Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Clown vs. Cop

This just in:

A Bessemer, Alabama motorcycle cop was injured when he was struck by a minivan. The minivan was occupied by two clowns. I did not make this up.

Further investigation is pending.


Speaking of clowning and law enforcement, I wanted to tell you about an unsettling incident that happened on our recent vacation.

MizBubs' motor had finally run down and she retired to the hotel for the night. I scooted around the corner to Molly's on Decatur Street, my new favorite dive bar in the world (yes, even surpassing the Double Down Saloon in fabulous Las Vegas, Nevada.)

I was sitting at the bar, talking with Robert, my bartender, about a fellow MizBubs and I had met there the night before.

The fellow said his name was Jackie Jones. I thought he looked familiar, like someone I'd arrested, or maybe given a ride to the bus station, but that wasn't it. MizBubs thought he looked like a thinner, more sunbaked and dissipated Tommy Lee Jones. He looked like he spent a lot of time out in the sun, but not doing anything sporty. At first he looked kind of like a street person, except his clothes, although older, were clean, and he was drinking Corona beer and smoking American Spirit cigarettes.

Within the course of a few minutes, Mr. Jones told us that:

He lives in the swamp.

He owns 13,000 acres in the swamp. Tammany Parish. (When I nodded and said, oh, on the north shore, right, he gave me a blank look.)

He's lived in the French Quarter since 1977.

He owns 7 buildings in the French Quarter.

He owns a home that's built in 1840.

Everyone in the French Quarter knows him.

Brad Pitt is his neighbor. Brad Pitt doesn't pay his bills though.

He knows a lot of movie stars, they don't impress him.

He's friends with Dustin Hoffman. He thinks celebrities like him because he treats them just like anybody else.

Nick...Nicholas Cage lives by him.

He joined the military when he was 13 years old.

When he was 17 he joined the navy.

He spent 5 years on a nuclear submarine.

He's rich.

He's worth 787 million dollars.

He can't read or write, but he's rich.

His mother is on the supreme court of the state of Louisiana.
But he can't hardly read or write.

But he can make money.

These themes were repeated several times, in varying sequence. The two female bartenders treated him with amused affection, giving the occasional hug as they went by. He turned and got the attention of the little blonde bartender.

Jones: These people think I'm crazy.

Bartender (smiling): You are.

We left a little while after that.

So, I was talking to Robert the bartender the next night, and I asked him about this guy. "Oh, you met Jackie Jones, huh? He tell you his story?" I answered that I got part of it, but I'm not sure if I got the best part. I was intrigued as to how much might be true. Robert's reply?

"Never let the truth stand in the way of a good story."

Not long after that the place filled up, and I had a couple nice conversations with people coming and going from the bar. Then a balloon popped, and I heard a commotion behind me.

The advantage of sitting at an old bar is that, as you sit facing the big mirror running behind the bar, you can see what's going on behind you without too much effort. And what I saw almost knocked me off my barstool.

It was a clown. A she-clown. With balloons. A balloon clown was there in my bar, on my vacation. I was able to snap this picture, surreptitiously, with my cell phone. You can see her there over my right shoulder:

I looked up at Robert. "I didn't know this was a clown bar, man. That gives me the creeps."

"Normally it's not. Don't worry though, I gotcha". Robert then did the coolest thing anyone has ever done for me: he gave the classic point, then point with two fingers at your own eyes, then point back gesture to indicate that he wouldn't let anyone sneak up behind me. I was covered.

My theory is that some of the local clowning community, being familiar with my research and my reputation, got wind of my visit and sent in the she-clown to keep tabs on me. She must have gotten the fisheye from Robert, because she left shortly after that.

I made it back to the hotel safely. The work continues.


Johnny Yen said...

I suspect that she was serrapticiously accompanied by her two evil Lieutenants, a reptile and a crackhead. It's a good thing that the bartender had your back and that you got out of there alive.

Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

Robert should be up for "Bartender of the Year " for all the help he gave you and you sir have great taste in plaid shirts.

bubbles said...

I have loved your series on New Orleans! I'm glad the clown didn't just ruin the whole thing!

Some Guy said...

I've met a few Jackie Jones types in my travels. Great post!

GETkristiLOVE said...


Some clown ran a red light?

Thanks, I'm here all week. Great post, by the way.

Katie Schwartz said...

A clown with tits-- fab!

Jonsey's yarn is perfect. Are we sure he's not from Los Angeles?

Writeprocrastinator said...

Anybody who has seen me or known will tell you that I am the last person on Earth that approves of any kind of profiling, but I think at some point we're going to have make an exception for clowns.

Of course, I'm kidding.

Still, I think we should hit clowns with rubber mallets, just for the hell of it.

I'm kidding.

Kind of.


Yeah, well, I guess I'm kidding.

justacoolcat said...

Close call. If your cover is blown the whole mission could be jeopardized. I suggest you go undercover, in a costume, maybe one that allows the use of make up on your face . . .

lulu said...

"Never let the truth stand in the way of a good story."

This has long been my motto

Coaster Punchman said...

I'm related to at least one person like Jackie. It's even stranger hearing these kinds of stories from someone who knows how easy it would be for you to verify everything they say.

For someone so unimpressed with celebrities he sure seems to know an awful lot about them.