Tales of Bob Dean #9

Bob Dean and I sat on the curb outside the Voodoo Museum in the French Quarter, drinking hurricanes from plastic novelty beakers.  It was a balmy evening in April, and the first wave of drunken college girls was beginning to barf melodically into the gutters.  The air was heady with fried catfish and tourists, and Bob Dean fiddled with the strands of beads around his neck and pondered the wildlife.

A comely young woman in platform stilettos and a fur covered miniskirt approached.  In one hand she held a waxpaper carton of fried alligator nuggets, and in the other, a four foot beer bong sloshing with Schlitz.

“Check out the talent,” muttered Bob Dean.  “Her rear end looks just like a pumpkin.”

She staggered past us and would have become nothing but fodder for Bob Dean’s late night reflections had she not taken a misstep and caught her five inch heel on the outstretched hand of a second young lady, who lay sprawled out on Dumaine Street in a heap of garbage.  She held a paper bag of fried crab claws in one hand, and in the other, a red plastic cup of Lowenbrau.

Instantly, their primate urges took hold and the two young agents of modern civilization unleashed a stream of obscenities the likes of which I might expect from a Navy man or a Bronx grandmother.  A violent urge overtook the beauty in the fur skirt, and the two commenced kicking and scratching and gouging in a bloodthirsty rage.

I could feel Bob Dean tense up next to me, and I knew he was as outraged as I.  As a philosopher, surely he would find this coarse and vulgar behavior abhorrent.  As a man of culture, this anti-McLuhanish activity would repulse him.  At the very least, a coffee enema was called for.  As the alligator nuggets flew and the Schlitz splattered, Bob Dean trembled beside me.

“Compose yourself, Bob Dean.  This will escalate before it subsides.”

But he could take it no more.  Bob Dean stormed off in the direction of the brawl, tossing his hurricane to the curb in furious frustration.  He reached the melee, and to my shock, stormed right past it to a Royal Street café, where he ordered an oyster po’boy and strolled calmly back.

“Bob Dean, I feared for your life!  I thought you intended to jump into the fray,” I exclaimed, as the two young wildcats nearby continued tearing at each others’ faces and hair.  “Everything I know about you led me to assume you would dive in, in pursuit of the crab claws, or the alligator nuggets, or the Schlitz!  How ever did you resist the Schlitz?”

“The alligator nuggets were in the air.  The crab claws were on the curb.  But the oyster po’boy was right over there,” said Dean, casually handing his business card to a passing transvestite.  “The hunter who pursues two rabbits, catches neither.”