Thursday, March 24, 2011

Another tale of another time

Well here it is, that time when I need to blog something.
And since my leg's still messed up and I'm still housebound, (Yes, it was getting better, but...) I'm running short on things to talk about, since Murphy and I aren't getting out and doing anything and my ability to go to the shooting range is limited.

So another story about my time in New Orleans seems appropriate. Sorry, but there's no dogs in this one.

This one took place back when I was living in New Orleans and going to school there. Since it was so hot (it was summertime and I'd come from a northern climate) and since my third-world apartment did not have air conditioning, I'd adopted a nocturnal lifestyle that saw me asleep during the heat of the day, rising around sundown, and loitering in the French Quarter until dawn, at which time I'd head off to school for class. Classes started at 8AM and I was out by noon or so and on my way back to bed.

There was a lot of reading to do for class each morning but I usually wound up doing it while sitting in some bar or another well after midnight when things were starting to settle down. Surprisingly that worked well. I could read my criminal law statutes while savoring frosty cold mugs of beer, and without fail, someone or another in the bar would see me reading and ask me what the book was about. Of course as soon as I told them that it was a criminal law book that I was studying, I'd get questions from about half the other barflies, usually ones beginning with "I've got this friend who..." Usually I'd spend much of the early hours explaining my lesson to someone or other who was curious or who just wanted to ask questions for the sake of asking questions, but the end result was in my favor; after discussing my lesson material and applying it to countless scenarios posed by my drinking buddies, I knew it pretty well by the time I'd stagger into class in the morning, go-cup still in hand and my dark "Blues Brothers" shades covering my red eyes. I actually did well that semester, considering.

Well one night, as I wandered around in need of dinner, I'd decided to pop into a nice-looking restaurant that I'd not tried before because the food smelled good and the menu posted by the door had some stuff that even I could afford. And as I stood looking at the menu and trying to finish the beer in my hand before I walked inside, I realized that a guy standing by the door next to me looked familiar...really familiar. So, with the cheerful brazenness of a borderline drunk, I poked the guy in the arm and said: "Hey, I know you."
The man turned to me, no doubt sizing me up as a well-meaning fan who'd been drinking, and asked me who I thought he was.

"You're Harry Anderson," I said. (He was.) "I'm a big fan of you on Night Court."
"Well thank you," he said politely, as if he didn't get this from semi-intoxicated strangers every day."

But me being semi-intoxicated, I did not know when or how to stop talking. "Yeah," I told him. "In fact, I'm going to law school right now, because I want to be a judge just you are on that show!"
And I could hear the voice in the back of my head screaming at me to shut up, but at that moment, I really didn't know how.

However, Harry Anderson was gracious to a fault. He smiled and asked me where I was going, and I confessed that I was at Tulane as a visiting student. He asked me where I was from originally, and when I told him "Michigan", he told me how he'd grown up in Bay City for a while. We sat there and just talked for a bit. he told me that he lived in the French Quarter and owned a magic shop there. We shot the breeze for about ten minutes, and then some people that he'd been waiting for showed up and he excused himself, wished me well in my studies, and went to sit down. I also was seated in another part of the place and did not see him again. I ordered the po' boy or burger that had caught my fancy and had another beer or two while I sat and read whatever paperback was in my back pocket at the time. Finally, it came time for me to depart. I asked the waitress for my bill and she replied: "Oh, Mr. Anderson paid that already. He said to have a nice night." And of course by then, he was gone and I never had the chance to say "thank you".

Well thank you, Harry Anderson. That was a class act, greatly appreciated and not forgotten.


  1. That was great! There is nothing that moves me as much as having an opportunity to do such things myself - rare, but it happens.

    Gentlemanly and giving. That means something vital to me.

  2. Such a cool story! Even minus a dog!

    I always wondered why Tulane law students wore shades indoors.

  3. Yeah, where else could you show up for class with a 24-ounce Margarita or Daquiri at 8AM?

    But finally, my professor had to say something.

    Him: What's in that cup?"

    Me: (sniffing cup) Some rum concoction. Want to try it?

    Him: Would you please not bring hard liquor to my class every morning?

    Me: OK, sure. How about beer? Is beer ok?

    Turns out it wasn't. But I still had lots of fun there.

  4. It's true that you meet the most intresting people on the FQ if you visit or hang out there often enough. BTW when do your Doctor's anticipate getting you fully mobile again and did they determine what caused the sore's requiring the surgery? Get well soon, there's walk's to take, planes to fly and people to meet.

  5. So great to hear and see! I met Harry at a mutual friend's funeral.
    He post-poned a film he was making in Canada at the time to attend. A true, kind gentleman.

  6. Good story!!! :-)

  7. Dude, you're a rock star. I'm serious. I live my life vicariously through you and Ed Rasimus.

  8. Anonymous9:28 PM

    Thank-You for sharing this story.

  9. Six, that is precisely how I feel. LOL Man, I thought I had stories...sheesh.