How to Bag a Big Daddy in the Big Easy

Mr. Ashley the Oil Tycoon Takes Us to Galatoire’s

“Life is a banquet, and most poor suckers are starving to death”Auntie Mame

Miss Alexis thinks she looks fat in this photo. I’m sorry to throw you under the bus, darling. Readers, see photos below that prove she isn’t fat.

Out of all the Big Daddies in the land, Mr. Ashley is the Biggest Daddy of All. He is a Black Gold Daddy. An Oil Titan. A Recession-Proof Daddy. The White Whale of the Mississippi. And here’s one very serious, important detail: he has a heart condition and totes around a defibrillator machine that keeps him alive and gives him a 15 minute warning every 8 hours when he needs to change the battery, or else die.

In person, Mr. Ashley is ever polite, the quintessential Southern gentleman, with modest but crisp attire, and never without his signature Stetson. He arrives at the bar never too early and stays never too late – between the hours of five and eight – and has at minimum two, and no more than four drinks. He makes no show of money, and never draws attention to economic class. Mr. Ashley’s conversation is full of Southern reserve, grace, and respect. He discusses the thunderstorms rolling in, or the lovely sunshine, and inquires how your parents are doing even though he’s never met them.

One day, Ashley and I were sharing such courteous talk, when a gutterpunk strolled past us to use the bathroom. Mr. Ashley paused mid-sentence – apologized for doing so – and crinkled his nose. Gutterpunks, if you’re unfamiliar, are nomadic young persons who panhandle, live communally, and are shy of baths.

“Now, Miss April,” Mr. Ashley began. “I could nevah imaaaygine havin’ sex with someone who smells like thayat.”

I was startled, but delighted by the lewd turn of conversation. “Well, Mr. Ashley,” I replied. “I suppose they have sex with each other. Wouldn’t you agree?”

That didn’t satisfy his curiosity. “Now, I like eatin’ pussay, but I would nevah eat someone’s pussay who smellayed like thayat.”

From that point on, Mr. Ashley began to talk about more than the weather. The next night, in fact, he asked about my afternoon.

“Do you want the PG-13 version?” I asked.

“Oh, hell, Miss April, I want the full version.”

So I regaled Mr. Ashley with that afternoon’s events before I started my shift. Mr. Ashley leaned in with keen interest when I came to the part about my afternoon delight with an attorney who had a Prince Albert piercing. “Now, Miss April,” he said with genuine concern, “Is he takin’ care of you first? You know what I mean.”

I did know. And he didn’t mean paying for dinner.

A week later Mr. Ashley invited Miss Alexis and myself to lunch at Galatoire’s – an old-line New Orleans restaurant full of see-and-be-seen Southern glamour.  We were to meet Sunday at 11 am at Ashley’s apartment. I had to call out sick in order to go, and with my irascible boss working at the bar across the street, we planned that I would take a cab to the corner and slink past the bar to Ashley’s apartment where he’d be waiting in the vestibule to let me in quickly. Miss Alexis, Mr. Ashley, and myself would have champagne and then take a cab to Galatoires.

The Morning of Galatoire’s…

Her Mischievousness and Mr. Ashley just after the bathroom tour.

I was running late with a terrible hangover, perhaps still a little drunk from the night before. There was a text from Miss Alexis who was already there.  “Mr. Ashley is already downstairs waiting to open the door for you. Looks like I’m the chaperone on this one.”

I slipped past my place of employment and sure enough there was Mr. Ashley behind the door, looking out in both directions to check if I’d been seen. He escorted me inside, his hand on the small of my back. On the way in we were nearly steamrolled over by Mr. Shoen who is frightening to look at and has a walker but owns most of the French Quarter. Big Daddy H.Q., I noted.

I checked my phone in the elevator. Another text from Alexis: “Get here NOW. I’m in Mr. Ashley’s bathroom and there are naked women everywhere.”

Once upstairs, Ashley poured the champagne in the kitchen while Miss Alexis gave me a tour of the nudity. Almost the entire wall space was covered with large, black-and-white portraits of women’s naked asses pictured with musical instruments. One in particular stood out: a woman’s ass turned upward to such an angle as to make visible her pudgy, outer lips. “It’s clear what Mr. Ashley likes.” Miss Alexis said just as Ashley came into the bathroom and handed us each a champagne.  Nothing like a little hair of the dog…

The Night Before…

I had been out until 5 in the morning playing patty cake at a dank service-industry bar with a 58 year old psychotic satyr with a French accent. For the past few months, he’d been growing on me like a fungus. Maybe because he reminds me of an ex – a man I still hate and adore. Or maybe it’s his scent, which is so intoxicating, I could live in his neck. Maybe a certain je ne sais quoi. Maybe the several months of heavy drinking.  Maybe untreated psychological issues.

Patty Cake knows Mr. Ashley – the two are rivals. Petty rivals. They aren’t about to do pistols at dawn or anything, just talk about each other behind their backs. It is suspected that several years ago Patty Cake kicked Mr. Ashley out of his carnival krewe and in retaliation Mr. Ashley tells everyone that Patty Cake is gay.

That night at the bar, Patty Cake kept pestering me to “keees” him.

“Dinner first. We’ll evaluate from there.” I said for the eighteenth time.

“Zat ees bullsheet, baby! I tooooold you, you’re ouver-qualífied for dinére.”

“Mr. Ashley doesn’t think so. He’s taking me to Galatoires tomorrow.” I said.

That shut him up. “Mr. Ashley. Weally? Weally. I’m zpeechlíss.”

When I told him that I bought a new dress for it, he nearly fell off his chair. How could I go out and buy a dress for stupid Ashley?

“It’s not for Ashley,” I said. “All I own fits in one suitcase. I only have one dress and it isn’t appropriate for Galatoire’s.”

“When I take you to dinére, I want you to wear your one dress!” he shouted, tipping Lisa another hundred on the bar, signaling her to pour a seventh snifter of Mandarin Napoleon. Lisa pushed the hundred dollar bill back. “No. This is getting absurd. You’ve tipped me enough of these tonight.”

“This is what we have in common, Patty Cake.” I said. “We both came here at 31, broke. And we’re both gold diggers.”

More on that later, in posts to come…

At Galatoire’s

Determination.

Miss Alexis and I ordered whatever we wanted off the menu. We ordered wine by the glass, wine by the bottle, and lots of champagne.

“Let’s get a bottle of this champagne” Ashley told the waiter.

“Excellent choice, monsieur. In fact, I so deeply believe in this bottle, that if you do not think it’s the best champagne to have ever passed your lips in your very long life, I shall kill myself. I shall slay myself, right here, with a very sharp sword!”

“Now that won’t be necessary, son,” Mr. Ashley said. “I’m sure it’s just fine. Thank you.”

After our main course, I felt it was time to stir the pot. “Patty Cake wants us to stop by his bar to show him our outfits.” I said.

Mr. Ashley’s eyes were ablaze with mischief. “Oh we must go to see Patty Cake! I want to show up with you two beautiful ladies on my arm.”

“Yes,” I said. “Let’s go and treat him like a servant. Whenever he tries to talk to us, I’ll hand him a waded up napkin and tell him to throw it away.”

The waiter interjected. “Would madame care for dessert? Tell me, madame. Tell me whatever it is you so desire”

I took a glance at the dessert menu, then set it down. “I would like you on a little plate with some whip cream on top.” I said.

Moments later he delivered a plate of whip cream to the table. “What about you?” I inquired.

“I come later madame.”

At Patty Cake’s…

We were quite drunk by the time we rolled into Patty Cake’s. Mr. Ashley owns a wine locker there and we drank two more bottles of wine out of it and another bottle of champagne. Someone who was amused by our antics, sent us a cheese plate. We had many laughs at Patty Cake’s expense. The more I drank, the more I flirted with Ashley and rubbed his shoulders, and the more comfortable he became rubbing my backside. So comfortable in fact, that his fingers found their way to the thing he loves best.

At some point during the night I spoke to Fran, who owns a fine jewelry store in the Quarter. I admired her diamond fleur-de-lis necklace. “Just FYI,” she said. “Patty Cake has bought a couple from me. But not as many as Mr. Ashley.  So when you’re ready to get yours, just let me know.”

Then the inevitable happened. The 15 minute buzzer. It was time to change the defibrillator battery. Mr. Ashley was three-sheets by then. So were we all.

“Shall I come over later once you recharge?” I asked.

“Oh sure, Miss April. It looks like you’ve got your hands full here, but please do. Text me.”

I suppose I should feel ashamed for letting a rich, elderly invalid pet me sexually in a wine bar. Somewhere back home in Indiana, one of my old crushes is having taco night with his wife and watching High School Musical 3 with his kids. But I don’t care.  I care too much about adventure. To live intensely, excitingly. Ashley’s money doesn’t even really matter that much when it comes down to it – it’s atmospheric, like confetti.

“Go do it.” Miss Alexis and our friend B encouraged. “I just opened another bottle of wine. By the time you get back we’ll be ready to move on somewhere else and I want to hear all about it.”

I texted Mr. Ashley but did not get a response the rest of the night. Miss Alexis, B, and I invited younger men along to French 75 Bar and The Carousel Bar. I told anyone who would listen about how Mr. Ashley had felt me up. My friend Charlie from New York joined us, and was enamored by New Orleans, our whole scene.  He rightly called our shenanigans, “the glamor of not giving a fuck.”

And Afterward…

For a few days after Galatoire’s, I got no response from Mr. Ashley, and I was worried that we’d killed him. “I’m about to call the hospitals to look for you.” I texted him. “Please just send me a text to say you’re okay and I’ll leave you alone.” Moments later, Ashley called and said he was fine and insisted he’d texted me before that he was okay. “We need to take a look at your phone together and work on your texting skills,” I said.

During Lent we hardly saw Mr. Ashley at all. When he did come back to the bar, he looked worse and worse, and he kept to himself, returning to the polite, boring conversations we had before the day when the gutter punk had walked past us.

One day Ashley came in and pulled out a silver dog tag from his shirt. “Miss April, have you seen my necklace?” It was medical information jewelry. It read, No Pulse. No CPR.

“I don’t have a pulse.” he said, but it didn’t register.

Here was a 76 year old man with heart condition, whom I would have gone to bed with had his defibrillator battery and cell phone not died. What a way to tell someone you’re unavailable.

“Do you know what a pulse is?” he ventured, noting my dumbfounded expression. Of course I know what a pulse is, I wanted to say, but what I couldn’t make sense of is how someone who was sitting in a bar staring back at me and talking, didn’t have one. It seemed the foundation of life – a pulse. Blood pumping through veins. Amazing how someone can be walking around without one. Here, but not really alive.

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Hide and Seerseeker

Jason is a seersucker-sweetheart after my own heart. I caught up with him earlier this week at his exhibition opening called “Hide and Seek”. I let it be known that he could only play hide and seek from my camera for so long, looking like the dashing Spring Daddy he is. Please note how at home he is in perfectly tailored seersucker pants, prosecco in hand.

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Three Daddies in a Row!

I just realized that I have only been lauding the sartorial skills of African-American Daddies. To be fair and not racist, here are some vest- and bow-tie-wearing Caucasians for you. I do so admire their fleur-de-lis pins. Mr. Three-Piece-Suit in the middle there comes into the bar sometimes and likes his Manhattans stirred – not shaken – and strained into a wineglass. Also, one day, he asked me what went wrong in my life that I am now working in a bar. I suppose I should have asked him what went wrong with his shoes, but I won’t sink to that level.

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I'm Lovin It

Who knew blue and pink could go together as perfectly as a Big Mac and fries? This hungry Spring Daddy. Enjoy your McDonalds, baby. I can tell you’re not the type who wipes his hands on his pants. You place a napkin on your lap like a gentleman.

Spring Has Sprung in the Big Easy

Yesterday, just after Easter service let out, a man propositioned me for a threesome. I guess that Lent is officially over. Big Daddies are out in full bloom, with their crisp hundred dollar bills unfurling like the tulip buds. Dapper Dans in seersucker, white linen, and bright sexy colors at every turn! I don’t know how I’m going to control  myself.

I caught these two dashing gents in the aftermath of the Gay Easter Parade. Lookin slick, boys. Love that cross hanging from your neck, Pinky. Thanks for reminding us of the true meaning of Easter.

Tips on Being a Good Southern Gentleman

Big daddies are similar to pirates in that they both appreciate firearms, alcohol, and treasure.

“Do you have a cigarette, dearheart?” I asked the pirate who frequents the café in Pirates Alley.  That day he was in plainclothes and massaging his swollen, naked foot at a nearby table. Upon first taking my seat, I crinkled my nose at the sight, and he apologized for his state of undress, explaining that he’d sprained his ankle. He said, sweetly, that he didn’t smoke.

My friend, who was visiting from out of town, and I returned to our conversation. A few moments later, Mr. Pirate approached our table, and extended a cigarette, shyly, as if it were a rose.

“I got you one from the bartender. I suppose you need a light, don’t you?” he said with a smitten sigh.

I smiled sexily. “I do, darling.”

He hobbled back into the bar, cheerfully dragging his injured foot along the pavement – a dead, throbbing weight – and heaved himself painfully up the steps back inside to fetch a light for my cigarette.

My friend was appalled. “Way to make the guy with the sprained ankle get your light, April!” She had just been telling me about Portland, where it is common practice, when dating, to split the check.

I explained that I have grown so accustomed to southern pampering, that it now feels instinctual to sit and wait for things to be delivered, carried, and paid for by someone else.  A man.

Before moving to New Orleans, I lived in New York, where I  once offered to “cover” when a man tried to cancel because he couldn’t afford to buy a drink even for himself. I continued to sleep with a man even though he wouldn’t comp me drinks at his bar because he didn’t want me to “expect special treatment”. I walked to the subway many nights, drunk and unescorted. I hailed my own cabs. I was the subject of belligerent cat-calling: “Smile baby! What’s the matter with you? Why aren’t you smiling?” These are the sorts of men who will laugh stupidly, “You want equal rights don’t you? Carry your own damn chaise lounge up the stairs.”

At the heart of being a good man, you must love women and desire to serve them. Consider Gordon, who you’ll meet in future posts, who is knocking at death’s door and says he wants to spend the rest of his time on earth drinking Bacardi and taking women out to lunch. “I ain’t gonna live too much longer,” he says, “and I prefer spending my time around women. Even if I ain’t gettin any.”

Sometimes, often times, men don’t mean to be jerks, they’re simply retarded. In an effort to educate men who might be wondering how they can be more endearing to womenfolk, I’m going to offer up some tips and advice.

1. Tell Women They’re Beautiful

In New Orleans, there’s not cat-calling, but gushing adoration. Where a man in New York might crudely shout “Great tits, babe!”, in New Orleans, a toothless man crouched in a rotted doorway will say with genial grace, “Good Morning, baby. Yes, indeed you’re a beautiful lady.” No matter that the beautiful lady in question is stumbling over the cobblestones, dressed in  hooker garb, and en route to the Three Legged Dog for pre-shift Jaeger bombs. But he means it. And it’s not sexualized, it’s appreciative, as if he were admiring a beautiful flower.

Every day several men respectfully tell me I’m beautiful and it’s done wonders for my well-being. You too, can help prevent P.M.S. worldwide.  Let it be sincere, and keep it simple until you’ve honed your skills.  If you’re going to get specific, only compliment the eyes, smile, or hair. Keep your feelings about boobs, legs, and butts to yourself unless you know the lady well enough. Do not mention feet. Do not approach children.

2. Eat, Pay,  Love

For the longest time I thought it was tradition in New Orleans for restaurants to send a bill to your home, since I never saw a trace of a transaction at the dinner table. I’m kidding, of course, but I wish I weren’t. Once a southern boy, who should have known better, took me to a show at the Rock n Bowl. He paid our $12 admission and when I thanked him he said “No worries, babe, just get the next coupla rounds.” The next coupla rounds? A woman shouldn’t have to split costs with a man during courtship, or ideally, ever.

It’s not just about paying the bill, it’s about anticipating a woman’s needs. Just last night, at Jammin on Julia, I was thrust into the company of Christoph, a Haitian male dominatrix in bunny ears, who isn’t gay, but had just come from the Bunny Hop, a gay pub crawl for Easter. “Are you nervous, April?” he asked. “Not to worry, I make even the bad girls blush.”

After passing a drink stand, he wandered off and purchased a wine for me. He knew I needed alcohol to deal with his intrusive presence. See? Even a sado-masochist can treat a lady right. He’s now invited to my birthday on Tuesday.

Beware the Six Figure Man

When Vinny said he sold Japanese water machines to famous people, I knew we’d never fall in love. His last relationship ended, he offered, because they’d wanted different things out of life. She, a picket fence. He, a castle with a moat around the bed and a fireplace that would make Zeus’ forge look like a cub scout’s campfire.When I wouldn’t come to his hotel room, he texted: “No, I meant come to the roof. Ladies have to earn their way into my bed”. And there was the time when, shutting his laptop after a hard day’s work on god-knows-what, he proclaimed, quite sincerely, “Everything I touch turns to gold”.

All signs point to small penis, but there was another, more important question Miss Mischief and I wanted to know: Was Vinny a bona fide Big Daddy? He said he was a consultant. The kind of evasive answer you’d expect from mobsters or the unemployed. But, he was handsome, well-dressed, and could afford to stay in a four-star hotel for several months. He was mysterious, if not eligible. Certainly he was good enough for sport.

As we’d come to discover, Vinny suffers from a specific inferiority complex. He’s a Six Figure Man. He earns at least $100K but less than one million. He doesn’t make 7, 8, 9, or 10 figures. He makes 6. And to his mind, thank god it’s not 5. That’s what liberals make.

Lest people think I’m a heartless, golddigging wench, let me be clear: I’d sooner entertain the advances of a man with a Louisiana Purchase Card than I would a Six Figure Man. Six Figures is the middle ground where a man has enough disposable income to appear wealthy and important, but none of the class, discretion, largesse, or poise of a man who has rock solid money. The Six Figure Man longs to be Gordon Gekko.  He’s upwardly mobile and inwardly insecure. He won’t lavish you with jewels, lapdogs, or custom finery – the lasting heirlooms of a love affair.  Rather, he’ll give you iPhones, Groupon getaways to Vegas, and other such unsentimental garbage, if anything at all. More often than not, the Six Figure Man isn’t looking at you when he’s talking, he’s looking at himself in the mirror across the room, over-enunciating to take in the full beauty of how his little red mouth forms the words “I closed a five million dollar deal today”. And never forget that you’re there mostly to make him look good.  Don’t even think about wearing flats or accidentally farting in front of his associates. You’ll never hear the end of it. How do you spot a Six Figure Man? Read on, ladies, and save yourself some valuable time.

1. He’s a Braggart Who Won’t Shut Up About Work

The Japanese Water Machine

Not always, but often, Big Daddies earn their millions and billions doing things that I find mind-numbingly boring and morally wrong. I just don’t want to know. I certainly don’t want Big Daddy to talk to me like one of his business associates. It’s his job to cultivate a sexy, romantic, and stimulating atmosphere when he’s out with a woman.

The Six Figure Man doesn’t care about your interests or understand much about creating desire. He’d rather boast about his fledgling career, telling you about the time when he fired his own boss, or the time when he delivered a kick-ass power point presentation explaining how the company could fuck its employees to save more money. Even worse than bragging about his job, he might treat you like one of his clients. Take Vinny, for example, who in the beginning, tried to sell me one of his Japanese water contraptions.

He’d been coming down to the bar for dinner and hot tea several times a week for about a month. One night he brought me a glass of water, made from his magic machine. As I drank, he told me of its healing properties, that it would balance my pH and make my skin beautiful, although I didn’t need help with that of course, he said, for I was “so fucking hot.” That night I was sober, but sparkling with laughter over the antics of my coworkers.

Vinny returned. “Did you feel a sense of euphoria after drinking that water? I forgot to tell you that you might feel a little buzz. It shocks your system the first time you drink it.”

That was mildly frightening. I had already been feeling that I was living Alice in Wonderland, entangled in the dramas of New Orleans’ unpredictable lunatics. Now I’d gone and drank from a suspicious vial labeled “Drink Me”.  Did my mother teach me nothing? Was it time to go to AA? I drank from an unsealed cup that a stranger brought down from his hotel room. Then I thought better of my self-chastisement. I didn’t buy all of Vinny’s malarkey about balancing my pH and adding two decades onto my life, but I did believe in my buzz. If he had spiked it, whatever it was, it was good. And meanwhile, I was still alive, wasn’t I?

The next time I came into work, Vinny had left a blue gallon jug for me labeled “APRIL”. I kept it behind the bar and had him refill it three times over the course of that week. “What the hell you got in there?” Mikey – an old bartender who you will meet in future posts – asked. “Vodka?”

Vinny returned again, and this time asked if I felt sick. No, I said, I felt great. “Oh, because, a lot of people forget that I tell them about getting sick.” A lot of people “forget” because he never told them.

“Yeah man, after four or five days of drinking the water, you’ll get really sick. See, the water’s bringing all of those toxins out of your body and balancing your pH and you’ll get sick, like really sick. Like the flu —”

That was the end for me with the Japanese water, and it was the end of Vinny. Until Lent, when most Big Daddies go into hiding, and I thought perhaps there was something there I could work with…

2. He’s an Entitled S.O.B.

After a late night outing at Harrah’s where Vinny promptly lost $200 at the poker table because he thought it was blackjack, we had cafe au laits at Cafe Du Monde. In The Rib, he always had the bad habit of ordering espresso drinks when we were busy. And then our trip to Du Monde had put the idea of cafe au laits in his head, even though, like the poker table, he didn’t quite understand what they were.

“This time could you make it without the foam?” he asked me one day at work. “And can you make it like they do at Café du Monde? The last one you made wasn’t very good.” I explained that Cafe du Monde makes their cafe au laits with chicory coffee, which we didn’t have, and that, by the way, there was no foam on the last one I served him. Naturally, he had the gall to argue.

Vinny draws too much attention to his cigar and brandy. A real Big Daddy doesn’t have to remind you he has refined taste.

In the back,  I steamed the milk malevolently and bitched to Miguel, one of the servers. “Does he want to have sex with me? Because if he does then he shouldn’t insult my cafe au lait. If I bring that douche a cup of gasoline he should drink it with a smile on his face. He’s lucky I don’t take a shit in this.”

“He’s probably got a small dick,” Miguel assessed.

Then it dawned on me what he didn’t have: a million dollars. Yes, that was it. Vinny didn’t have a solid million. But he wanted people to think he did, that he had that kind of power. And where is the easiest place for people who have no power or money to pretend they do? Bars and restaurants.

It was the first indication that Vinny had a sense of entitlement – that he gets things just for being himself. He started asking security to let him up to the rooftop pool after it closed. When another security guard who wasn’t in the loop, asked him to leave so they could lock up, Vinny threw a tantrum. “I spend fifteen grand in this hotel man, and you’re telling me I can’t go on the roof and smoke my cigar?” The next day he called the management and told them to make it right, and if that weren’t enough, complained to a restaurant manager, asking him to double check it wouldn’t happen again. Vinny returned to the bar. “Give me another glass of brandy. I’m going to take it up to the roof.” I told him he’d have to take it in a plastic cup – it was a safety issue. No pool that I know of allows glass. “I’m not drinking out of a plastic cup!” he snorted. A gentleman would never ask me to jeopardize my job by breaking the establishment’s policies, and a genuine Big Daddy,  who is relaxed and accustomed to being filthy rich, won’t get a bee in his boxers over drinking a mediocre brandy out of a plastic cup.

3. He Talks About Money

A depressing room at the Red Roof Inn. Unless he’s negotiating with a Saudi prince over the price of an oil barrel, beware the man who haggles. What’s to stop him haggling with you? Before you know it you’ll be thanking him for picking up the tab at Applebees.

A real Big Daddy doesn’t have to tell the staff how much he spends or makes – they know. After some sleuthing I found out that Vinny spends nowhere near $15K at the hotel, and in fact, had tenaciously haggled to get a room rate that would be comparable to those at the Red Roof Inn.

The Six Figure Man will tell you how much he makes, but never in sum. He’ll say, for example, that he made ten grand that week, but fail to mention that’s all he can expect to earn that month. It’s likely he’ll ask how much you make. Such as Vinny, who asked how much I brought in a night in tips. Never indulge a man, or anyone, in casual money talk. Not only is it supremely gauche and disrespectful, but it’s the mark of a man who has no class, and, you guessed it, no money. Even a hayseed who’s won the jackpot won’t ask how much you make or brag about what he’s got in the bank. Why? Because he has so much it just doesn’t matter anymore. Speaking of the lottery, it should come as no surprise to the reader that Vinny purchased lottery tickets one night because he felt lucky. I wonder how that’s working out for him.

Epilogue

In the end I found out what Vinny really does. He’s a motivational speaker for companies who want to brainwash their employees to work more and follow stupid rules for less money. He dispenses bracelets that say “No Negativity Allowed”. When I pointed out that it was a negative statement, not to mention creepy, he countered by saying that I was being negative. No, you’re just an idiot, Vinny. And you probably have a small dick, too.

Vay Jay Ess

Jean Noel is the owner of a vineyard in Napa and naturally, a Big Daddy. Despite being a winemaker, he doesn’t have a drinking problem. Rather, he meditates on mountaintops, and goes on yoga retreats. No complaints here, but my ideal Big Daddy has a more gunslinging, cowboy boots, and double-Dewars approach to life (with an opera-loving side and a New Yorker subscription).

I met Jean Noel a couple weeks before Mardi Gras at a certain krewe’s party at the Foundry. He zeroed in on me before I’d gotten a chance to sidle up to the bar, my first order of business. I have that effect on older men – they forget all about their heart condition and run to buy me alcohol – but also, on a humbler note, I was one of only a handful of women under 60. Party time.

The bar was stocked with his wine – VGS – which stands for “Very Good Shit”, because when people would visit his winery they’d ask for the very good shit and that is what he gave them. Several glasses and group photos later, we were outside, ready to move on to Delachaise, when he snatched my friend Brittany’s go-cup of wine out of her hand.

“Vat eees zees you’re drinking? Let me smell eeet”.

He needed only a cursory whiff to ascertain that she had been drinking not VGS, but VBS.

“Vat esss zees SHEET? How could you put zees in your BO-day? Life ess too short to drink SHEET.” In one dramatic but authoritative flick of the wrist he tossed the wine onto the street in this way that I imagine only a French or gay person can toss liquid from a glass. Here’s hoping he reenacts it one day for a commercial.

Way to be, Big Daddy. Life is too short to drink shit.