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Thursday, April 19, 2007

Life Crisco

I read with some bemusement Esquire's "60 Things Worth Shortening Your Life For." It's clever and, in some places, informative and inspiring. Still, it's the type of thing you get when you read Esquire. I swore if I saw anything about a Cuban cigar or didn't see anything about a Lucky Dog, I'd have to write my own list. I don't pretend to be clever or one all that familiar with the derring-do. Nonetheless, Esquire is targeted at the tragically hip or those who want to be. Me, only hip I know is the one that leads me to bed at night. With that, here's my list, also known as...

Life Crisco



New Orleans

1. Eat a Lucky Dog at 5am -- Wait until the streets are almost empty, the amateurs are passed out in the gutter, and the boobies have gone back in their shirt. Sidle up to the greasy-looking dude on the corner of Bourbon and Toulouse and order a Lucky Dog. Find someone to sell you a beer. Kick aside the empty cups, bras, and broken beads, and sit down on a curb. Ignore the smell of stale booze and eat the Lucky Dog in four bites.



2. Find Checkpoint Charlies...late -- It's the kind of place that is close enough to the French Quarter that you can walk to it, but not so close that it is overrun by the tourists. Go after hours. Bonus points if you go by yourself.

3. Get broke in the French Quarter -- Find a girl in a beret and spend every penny you have buying her Hand Grenades at the original Tropical Isle. Do this without knowing where your buddies are or how you're going to get home. Now, figure out what to do.

4. Hand Grenades? -- Yeah, Hand Grenades. If you haven't pounded back six or seven of these while listening to "Late As Usual" playing bar tunes, you haven't lived...or worked very hard on your inevitable death. I would recommend drinking them at the bar on Toulouse.

5. Eat 20 bignets -- Cafe du Monde sits on the edge of the French Quarter. The serving staff will be cranky, especially if you're there during a high-tourist season. Still, make a lot of noise, drink some great coffee, and eat 20 bignets like you will never taste them again.

6. Order extras debris at Mother's -- If ever in New Orleans, find Mother's. It's become a bit touristy, but still maintains its old school roots. Fight for your seat--threaten an old lady if you have to--and order a poboy with EXTRA DEBRIS. This is best done when exceptionally hungover.


For College Students

7. Steal a stripper's panties -- You should have a reason for it (like making them a gift for a husband-to-be), but even if you don't, the rush from doing it and then being confronted by the 6'5" bouncer is worth it.

8. Don't back down from a fight instigated by a shirtless redneck -- Most fights should be avoided, but once in your life, when a shirtless redneck tells you to take one more step forward, do it. It'll hurt (and likely hurt your friends more), but it's worth it...just once.

9. Put a carbonated drink in a campfire -- It is entertainment for the stupid, but you haven't lived until you have seen a 12-ounce can explode and blow a Yule log ten feet out of a campfire.

10. Eat a double Stretch -- Every college town has a diner with the specialty after-hours dish complete with eggs, onions, chili, and cheese. The Broadway Diner in Columbia, Missouri has the best in the United States. Order a double Stretch and decrease your life expectancy by a couple more months.

11. Tailgate with the Antlers -- Membership in The Antlers is almost impossible to achieve unless you know or are related to the right person. Regardless, get invited to one of their tailgate parties and drink from the Paint Can. Tell them NightTrain sent you.

Las Vegas

12. Rage solo In Las Vegas -- I once defined Raging Solo for my buddy Al. It's actually a phrase I borrowed from an old friend named "G." Essentially, it means hitting a town by yourself with no real plan. There is no better city for it than Las Vegas.

13. Have a Steak at Hugo's Cellar -- Located in the lowest level of the Four Queens in Las Vegas, it's the perfect place to ask for the private back room and order a t-bone. To counteract the Life Crisco, order a salad from the salad cart. It's worth it just to suffer the preparer's barrage of questions about what you want.

14. Let Absinthe pick your dinner spot -- My friend Ryan (aka Absinthe) knows good food and he is not afraid of decadence. Let him decide where you're eating. The food itself is enough to shorten your life expectancy. Worse, after you eat one of these meals, you're bound to refuse other food in the future, thus starving yourself. Michael Mina and Nob Hill are two good bets.

15. Get steak and eggs -- Getting a free breakfast in Las Vegas isn't necessarily hard, but it can be pricey. Huh? Just gamble irresponsibly and make sure the pit boss knows you're doing it. If he refuses to pay attention, celebrate your wins by screaming, "Steak and Eggs!" It is so worth it.

For Adults Only

16. Play poker in an underground card room -- The risks are many, but the people you'll meet make it more than worth it. Even if you don't play poker, it's worth going just once to people watch. Recent examples can be found at The Last Poker Game and The Sweetest Criminal. Bonus points if you can find a game in the back of a gentleman's club.

17. Attend a party hosted by Al Can't Hang -- There are professionals and then there are Professionals. Al made Malvern, PA famous with his infamous Bash at the Boathouse. That party may now be defunct, but Al still rages. Look for his next party invitation. If you don't feel up to that, you might try Bradoween.

18. Go bar hopping with Paul McGuire -- Known worldwide as Dr. Pauly, this native New Yorker can show you NYC like few others. It's a both a tour and a life experience. If you need a preview, Pauly treated me to this New York Bar Tour.

19. Commit an act of civil disobedience -- You gotta stand for something, right? Well, prove it. I'd suggest a B&E of some place owned by The Man. Don't steal anything, but make it known you were there.

20. Converse with a murderer -- Killing is wrong and the people who do it are sick. If you have a chance to talk to a killer, do it.

So, there's a list of 20 Life Crisoes that should get you started. As you have likely guessed, those are all things I've done. Maybe someday soon I'll give you a list of things I haven't done yet, but want to.

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3 Comments:

Blogger AlCantHang said...

Bravo!

Any list that starts off with a wee hour Lucky Dog gets my vote. I've done all of the New Orleans list except the 20 beignets. I stopped at the second plate (6 or 8, can't remember).

There are a good number of other events on the list that I could cross off. I'll work on the others.

3:02 PM  
Blogger Chilly said...

I think I am still carrying 10-12 lbs of stretches around.

When I left Columbia I started making them at home.

4:34 PM  
Blogger DrChako said...

Geez! I thought I was the only one outside of Nawlins that knew about Mother's. The Oyster Po Boy with xtra debris stands out as one of the top three things I've ever put in my mouth.

8:42 PM  

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