Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Have Fun!

In the greater scheme of things, I'm going to count this post as a good case of history repeating. There was definitely a price to be paid, but sometimes it's just hard to learn from the past.

In a former (much younger) lifetime, I can count at least two wildly memorable evenings at Pat O'Brien's during my various trips to The Big Easy. The first was during a DKE fraternity convention when we greeted by the early morning streetcleaners on our stumble back to the hotel. The second was with Jeaux when, after more than a couple attempts, she finally coaxed me into hitting the town for Mardi Gras.

With those memories in mind, I knew that no visit to NOLA is complete without an extended stay at Pat O's. After all, since 1933, their motto has been "Have Fun!" And that's what I told Boo, Merlot Boy and Margarita.

Anyone who's been to Pat O's Piano Bar knows that you don't go there for a quiet glass of wine and conversation. No siree Bob, the Piano Bar is all about singing your face off until your voice is hoarse and drinking Hurricanes. Hence, another Guest Alcohol appearance - and today's interloper is none other than our good friend, Rum - and a little more Rum and, finally, a bit of Rum. After all, a Hurricane is nothing more than four ounces of Rum and four ounces of fruity Hurricane punch mix.

I love the story that tells the history of the Hurricane. According to Pat O's website, "the fruity red concoction was created during World War II when liquor such as whiskey was in low supply. In order to purchase just one case of these liquors, liquor salesmen forced bar owners to purchase as much as 50 cases of rum, which was plentiful. In an effort to use the abundance of rum that Pat O'Brien's acquired, the recipe for the Hurricane evolved with the help of an eager liquor salesman."

Our plan was to stop in for one Hurricane and a set of the duelling pianists. Then again, "the best laid schemes o' mice an' men..." And stray - or was that stay - we did. After all, those drinks sure don't taste like there's much booze in them. The youthful Aussie wedding party didn't hurt to make Merlot Boy and Margarita feel right at home either - and who doesn't live to stick around for a rousing singalong of "American Pie?"

We wisely left before ordering a third Hurricane. The problem, however, was that it started raining on our way home to the guest house. That problem was compounded by the fact that we were on Bourbon Street when the rain started really coming down. Naturally, being on one of the most notorious party streets in the world, it only made sense to get out of the rain by popping into the nearest bar.

That was midnight.

Little did we know that it was the Bourbon Pub's Sing-Along to vintage video classics night. If we hadn't had enough of an opportunity to let our inner Lady Gaga out at Pat O'Brien's, we certainly did here, especially since there was way more choreography involved - and it was ever so much more campy. Piano bars just can't pull off a crowd of patrons recreating every move to a Grease medley on a giant screen the way a gay bar can.

There were no more Hurricanes hitting us, but I was starting to regret having introduced Merlot Boy to the Cape Cod. And, then, there's that damn Aussie tradition of the "shout." If your Aussie buddy is looking you in the eye and saying, "It's your shout," he means that you're being a bit slow on buying the next round - your next round by the way. Everything's done by shouts and it doesn't exactly let you fall behind gracefully. Damn that Margarita and her ability to keep up.

You might notice that there aren't any pictures of our Bourbon Pub visit. Indeed, there are pictures but they were Merlot Boy's and I wasn't given access to them for blog purposes - to protect the innocent of course.

Ultimately, with Boo long gone, I used an empty wallet as an excuse to head home. I won't say exactly how long our quick jump out of the rain lasted, but suffice it to say, I wasn't going to get a full night's sleep before the morning would come quickly calling.

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