WRESTLING ELEPHANTS

By Jamie Brisick

MEMORIES THAT SMELL LIKE SALT WATER

From “The Eighties At Echo Beach.” Photos by Mike Moir.

August 18, 2011

AT A STRIP JOINT IN NEW ORLEANS

In New Orleans I couldn’t sleep, so I wandered down Bourbon Street, where goateed and paunchy tourists sipped daiquiris from hand grenade-shaped colored cups. A dominatrix-looking waif waved at me. I waved back. She waved me over. Two seconds later I was perched on a bar stool at Temptations. The bartender—tanned, muscled, shiny—was Southern friendly.

“I’m Bob,” he said. “What can I get you?”

“I’m Frank,” I replied. “I’d like a Heineken.”

A billow of bad perfume disguised as a large-breasted dancer approached.  “Hi, I’m Melissa,” she said, offering her hand.

“I’m Frank.”

“Where you from, Frankie?” she asked, taking the seat next to me. She wore pink lace panties and pink pumps and a white wife-beater. I was reminded of the Good & Plentys I used to love as a kid.

“Los Angeles.”

“What brings you to New Orluns?”

“Just traveling.”

“You alone?”

“I’m with a friend, but he’s back at the hotel.”

She moved in close and placed her hand on my leg. “So what do you do, Frankie?”

I took a long pull from my beer. “I run a pool cleaning business out there in the San Fernando Valley.”

She skimmed her fingers over my wrist. “You married, Frankie?”

“Yup.”

“Where’s your ring?”

“We don’t wear rings.”

“Kids?”

“Two boys.”

She softened. “I have a three-year-old daughter,” she said, smiling. “How old are your boys?”

“Five and seven.”

“That’s such a fun age! What are their names?”

I looked off toward the stage. Def Leppard’s “Pour Some Sugar On Me” blared. A row of Japanese businessmen fingered dollar bills. A topless blonde swallowed a man’s head with her breasts.

“Trace and Chad,” I said, trying to repress my smile.

“Aw, Frankie! Look at you! You’re such a proud daddy!”

I took her hand. “Trace is the oldest, a real terror. Katey and I made him a deal. You bring home a decent report card, and we’ll get you that skateboard you’ve been askin’ for…”

 

August 9, 2011

FOR THE LOVE OF RAYMOND PETTIBON

Of all my great achievements (trick-or-treating OJ Simpson’s house; five stitches to the chin after failed Evel Knievel-inspired launch over three Tonka trucks on Huffy BMXer; 7th place Meadow Oaks Summer School Hot Dog Eating Contest; tiles at Marina Dog Bowl; Tae Kwon Do yellow belt; stage dive Dead Kennedys Whiskey; cocaine seizure behind the wheel of powder blue ‘66 Karmann Ghia; back-to-back pizza deliveries to John McEnroe and Charlie Sheen in ‘86; premature ejaculation with Alexis from Heidi Fleiss’ stable ($800/hr, non-refundable); sushi with Madonna circa Like A Virgin; Mile High Club Pan Am Flt 104 JFK-DeGaulle; stalking, cornering, revelling in for maybe a year then killing perfectly good love, repeatedly; front row The Who reunion tour; on-time alimony payments seven months and counting; et al), this might be the sweetest:

August 6, 2011

AT THE BIDART CHARCUTERIE

My therapist has suggested a range of activities to lessen my withdrawals from nine years of severe porn addiction: sky diving, bungee jumping, big wave surfing, street luge skateboarding, season passes to Magic Mountain. Oddly, I have found great solace in this:

August 5, 2011

FIRST ANNUAL GATEAU BASQUE CHAMPIONSHIPS, GUETHARY, 31 JULY 2011

These are the official results of the first Gateau Basque World Championships held at Le Madrid in Guethary.

Chistera d’Or : Maison Paries - Saint Jean de Luz
Pala d’Argent : Maison Garcia - Bidart
Grand prix du jury : Maison Adam - Saint Jean de Luz

Pierre Weisbein
President du jury

July 31, 2011

ONE MINUTE DISCO

If I’ve got the story straight, the One Minute Disco traces back to a cassette tape that got stuck in a car stereo. Everywhere the driver went, the first sixty seconds of Billy Idol’s “Hot In The City” accompanied him. Rather than try to pry the tape out, he made it his theme song. When the car finally broke down, he thought it only right to memorialize this peculiar ritual.

For much of the Port Eliot Festival’s storied history, the One Minute Disco happened on the hour, every hour. Festival-goers would drop whatever they were doing, shake their hips and throw their hands in the air for sixty seconds, then go back and pick up where they left off, a kind of espresso shot, or prayer, or simulation of losing one’s virginity.

This year the One Minute Disco made a surprise appearance. On the final day, at exactly 8:00 p.m., a familiar-looking truck rolled through the festival grounds, making sporadic stops and liberating exhausted hips. As word spread, it became a kind of pied piper, a trail of bouncing bodies following behind.

Here’s stop #2:

July 25, 2011

BEHIND THE BIG TOP TENT AT PORT ELIOT FESTIVAL

July 25, 2011

HAD I CAUGHT THAT BUS…

...THAT WOULD HAVE DELIVERED ME TO THE MALL WHERE I WAS SUPPOSED TO MEET THE PCP DEALER BACK IN 7TH GRADE…

birth
summer camp with mr. skaff
altar boy
egging cars
killing squirrels with slingshot
street fight
sneaking into eric d’s mom’s liquor cabinet and pounding shots of old grandad
street fights
smoking resin at jen the lodies house
pcp score at topanga mall
purse snatch
pizza delivery dude beatdown
wrecking tommy v’s camaro on the way to nugent concert with open container and possession with intent to sell
quentin for the next six fuckin years
the bible
jesus and serious weight lifting
welcome back kotter reruns
free at long fuckin last
fucked up, but sexually electric marriage to world famous but fading porn actress
meetings
reality tv show
promo tour across the us
on-screen fight with dickwad camera fucker
relapse (oxycontin, mostly)
hotel lobby fight with nikki
drug store raid gone horribly wrong
back to fuckin quentin
bigmouth cuts a deal but gets shanked in the tv room
mean staph infection
seven years with not one fucken letter from the fuckin bitch
nights with biendl
bible study
meetings
god grant us the serenity to accept the things we cannot change, courage to change the things we can, and wisdom to know the difference
staph infection progresses
god give me the detachment to accept those things I cannot alter
death

July 17, 2011

TORTURED BY SIDEWALKS

"Tortured by sidewalks...open to anything, ready to introduce a new world with a shrug."  —Jack Kerouac

July 17, 2011

WIGGLE FOR FREEDIA

In the future, we will make love not with our genitals, but rather with our smartphones.

July 16, 2011

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