Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Last week I wrote down some favorite restaurants, which got me thinking about my favorite places to drink.  Which then got me wondering if consuming three glasses of wine during Downton Abbey counts as “fruit.”  Pretty sure it does.  Anyway, it also got me thinking about why it’s so easy to act like an a**hole when you travel to the Big Easy.  No disrespect intended, but there is something about the combination of alcohol to-go cups and . . . well, pretty much anything that makes a lot of us visitors act like jackasses in NOLA.

So while I’m contemplating my list of top drinking spots for a future post, I figured I’d offer some helpful tips to consider before you down those 24 ounce hurricanes . . .

The Getaway Girls Guide to Not Acting like an A**hole in New Orleans:

1. Don’t puke in public.  Unless you are pregnant or suffering from Ebola, you don’t really have an excuse for vomiting in the street.  If I could make it from Frenchman Street to the Andrew Jackson Hotel on a belly of bad oysters, so can you.  (Lesson learned: “oyster shooter” is not some cute appetizer dressed in a shot glass.  It’s cheap booze, hot sauce and an oyster. Or, in my case, four very bad oysters).  Also, if you’re out of college, have children or are old enough to meet either of those criteria, you should seriously know better.  If the Mayor of NYC banned big gulps of Coke, what do you think your chances are against a giant cup of rum?  Go be sick in the privacy of your own clean room and read my book.  You'll thank me in the morning.

2. Don’t even think about performing any other bodily function in public, either.  I shouldn’t even have to say this one, but sadly, I do.  There are some people who, after a few drinks too many, treat the Rue Bourbon as their personal toilet.  Just say no.  You paid for your hotel room and its facilities– go use them!  Or, if you feel such an urgent need, go into a bar, buy a drink and use the damn bathroom.  (Tip: if you are stuck on Bourbon, the gay bars have nicer ladies rooms. Or at least they do until someone pukes in them).

3. Know your limits.  Just because grown people old enough to be your grandma are staggering down the street doesn’t mean you should.  I use the alcohol-to-karaoke ratio to determine when I’ve had enough.  If I think karaoke sounds like a good idea, it’s probably time for last call.  If I actually make it inside a karaoke bar, it’s time to switch to water.  If, after taking the time to sign myself up for karaoke, some sober brain cell alerts me to the fact that I’m way too intoxicated to pull this off, it’s time to get a cheeseburger.  If you find yourself in a similar situation, head to the Clover Grill, get some greasy good and enjoy it with my book.  (Yes, I'm that shameless. But really, a cheeseburger and flesh-eating scavengers work so well together).

4. Avoid the tacky t-shirt trap.  There are so many souvenir shops in New Orleans, it’s hard not to buy something.  And that’s fine – pick out a stuffed animal for your kid, or maybe a Christmas ornament or fridge magnet.  But the moment you’re tempted to buy anything with a clever (read: obscene) saying involving liquor, sex, or old age (or all three), put down your wallet and GET OUT. Unless you’re buying it as a gag gift for your husband and you know FOR A FACT that he will not either: A) misinterpret the gift and wear the shirt anyway because he thinks it’s cool or B) ironically interpret the gift and wear it anyway as a deluded homage to his hipster dad status.  Trust me, no one’s hip enough to make “Suck me Raw” work on a neon-green wife-beater.

And finally –

5. Stay out of anyplace labeled “Topless and Bottomless!”  Despite what the exclamation point would have you believe, this is not a good thing.  And I say this not so much to avoid acting like an a**hole, but to avoid certain scenarios you don’t really need in life.  Like, for example, when one of your friends discovers the “bottomless” male dancers are in fact, wearing sweatpants instead and demands a refund on the basis of false advertising.  Before you know it, some stripper in green sweatpants is grinding against you like a pencil sharpener until one of your friends pays him to leave you alone. (Is this like stripper mariachi?  I hope this never catches on in Mexican restaurants).  Then some very angry people are escorting you and your friends out of said club and you realize you really need a cheeseburger.

But not, thank God, karaoke.

P.S. If you'd like to read about some real a**holes, specifically flesh-eating scavengers and the women who loathe them, I've got an ace suggestion for you: check out my book!