Monday, February 16, 2009

A day ruined

So I had a little drama this morning in New Orleans. I went to a laundromat on the edge of the French Quarter to wash some clothes. Place called the Clothes Spin.

They got a jukebox in there, I was surprised to see. So I decided to pass the time by punching up a few tunes. At four songs for a dollar, I picked two by the Isleys (“Summer Breeze” and “Harvest for the World”) and two by James Brown (“Hot Pants” and “Papa Don’t Take No Mess”).

It was sounding good to me. And there was only a handful of other customers in the place.

So I started playing some Ms. Pac-Man. And during the second song, the manager came over and turned the jukebox down. Like, way down... so that I could hardly hear it over the rumble of the machines.

Later, when my wash was finishing, I decided to approach the manager. I told him I didn’t want to sound like an asshole, but why’d he turn the volume down?

He said somebody complained it was too loud, “and I have to keep everybody happy.”

“If I knew you didn’t want me to play it,” I said, “I wouldn’t have put my money in it.”

Dude said, “I don’t care if you play it. Just don’t play it too loud.”

Number one, I didn’t set the volume in the first place. But, hell, I didn’t feel like arguing.

Except, after loading my clothes in the dryer, I went up to him again and said, “Can I have the dollar back that I put in it?” Guy says “No,” all brusque and shit. So much for keeping everybody happy.

Here’s the funny thing about it: That one dollar he wouldn’t give back... just cost the motherfucker at least fifty. Because I’m gonna be in New Orleans for another six weeks. And I won’t be going back to the Clothes Spin.

Except maybe to duck in, slip $5 in the jukebox, and punch up “The Candy Man” for 18 plays in a row... then walk out.

Fuck that peckawood.

21 comments:

that dude said...

Cracka ass cracka.

So, you guys are shooting the pilot?

Undercover Black Man said...

^ Prepping now, shooting in a few weeks.

Alan Stamm said...

Wait'll you catch this irony, David:

Before it was the Clothes Spin Laundromat, that Rampart Street building was the home of a lengendary (locally, at least) label called J&M Records. You may have walked over its logo embedded in tiles near the entrance.

It's described (link below) as THE place for R&B artists to record in New Orleans from the late 1940s through the mid-1950s. In 1949, Dave Bartholomew produced the Fats Domino record "The Fat Man" at J&M. Other seminal rockers recording there under proprietor/engineer Cosimo Matassa Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard, Lloyd Price, Ray Charles, Big Joe Turner, Shirley & Lee and Professor Longhair.

And wanna bet they twanged L-O-U-D-L-Y?

See more here:
http://www.tiny.cc/dWebu

Undercover Black Man said...

^ Holy crap, Alan. I did not know. (Although I did indeed notice the logo on the sidewalk. Also noticed some framed LPs on the wall in the dryers section... but never put two and two together.)

I made a point of shopping during an earlier trip at Matassa's grocery store. Never knew where the studio had been.

Sam said...

It's amazing how a little authority can make some people act like shitbirds.

S.O.L. said...

I don't think it's going to be right unless they have "It's a Small World" on the juke and you play that like 20 times.

Anonymous said...

who can make the sun rise...

bklyn6 said...

I picked two by the Isleys (“Summer Breeze” and “Harvest for the World”)

My two most FAVORITE Isley Bros. records!!! *swoon*

I bet if you'd been playing Lee Greenwood's "Proud to Be An American" he would've let you dry your clothes for free! :p

Undercover Black Man said...

My two most FAVORITE Isley Bros. records!!! *swoon*

So you know how much I was ready to hear 'em. I thought, "Could this day begin any better?"

At least I got the "Summer Breeze" at full force. (It was pretty damn loud, I have to say...)

W said...

welcome to the New Orleans that doesn't make the travel shows

Geneva Girl said...

Give somebody a little bit of power and they become a potentate.

I'm with y'all Summer Breeze and Harvest for the World are my favorites! It would make my day to just flip on the radio and hear them, but I live in a place where the English radio station blasts the Sugar Babes all day long. Songs like that make me homesick.

Lyndon said...

I understand that the guy’s a dick. But it’s antithetical to the cause of equality to call him a “peckawood” because it only calls attention to the fact that he’s white.

I’m sure I’ll be called to task for being too sensitive. However, the whole ‘content of his character’ issue should trump any pejorative terms that pertain to race.

He’s trashy despite his color, not because of it.

Undercover Black Man said...

^ Duly noted.

Kellybelle said...

LOL, I like your revenge plan!

SJ said...

//Except maybe to duck in, slip $5 in the jukebox, and punch up “The Candy Man” for 18 plays in a row... then walk out.//

Hahahaha!

Wanda said...

sorry to hear that David. At least he didnt get the chance to ruin your clothes though. How long you been back in New Orleans?

Undercover Black Man said...

^ Been here 10 days, Wanda... just in time for Mardi Gras season!

Wanda said...

Ugh! I'm jealous. Down in N.O. for Mardi Gras?! Don't get too wasted David. Don't wanna see you on Cops!

Undercover Black Man said...

^ You know what, Wanda? On the real side? After a couple of parades... I'm kinda over it.

eeaster said...

Hey David, don't take this the wrong way, but since you called homeboy out as a cracka, sort of, I'm wondering...

Given your "racial ambiguity" was dude being a cracka or an ass?

Which, since you're in New Orleans an all, bring up another question. Since New Orleans white folks are very familiar with the racially ambiguous, do you feel that while in New Orleans you are still actually racially ambiguous, or being taken for just another one of them Creole negroes?

This is a serious question. And by the way, that's not the laundry I recommended. I was suggesting the one on Decatur just off Frenchmen. Great to see you for a minute.

Anonymous said...

the Candy Man? Wow dude, that's intense. Remind me not to get on the wrong side of you!