner
There was a young "crooner" there, standing up and strumming lazy chords on an acoustic guitar, and singing like Harry Connick Jr.
He has a pretty powerful voice, in his range (which happens to be the late Frank Sinatras range) and he wears a hat which I'm pretty sure is identical to one that was auctioned off out of "Ol' Blue Eyes," estate after his passing; and I think Mr. Connick Jr. may have made the last bid on it.
He is also one of the "stuck up" musicians who snub most street performers and their "styles," as if he is of the opinion that New Orleans needs to be kept a classy place with fine arts, fine clothing and an aura of the heyday of The Jazz Age about it; an allusion to something which Alex in California commented about once, pointing out that, after The Great Depression, those that could afford to do so, made every effort to NOT look like they had been ruined at all by those hard times and strove to distinguish themselves from "that other class" as much as possible, using fashion as a weapon.
If it wasn't cool in the 30's to have the traveling kid look, then I guess it ISN'T cool in the eyes of someone who dresses in fine threads and croons jazz from that era, to have that look.
I walked past him, noticing that some people had stopped to listen to him (as his music IS worthy; despite the attitude) and the lady from an antique shop a little ways down the street, who used to sit in an antiquated chair in front of her place and listen to my late 70's soft-rock, was now doing the same for the crooner.
The crooner, looking dapper in his hat, gave me a nod of acknowledgement, to which I returned a thumbs-up.
The antique lady gave me a smirk and a turn of her head which seemed to indicate "You've been replaced."
...I don't care. I've got a promising future in stand up comedy ahead of me...
I then proceeded on, thinking that I had never seen playing spots so hotly contested there before. It was only 6 p.m. and tourists were only on their way to eat and drink and get in the mood to tip a street performer -that wouldn't start happening for another 5 hours.
The Resonator Gary Davis Jr.
Then, I came upon a black man who was playing pretty incredible Reverend Gary Davis style fingerpicking stuff on a horendously out of tune resonator guitar. 
He had the alternating bass notes of ragtime going on the bottom strings, while he played slick melodies in counterpoint on the top strings, using metal finger picks to further project the banjo-like notes of the 2 thousand dollar resonator guitar, which sounded like it was about to be sick to its stomach.
I could imagine him making very good money playing like that because, while the guitar is a rather pedestrian instrument, a resonator guitar is a rarer bird; and some people really love that style.
He kept stopping to detune the thing more. He would pluck a couple of strings, and I would hear which one was flat, but then, he would adjust the string which was not flat, so then he had two flat strings instead of one.
I wanted to offer to tune the thing for him, but was wary of insulting a guy who could play such sophisticated music (yet couldn't tune a guitar.)
I made some small talk.
"These resonators are hard to tune," he said. Then he motioned his head to the guitar on my shoulder and snapped "Is THAT a resonator?!?" as if he wanted to say: If it isn't, then you have no idea what I'm dealing with here.
"Do you have a tuner?" he asked.
"Yes, (sent to me by Alex in California) but the batteries are dead," I said. "But, I could probably...."
"Look, I know what I'm doing!" he said, his frustration mounting as he managed to detune all six strings so that at least they were detuned to each other, but out of tune with the jazz band in the club right up the street, which was loud enough so that he could have taken advantage of tuning to them so that people walking past that place and then approaching him would feel a sense of harmony between him and his surroundings.
"I can tell that you are very advanced musically. How did you develope that finger picking style? Your stuff reminds me of Jorma Koukonen, or the Reverend Gary Davis Jr.
This prompted a fresh volley of "Look, I don't listen to nobody else! I do music the way I want to do it!"
"I would grab a note from that jazz band..." I said, as I turned and walked away, not waiting for him to snap back something like "Then, go grab a note from that jazz band and shove it up your ass!"
I headed back the way I had come, as a sound like someone playing ragtime on an upright piano which had been collecting mold in some dank basement since 1933 resonated behind me.
A New Genre Of Music
I still didn't have that "one" beer to loosen me up for the comedy audition.
Then, I came upon a strange fellow, whom I remembered from my last excursion in this city. I remembered him because he was sitting and reading a book in the same spot where he had been doing the same the first time I met him.
We talked about books for a while (as the time for me to busk up a beer ticked away) and it became clear to me that his mind worked in an unusual way. "Scatterbrained" is a description that might ring a bell with him.
His name is Taylor.
The topic of our conversation drifted from "the likelihood that there is life somewhere else in the universe," to Adam and Eve, which prompted me to say: "I guess we are all the descendants of incestuous relationships, if it all started with them..."
That prompted him to divulge to me that he was himself the prodigy of an incestuous relationship..."My parents were brother and sister," he said.
Our doggie is starving, Maam!
Perhaps because I didn't register any revulsion or judge him upon that head, he seemed to warm up to me. Especially after I told him the story of a kid that I was aware of in Easthampton, Massachusetts whose "family" tree was the result of a male grandchild impregnating the grandmother; resulting in the situation that the kids mother was was also his grandmother; and his father was also his brother.
Taylor found solace in that story.
I couldn't refrain from stealing occasional glances at him and I *did* see a family resemblance....
I decided to break out my guitar and go about tuning it up, as I had fixed the two strings that had broken the last time that I played it. I struggled almost as much as resonator man to do so, but finally got it pretty close.
"Do you mind if I try your guitar?" asked Taylor.
Somewhat surprised to hear that he played the guitar, I handed it to him.
He played up tempo, simple chords and over layed them with lyrics which were very random, very bizarre and flowed out of him as if out of a patient, delirious with a high fever in bedlam. I guess the way I would describe it would be by creating yet another "genre" and calling it "Incest Rock."
While he played, almost every traveling kid that passed (and there were as many of them as tourists) stopped to high-five him, or to sing along for a bit; apparently the lyrics weren't random; because the traveling kids knew some of them.
I mentioned to Taylor that I was going to do stand up comedy at The House of Blues and that I was just trying to get a beer in me before doing so.
Taylor understood well and with a look that seemed to say "Why didn't you say so earlier," he began to spange everyone that walked past, even as I played Beatles songs which sounded like music from another planet after hearing the incest rock.
Soon, Taylor had received about a half dozen cold shoulders, a few scowls, and 3 dollars, from the most unlikely looking sources; not tourists, but street people types.
We went and got a pint of cheap whiskey, which we shared as we walked in the direction of The House of Blues. As we walked, Taylor continued to emit random sounding words and phrases which rhymed.
"Are you free styling?' I asked.
"No, I have all this written down," he said, as I shook my head in bewilderment. I wondered if I could somehow make a comedy routine out of him...
We got to the venue, and I thanked him for giving me more than my 48 cents worth of whiskey. He continued on, and I went inside.
A joke of a....
Comedy Open Mic Night
I approached the bar, where the female bartender gave me the "us or them" test, by asking me if she could get me a drink.
"No, I'm (flat broke and one of "them" and) here to see if I can sign up for the comedy thing.
I was directed to the front of the place where I was directed to the back of the place where I met with the guy that runs the show, a skinny comic.
I asked him if everyone in the sparse crowd were comics.
"Yeah, pretty much," he said.
He laid down the rules:
Everyone gets 4 minutes; at 4 minutes you will be cut off; even in the middle of a joke.
No talking while others are up there under threat of being expelled from the place etc.
I was actually happy to hear about the 4 minute limit, thinking; I have only 4 minutes of material and so they will cut me off thinking that I was on a roll and that there was plenty more where it came from.
I told the skinny comic that it would be only my second attempt at doing stand up, to which he turned to nobody in particular and said "Great, that's just what we need..."
"Hey, if you have to have surgery, wouldn't you want someone who was just trying it out because he saw what kind of cars the other surgeons were driving?" I responded, trying to be funny, (because...that was the reason that I was supposedly there.)
It was suggested that I talk to a heavyset blond haired lady who was sitting at a table in the rear, because she was a veteran of the proceedings.
Her "name" was Betty Boop.
She was to go on 7th, and I was to go on last.
The thing was kicked off by the skinny comic, who was not funny, except when talking about raising a son: "How the hell and I going to raise a man, I was never shown how? The only pussy I saw when I was a teenager was my dad!"
Then another comic got up who was not funny. It was hard to tell what the punchlines were even supposed to be. He talked about his breakup "two years ago" and how he yells at his radio for Taylor Swift to shut up whenever she sings "We Are Never, Ever, Getting Back Together."
When he finished, a group of people vacated the front row and walked out, while the skinny comic tried to joke about it.
Then, two consecutive comics from Colorado got up. Both joked about the recent legalization of marijuana in that state. One of them said "So, if you smoke a joint with me, it's more legal than if you smoke with someone from Louisiana..."
The other one, a heavyset man, pointed out a guy in the audience (which had a few non comics now) who had the same jacket as he.
"Your wearing a smaller version of a fat man's jacket. Mine's bigger. My jacket could beat your jacket up. But they wouldn't fight, they would bond in brotherhood."
Then, the rest went up and got barely a chuckle. 
In between their acts and introducing them, the skinny comic got barely a chuckle either. 
It was literally pretty chilly in the canvas covered patio where were were set up and repeatedly the comics said "Boy it's cold in here," in reference to the crowd response.
Finally Betty Boop left our table and got up, and I suppose it became apparent why she was saved until last. She was organized and ran through her jokes quickly and smoothly; but barely got a chuckle. "You've heard it said: It's not the size of the ship, but the motion of the ocean...well, I just happen to like luxury liners..." (chuckle, chuckle...)
Then, it was supposed to have been my turn, but, someone who had shown up late was squeezed in before me. That was fine, because, I was (and was introduced by the skinny comic as) "fresh meat."
He said that I had appeared out of a puff of smoke and wanted to do comedy; almost as if I had insulted the establishment by my pretentiousness. This is New Orleans -no place for beginners, pal!
As I stepped to the microphone, I wavered upon weather I should throw in my surgeon joke of earlier, but decided not to. But it was enough to throw my timing off a bit and I stammered for a second, like a guy doing stand up for the second time in his life on a stage where the microphone smelled like Fiona Apple.
Note to self: Next week include "I LOVE doing this club, the microphone smells like FIONA APPLE...*inhales it deeply*....mmm!
So, I said, "Yeah, I need to try to do something, because I'm unemployed. I had a job as a suicide bomber, but I wasn't very good at it, to be honest...*chuckles, almost laughs*
I'm thinking about taking this job that I was offered selling air conditioners; but they want me to relocate to Nome, Alaska; I'm not sure I want to relocate...*over thier heads?*
What's with all these people walking around asking everyone if they once did a lot of acid? Is anyone else sick of that; I mean, 4 or 5 times a day..."You did a lot of acid once, didn't you? What's with these people? ...It wasn't a lot; no bigger than a postage stamp, I mean, come on..."*one chuckle*
Then, feeling like I had about 3 minutes left (plus, I was on last, and so maybe the skinny comic would let me go over if I was being funny) I started a joke which was supposed to be the following, more or less.
"What screwed me up was Little League baseball. I mean, here I was an 8 year old  kid; never been out of my back yard, and I'm up at bat and all these other kids that I didn't even know start yelling 'No batter, no batter...he can't hit; he's a whiffer; and I look over at our dugout thinking...which one of you little bastards leaked the information to them that I was no batter and I can't hit. Then a pitch goes by and one of them keeps yelling Swing!, and I'm thinking that's pretty stupid, if I don't swing, I'm never going to knock it out of the park...
Then the left fielder yells 'No Stick!" and I'm like; no stick?; what the hell's THAT supposed to mean?!?
Then, I figured it out, oh yeah; stick is a euphemism for the bat, which is made out of wood; and in fact, underprivileged kids use an actual stick AS a bat; I get it.
But, by then, I had struck out. And I don't think I've ever recovered from it.
I'm grown up now but those voices follow me around....
Like right now: No comic, no comic. He can't joke. Won't get a laugh. Won't get a laugh....NO SHTICK!!!
SWING!! *rapidly and out of timing* ...ah, I guy goes into a bar and he's got this pirate on his shoulder, I mean this parrot; ah, f*** it!!!
But, I tell you; the worse time is when I'm in the bedroom with a young lady:
No lover, no lover. He can't screw. Won't get her off -never get her off....NO DICK!!!...
SWING!! *thrusts pelvis forward* Oh, I'm sorry, honey! Here, put this steak on it so it won't turn into a shiner....
THANK YOU, YOU'VE BEEN A WONDERFUL AUDIENCE! (And can I take this microphone home?).
You Were Great, Ms. Boop
Our Cartoid Connection
Do you want to know how far I got into that joke which I had run through mentally a dozen times in preparation for the gig, before the skinny comic came and pulled the plug on me, ending the whole show?
"...By the time I figured it (that 'stick' was a euphemism for 'bat) out, I had...*skinny comic comes up and grabs the microphone and pulls Fionas essence away from me*
Then, as I walked off, thinking ...there's no way that was 4 minutes...he began to berate me (even though one of the "rules" was "we weren't here to bust anyones chops or discourage anyone")..
He yelled into the mic: "He said he wasn't a good suicide bomber; well I guess he BOMBED tonight! Gee, when he said he was unemployed, I was shocked! He said he didn't want to uproot; yeah, I guess carrying a backpack to the bus station is pretty traumatic!!!"
I held my tongue, when I was close to yelling back: Hey, that's my shtick; I'm Daniel, the homeless comic!"
I got outside and Betty Boop was mounting her scooter which was parked there.
"That was a fast 4 minutes," I said.
"Yeah, it goes by fast," she said, but didn't offer any encouragement. But, to be fair; I couldn't bring myself to say: "You were great, Ms. Boop" to her, either.
Now, there is the question of whether or not the skinny comic would even let me perform if I were to go back next week.
He might have the New Orleans disease and the "street people are the enemy of the establishment" mentality. He certainly didn't seem to want to give me a chance to succeed. From his quirky intro, which almost seemed designed to throw off my timing (which is "everything" in comedy) to his outro, which crossed into the "personal" he seemed to be working against me.
I actually got more chuckles than anyone else, to be honest. But the audience was made up entirely of aspiring comics by then, who may have had chips on their shoulders after their own cold receptions...
Comic Relief
Then, after waking up flat broke this morning; and with the bad taste still in my mouth after being cut off in the middle of a joke, I went to the Rebuild Center to check my mail. I was 10 minutes late for mail call, but Brother Charles still checked for me.
Ma, Send Me Money Now...
The money order for 25 bucks which my mom had mailed only 6 days prior; had arrived. Brother Charles said "That's amazing, I've never seen it get here that fast," as we looked at the postmark. It was the one that the jail had returned to her after they had moved me to another jail.
I felt like I had been compensated in some way for my efforts the previous night; as if some spirit somewhere was trying to encourage me regardless of ploys of the skinny comic. Kind of like when you help a cripple to cross the street, and then a few blocks later someone totally unrelated to the cripple hands you 10 bucks and say's "God put it on my heart, just now, to give you this."
I'm Gonna Make It Somehow
Call it crazy, but I believe that if you are on the right path; things like that are more than mere coincidence...
I might have to take my routine (which I have added to just today; doubling its length with what I think is a solid bit -certainly compared to what I heard last night it is...) to another club which might be less hostile.