I've had numerous people bug me about putting this Road Trip post up. I'm surprised. Well here's to hoping I can meet your expectations.

VOL. 1: The Big Easy lets anyone in.

If there's one thing more “College” than a road trip… it's the movie Road Trip being watched in a dorm with like forties or something. For me this trip was way to undo some of the effects of wasting away my summer at my job, including financial ones. From New Orleans to Memphis to St. Louis to Chicago, my friend Bin and I got to see a lot of highway. They were flat, with dashed and solid stripes, and a generally infinite nature. Now that that's out of the way we can discuss the cities, and the “learning” that took place there.

Texas is a big state. Austin is in the center. It takes a minimum of 4 hours to even leave the state. This makes it quite possibly the worst possible road trip starting point. Everyone knows the best part of traveling is hopping back and forth over state borders, or staying in the car but closing your eyes and letting the aura of the new state move through you.

Before we crossed into Louisiana however, we made a little detour in Houston to pick up Fake ID's. This was ridiculous for 3 reasons. The guy who made them worked in a cubicle sized office in a large building. The room's contents consisted of mini fridge, desk, chairs, high techy id junk, TV, barefoot ID man, and girlfriend watching a DVD. It could only have been more shady if he operated out of a street alley or under a tree.

Secondly, I'm almost 20 years of age, and didn't even drink until a year ago. I would get 1 year of use out of a piece of plastic who's absence I didn't even notice for 18.

Thirdly, The fact that bars and clubs actually accepted these things as legit.

Louisiana has some interesting road scenery. In some parts if you look down, you notice that the ground is actually water. In others if you look to the side, a huge wall thick green forest borders you. It made me feel like I was making an attack run on the Death Star. I'm talking A New Hope of course. Everyone knows the Imperials fortified their exhaust port on the second Death Star, but what I can't understand is if the Emperor allowed the Bothans to obtain that…

While planning the trip, we budgeted 40 dollars a night for hotels. Our first place in New Orleans was quite a wreck. At half the price of the other hotels, it was about a fourth of the quality. There were roaches and hair extensions in the drawer and a hobo hangout across the street. The drain was partially clogged, picture frames were crooked, and the floor smelled of piss-garettes, but it was home.

When in New Orleans, it's almost mandatory to visit the French Quarter, and when in New Orleans at night with Fakes, it's almost mandatory to see Bourbon Street. So we did, and debauchery gave us a firm handshake as we arrived, I later found it was a diversion while he reached for my wallet.

Things were innocent enough at first. We slurped down a dozen oysters. Things kicked up a notch when we found a cigar shop. We lost it when a woman in a To-Go bar practically yelled at us come in and buy some beers. We sat down for a couple beignets with a jazz trio jammin some old timey tunes. At this point I was content.

The lawlessness of Bourbon got the better of us however. I only saw two cops while I was there. Both were sipping beers. Even then, only about half the establishments bothered with carding us, which was all the encouragement we needed. Needless to say, we met a friend on Bourbon Street, his name was Al Cohall.

I decided I wanted to visit one of the Cabaret clubs. Don't be fooled, that's just French for titty. I'd never been to a strip club before, and I wasn't prepared. I had no cash on me, and mysteriously forgot the basics of using an ATM. This made my experience somewhat limited, but still in depth enough to figure out that the only thing they'll suck is your money. Of all the strippers that rubbed me down offering a private dance, the last one stuck out the most… no really she had 38 DDs. Her other talents were far more amazing, however. Along with lap dances, she also provides deep tissue shiatsu massages. That's not all however, she's also PSYCHIC and provided Tarot readings… I got a free sample. Three flipped cards, and she started focusing intently on my question “Will I get laid tonight.” I had an ace up my sleeve if you will, knowing full well, that the only action happening in crappy hotel would be the vermin trying to reproduce. She said I will get laid in 8 months by a brunette, but that it would not lead to marriage. She then pointed out the letters B and J on one of the cards. Using her connection with the paranormal, she was able to determine that this meant I'd get a blowjob as well. I didn't buy any of it, and wondered if she ever told a guy “Oooh it's going to be a long time before you get any… and see this M and B, that's for when you wank it later huddled on the floor of the shower.” I asked her if she had any cards with W and L on them, because “We're Leaving.”

Some other Bourbon Street highlights included a bar that sells a variation of Absynthe, people on a balcony demanding boobs for beads (I think we got the better end of that deal), and a large crowd gathered in the middle of the street. We investigated and found 4 nervous looking girls surounded by 80 drooling guys with cameras. Apparently they were in the process of being coaxed into flashing. It took a while for them to produce, but in the end we got two pictures… one right before, and one right after.

The night grew weary on us, and we started making plans for returning, but Bin's drinks were significantly more potent than mine, and he became a tad flighty. Before I knew it he was hell-bent on finding a poboy, even agreeing to tip a homeless guy to serve as a tour guide to the best poboy place in town. After a long dubious walk, I was surprised to see the man succeeded in finding a restaurant that would fulfill Bin's drunken hunger. The only problem was it closed 3 hours earlier, and our guide was now disgruntled that we couldn't tip him without change. We tried to lose him, letting him grumble off, but as luck would have it we crossed paths again. He apologized, and so did Bin, who bought the man a 32 oz Coors, and finally rid us of him. The entire ordeal was a major buzzkill, but apparently not enough to make driving back to the hotel an easy task. We circled around the downtown area, actually approaching it to the same intersection twice. I focused as best I could through the haze while Bin did a surprisingly good job of interpreting the map. We made it back safe, which in retrospect I consider really fortunate. Don't drink and drive kids.

That was only the first day. Imagine what could happen in the next 6, but not the next 8 months, we already know, and I don't want you picturing me naked with that brunette. I don't know why I'm so embarassed, it's not like I'm going to marry the broad.