Freudian Slips: The Big Easy

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Location: Irony, New Jersey, United States

Life takes us many places. It's a box of chocolates and a Hansel and Gretal trail of candy wrappers. I have filmed as an actor in The Happening, Invincible, The Lovely Bones, The Bounty Hunter, The Greek American, Bazookas, Limitless, TV's Its Always Sunny in Philly, Outlaw, New York, The Warrior, The Nail, Game Change, Cold Case, & commercial work includes The Philadelphia Eagles, Septa, Coors, Turbo Tax & Carnival Cruises. Freudian Slips spotlights irony in short story format.

March 06, 2007

The Big Easy

Vacationing without your children can be a semi-sweet experience. I took a mini vacation to New Orleans, Louisiana in 1998. I wound up marrying my traveling companion the following year but let me assure readers for the record that it had nothing to do with the Big Easy. In retrospect, I am glad we saw the lively city before Hurricane Katrina devastated it.
The airline lost our luggage so we spent the first two days of the four-day getaway throwing vanity to the wind. We wore the same tired clothing in the sweltering heat. We shared the spittle from a single toothbrush that fortuitously wound up in a carry-on bag.
New Orleans natives can spot a vacationer a mile away. I must have looked lost roaming around the French Quarter trying to find a post office to mail a postcard back home to my children in New Jersey. I hope that when they rebuilt the city they made the post office more prominent and centrally located.
But in 1998, I had great difficulty finding a depository to mail my postcard. Frustrated in my quest, I began to solicit the help of locals. Intentional or otherwise, they sent me on wild goose chases for the better part of one hour. I walked up and down the same streets. A male transvestite on Bourbon Street sent me to jibip. At unpopulated uncivilized jibip, a homeless person grumbled for me to go a few blocks north where an art gallery storeowner gave me equally bad directions to an establishment of ill repute.
I wondered if they were all communicating by walkie-talkies and laughing themselves silly. All I needed was an outpost that sold stamps with the ability to mail my postcard of few words. My trek continued. A clean cut streetwalker pointed to an unadorned building down the street. We passed the male transvestite in our crisscrossed cross-town travels. My fiancé and I bum rushed a little hole in the wall. I charged into the building of no signage and little more than a long empty counter.
A non-uniformed non-commission man sauntered to the high counter. By this time, my patience wore thin.
“There is a vicious rumor floating around the city that this is a post office.” I said for starters. “Can you confirm or deny?”
The man replied in a charming Cajun accent. “Whatta ya need?”
I told him like it is. “I have been walking around here for an hour trying to find a place to mail this postcard.”
He didn’t blink or move a muscle but offered his assistance nonetheless. “I can take care of it.”
“Now we are getting somewhere.” I slid him the postcard on the counter but persisted in my complaining. The hustle and bustle of the Northeast clashed with the slower paced Deep South. I solicited his opinion but distastefully badmouthed the residents of the city. “Every time I asked a local for directions here, I got sent on a wild goose chase. Up the street, down the street, dead ends to nowhere, bad sections of town, etc.”
“Sir, you’re too uptight for us.” the clerk commented. “You’re in the right place now and you’re on vacation, are you not? May I remind you that this is Naw Arlans, The Big Easy. It is called The Big Easy for a particular reason. You got to calm down and take it…easy.”
What could I say? I said too much already and my intensity upset people up and down the French Quarter. And with barely the found clothes back on my back, I beat that postcard home four days later.

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12 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Humm Big & Easy- has different connotations depending on the way you say it!

9:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow! Your partner looks absolutely beautiful.

9:53 AM  
Blogger Weary Hag said...

Mrs. T is very pretty indeed!

I've never had a desire to go to NOLA. I have, however, had a hankering for finding specific buildings in unfamiliar areas and have also been led astray by locals. It's just plain mean. (I did the same thing to tourists back in NYC if I was in a particularly evil mood or had a long day)
It's neat that you posted about a piece of mail you had trouble posting.

12:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Joe,

It happens up north, too. We vacationed in Maine one summer. My Dad stopped at a local gas station to ask the attendant if he knew where some good trout fishing was. "Ayuh" Is it around here? "Ayuh" Are you going to tell me where it is? "Maybe"

I guess its still the old Yankee-Rebel thing going on.

Mike

1:58 PM  
Blogger Joe Tornatore said...

anonymous,
you don't say? lol

anonymous,
I tell my wife you said that about her partner. lol

weary,
can't wait to see the new post office on my return.

anonymous,
a mainstay, huh?

7:13 PM  
Blogger Karen said...

I just like the fact that he put you straight. Sorry probably too much time working in customer service jobs.

6:08 AM  
Anonymous et said...

Lovely picture! You two make a great couple.

9:29 AM  
Blogger Joe Tornatore said...

karen,
yeah, it was my bad.

et,
thanks ET. i think so too.

7:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

sweetie, what a great trip, i remember this picture. it was your birthday at the house of blues, we were only in the same clothes for a little over 24 hours, not that it mattered to us

7:55 PM  
Blogger Joe Tornatore said...

Diane,
if it was my birthday, i shouldn't have needed clothes at all.

8:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wht better way to spend your birthday than on vacation with your wife. Who needs clothing?

3:51 PM  
Blogger Joe Tornatore said...

anonymous,
when two people can share one toothbrush, it is time to pick out a chapel.

11:48 AM  

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