I Wanna Make Love in This Club.
It was our third year volunteering in New Orleans, and we were being just as unproductive as when were at home. Freshman year was when these Lousiana shitshows began, and they continued during every spring break until we were seniors in high school. This was something we looked forward to every spring. We knew that special time of year was coming around when our parents submitted our paperwork for the trip, and we quickly snuck into the office to change Hannah’s last name and her flight information. “Hi, is this Hannah’s mother? This is the synagogue calling. I’m calling about Hannah’s sign-up for the New Orleans trip this year. I was just buying the plane tickets, and I wanted to double-check the spelling of your family’s last name. Is it with three Z’s, or four?”
As I’ve said before, I think it’s best to drink in most situations, volunteer programs absolutely being one of them. Some would call heavy drinking on Hurricane Katrina volunteer programs is immature and wrong. I would call it embracing the Louisiana culture.
New Orleans was a definite highlight of my high school experience. Although it was certainly rewarding helping the city of New Orleans rebuild its homes, it also provided an opportunity for us to bring our stupidity to a whole new level in a fresh and new environment. When I say “our”, I’m mainly referring to my good friends Hannah, Tamar, and Samantha, but also the rest of the teens on our trip who we made our victims.
Hannah, Tamar and Samantha were some of my best friends throughout middle school and high school. Growing up in the same temple and going to Hebrew school together, we were all way too comfortable with each other, and completely rejected the concept of boundaries and filters that should belong in all friendships. Because of this, we have witnessed each other in our worst moments, some examples being Tamar getting caught shoplifting clothes at Macy’s, Samantha getting caught shoplifting vibrating condoms at Walgreens, and me getting punched in the face by a girl with down syndrome. I don’t want to talk about it.
Regardless of how many times we’ve heard Samantha cry about her pathetic one-eyed dog, Harpie, or watched Tamar tape her face up to look like a retarded elephant, we somehow still loved each other and tried to ignore the fact that we are by far the most dysfunctional group of friends on the planet.
Anyway, back to our NOLA Disasters. After a long day at work on a house, we returned to the volunteer center where we were staying. We had almost died on the way home from Claire’s driving, and we were all feeling truly blessed to have made it back alive. Claire ran the religious school program at our temple, and as far as we could tell, this was the only thing she was capable of doing correctly. “For Christ’s sake, Claire,” Tamar yelled, “You are a Jewish educator, and clearly those skills will never transfer to your future taxi driving profession. So why don’t you leave the driving up to me for the rest of the trip, okay?” The fact that Tamar wasn’t going to get her license for another year was irrelevant to her argument.
As I mentioned, the day on the job had been a truly exhausting. We had managed to stuff Tamar into a garbage bag, throw her onto the front lawn and stick a hose in it, then leave her there to finish some drywall. While she pouted on the front lawn for a good two hours, Hannah and I then choreographed a dance to Tik Tok and made fun of Samantha for pretty much everything she was doing.
Samantha is that friend that everyone has that is just way too easy to make fun of. Everything she does makes her such an easy target, and she says things all the time that you shouldn’t say unless you’re ready to be made fun of for the next three years at least. “Guys, I’m horny. I think I’m going to go take care of myself in the bathroom for a little bit, be back soon.” Thanks for the update, you sick fuck.
I know what you’re thinking- nothing positive at all. But let me reassure you, this was one of our more productive days.
When we got home, we took a five-minute resting period before planning what we wanted to do for the rest of the evening. Clearly, whatever it was would be of no value at all, but it would certainly be entertaining. Pillzzmack (Hannah) then told us she wasn’t feeling well and was going to sit this one out, and went to go lay in her bed.
Anyone who knows the New Orleans Jew Crew, particularly Tballz (Tamar), knows that it is a mistake to voluntarily go unconscious when she is in the vicinity. Much like myself, she will do a lot for her personal enjoyment, but her methods are much more extreme than mine. This is one of the many reasons that Tballz and I have stayed such good friends over the years. That, and the fact that one time we got stuck in a Thai restaurant together for four hours, and after that experience, we knew we’d never get that sick of each other again.
From here, things went downhill fast. Why there was a scanning machine in a volunteer center was unclear to me, but it was certainly a mistake. This should go without explanation, but after this experience, it apparently it needs to be said. Scanners are for scanning paper, my friends. Not your ass.
Only Tamar, the girl who refuses to come to temple unless she is aware of the full menu of the food that will be provided would find it an appealing idea to sit butt naked onto a scanner, printing pictures of her bare ass. And, it public.
Apparently Tamar wasn’t the only one who thought this was a good idea. Samantha was more than willing to join in, and thanked Tamar multiple times for coming up with such brilliance. I, on the other hand, was sitting there in a rolling chair staring at them, wondering to myself how I ended up with friends like this. And further, when thinking critically about the severity of the situation, how I could hide them from society at the soonest opportunity possible.
“Lila, you’ve GOT to try this,” Tamar said with her pants down, sitting on the scanner. “This is the greatest idea EVER.”
“No thank you,” I politely responded, as I continued my plot my mission to discretely excommunicate them to either Russia or Bolivia.
Samantha couldn’t stop laughing and was enjoying this way too much. Every time Tamar was sitting on it, she turned into a four year old and demanded that they take turns in a fair manner. “TBALLZ! IT’S MY TURN NOW! MY TURNNN! GET OFF GET OFF GET OFFFF!”
“Shut up, Samantha,” I replied. This was a very common response to Samantha’s statements, and is used almost 100% of the time she speaks. I don’t even think about it anymore, it’s just automatic. Sometimes I don’t actually listen to what she’s saying, but just reply with my normal response when she’s done talking. This occasionally results in her crying when I find out she had just told me that Harpie had been throwing up that morning and had to be taken to the vet, or that her boyfriend of a year dumped her. Oh well.
“Yeah, Samantha, shut up,” said Tamar. “Anyway, I was thinking, let’s print out a shitload of these and tape them all over Hannah’s bed. Thoughts?”
The excitement on Tamar and Samantha’s faces was similar to my sister’s when she proudly announced at the dinner table that her new role model was Ke$ha. Both of these situations and forms of excitement are extremely disturbing to me, mainly because Ke$ha would probably sit ass first onto a scanning machine too.
Samantha was happily having her turn on the scanning machine when Cantor David decided it was time to come in and catch up. “Hey girls!” we heard him say from around the corner, “Wanted to come in and hang. Sounds like you’re havin’ such a good time in there!” In case you don’t know what a Cantor is, it’s a singing rabbi. Our particular Cantor just happens to think he’s a Broadway star instead of a clergy member, and occasionally asks the congregation to stop participating in services so that he can have the spotlight on himself. Oh, and Janet accused him of being a coke fiend one time. Just a side note.
I had gotten out of the rolling chair at this point and was walking to the kitchen to find some Advil, Vikadin, or Extesy- really, whatever I could get my hands on. This whole ordeal was becoming a little unnecessary and had the potential of leading me to stuff Samantha into a washing machine.
The rolling chair was now vacant, and Samantha was going to take full advantage. She needed a getaway plan before Cantor David came around the corner and saw pictures of her ass flying out of the copy machine, and she needed it fast. Clearly, everyone knows that the best way to be discrete, especially when naked in public, is to jump into the air and onto a chair with wheels, then roll across the entire room until it hits the wall and you fall out of it, still exposed, of course. Samantha went for this plan, and of course resulted as terribly as I’d predicted.
“Owwwww,” Samantha complained as she tried to pull her pants up while smashed up against the wall.
Tamar was laughing while simultaneously printing out about 50 copies, between hers and Samantha’s. “What are you girls doing?” Cantor David asked as he walked into the room, suspiciously eyeing Tballz who was standing behind the copier giggling to herself.
“Oh, not much, just talking,” Samantha chimed in as she tried to stand up from the floor.
“Shut up, Samantha,” Tamar said. “We need to go now, Cantor David. No time for chit chat. See you later.”
Hannah was confused when she woke up two hours later to find black and white blown up images of asses taped all over her bed. At first she was angry when she realized we had excluded her from such absurdity, but then saw the humor in it, which was something I had never managed to do.
At this point, I made a mental note to instigate and witness better entertainment in the near future. The scanning escapade was a fail, and I was disappointed since I knew we had so much more potential. Luckily, the next night we made a decision to go to the French Quarter, where, if you don’t know, is the Tourist/Alcoholic neighborhood of Louisiana.
Naturally, this is one of my all time favorite places, especially when it involves taking Jello shots with 12-year-olds and Samantha throwing up on the sidewalk. Everything wrong with America takes place within these five blocks, yet somehow doing it in New Orleans makes it feels so right.
Bourbon Street is the main tourist street in the French Quarter. Every business there is a bar, a smoke shop, a strip club, or a bathroom to yack in. Everyone is in the street drinking, and ID’s are a rarely seen commodity. As you can imagine, this is a 16-year-old’s heaven, especially one who enjoys heavy drinking and shameless behavior. With these ideals in mind, I dove into the night and immersed myself into the sick culture of Bourbon Street.
I got drunk fairly quickly and was looking for some amusement. My track record with men for situations like this is rather humiliating, so I’d prefer not to disclose details at the moment. But, I will tell you that that night in a Bourbon Street bar, I decided the 20-something year old black guy eying me would do.
I stumbled over to the bar and leaned against a stool next to where he was sitting. “Hey!” I slurred. “You’re cute.”
“You’re not too bad yourself, for a white girl,” he responded. He was very, very tall and was wearing Sean Jean jeans, a tall T and a flat brimmed New Orleans Saints hat. Apparently, Southern Ghetto was my type that evening. “Wanna dance?”
“Fuck yeah I do!” I said. We headed to the dance floor where Tamar was dancing with a quido looking man, wearing sunglasses and a bedazzled Ed Hardy t-shirt. I wanted to ask him if he realized that we were in a very dark bar and from where I was standing the sun glasses appeared to be unnecessary, but I decided to let him continue in his conquest to get Tballz back to his hotel room. He was standing behind her and kept whispering things in her ear, and from her face I couldn’t tell if she was into it or about to knee him in the balls and run. I decided to not weigh in on this situation and let nature take its course.
It was in this moment that Hannah was almost knocked over by a guy in a wheel chair. “Oh, sorry!” she apologized, as if it was her fault that he had almost broken her leg.
“Oh, no problem, sweetie,” he winked at her. Apparently, almost crippling Hannah was a part of his strategy to get in her pants. He was trying to get a lap dance pronto, and his target was Pillzzmack.
Hannah looked horrified. He was holding his arms up towards her, signaling her to get closer. Not wanting to seem prejudice against the one disabled guy there, especially since everyone was now watching this interaction, she had no choice but to get up on that.
Hannah is an awkward enough dancer as it is, let alone being partnered with a crippled person. She had no idea what to do. On the other hand, at least he made her appear to be a good dancer, considering that he couldn’t really dance at all. I made a mental note to remind Hannah to only dance with disabled people in the future.
In the mean time, I was dancing with my new black friend and was having the time of my life. Although he was significantly older than me, I had moved on and was now distracted by Pillzzmack and her wheelchair man. “Listen, baby girl,” my black friend said to me, “There’s no way you’re a day over 18. I’m 28! This is just wrong.”
Where these accusations were coming from was unclear to me, but I was deeply offended. Yes, I was 4”11 and wore a retainer, but my maturity was beyond my years and I drank like a 50-year-old alcoholic. Clearly, this guy was messing with the wrong-under aged girl.
“Are you kidding?!” I responded. “I’m 21, I swear! I can’t believe you think I’m that young! I mean, have you seen my boobs?”
Why it was so important to me to impress this 28-year-old stranger is not a detail that I can recall. But, it resulted in him making out with me, which fulfilled my goal of adding another black guy to my roster, so I was pleased. It was then that he tried to lift me up and put me on his hip like a giant baby that I decided this romance needed to come to an end.
“Come back to my hotel tonight, baby girl,” he said to me after I made him put me down. “I’ll get you back safe in the morning. Promise.” I then believe that he made a slight gesture to his penis, but this has not yet been determined.
Although this does sound like something I would normally agree to, I decided it was in my best interest to not go home alone with a strange old man in the middle of New Orleans. I told him I’d take a rain check.
At this point, Hannah was in full lap dance mode and was enjoying herself way too much. It had proven to be true that dancing with cripples really makes you feel talented and special. Sadly, to everyone else it looked like she was raping this poor crippled man, so her success turned out to be a fail rather quickly. I quickly pulled her away from the scene before someone called the police.
“I think we’ve had enough of this,” I said to Sam, Tballz and Pillzzmack. Samantha had had enough of this after five minutes of being there when no one tried to dance with her, most likely due to the fact that she looks like a five year old. Similarly to me, she is 4”11 and has visible orthodontia, but the difference is that she’s truthful and accepting of her appearance, and I do everything in my power to hide it. Most adults would not knowingly hook up with a 16-year-old, which is why I use my lying abilities to make sure they never find out. Samantha, however, hasn’t quite caught up to speed yet.
“I agree,” said Samantha, yawning from her exhausting evening of dancing with herself.
“Please stop talking, Samantha,” Hannah said. “I agree with Lila. Let’s get out of here. I must say though, guys, I feel like I could keep dancing forever!”
“That won’t be necessary,” I responded. “Let’s get the fuck out of here.”
We stumbled our way back to the street corner where Claire had agreed to pick us up. “Hi girls! Have fun in the French Quarter tonight? Meet any nice people?”
“Jesus, Claire!” Tamar yelled, “I told you you’re not allowed to drive the van anymore! Get in the back- I’m driving.” Poor Claire. She was in her mid fifties and was the sweetest woman I knew. But in all reality, Tamar blacked out with no license had a better chance of getting us home safely than she did.
I hope to return to New Orleans one day in the near future, hopefully with the same bullshit but hopefully not with the same people. I love you, Samantha, but until your yacking in public gets under control, it’s just not happening.