Retro Relapse: Men Who Can’t Handle Ribbing

RETRO RELAPSE is a series of older articles from various places where I used to write before Talking Pulp.

*Written in 2014.

I’ve come across an epidemic lately. This epidemic just happens to be incredibly sensitive males who aren’t able to deal with good old fashioned ribbing.

What is ribbing? Well, if you don’t know, Google’s dictionary defines it as “good-natured teasing.”

Growing up, and I thought this was the same for all males, I often times found myself being teased or ribbed by many of my male friends and classmates. To be clear, it wasn’t bullying, it was mostly humorous banter and pranks that didn’t hurt or maim anyone physically or emotionally. In fact, to keep it fair, everyone got their fair share of ribbing in and got their fair share of being ribbed. It was a trade off and everyone was game for the sport.

Usually, if you ribbed someone, it meant that you were friends. It showed that someone was worth your time for you to put an effort into messing with them. With it came a code; one knew that if you ribbed someone, they’d certainly rib you back. Sometimes things would escalate but never did they cross a line into bullying or truly hurting someone, at least they shouldn’t have. That goes away from the essence of it being good-natured and fun. Anything mean-spirited usually ended up leading to a punch in the face or at the very least, friends no longer being friends. In my experience, if someone did cross a line, the other friends usually stepped in to squash it before it became a problem. It is all just a primal thing that males do; we’re always competing with one another but we also want peace within our own tribe.

To those who may be confused at the difference between ribbing and bullying, just watch films like The Goonies and Monster Squad to see how groups of young males talk to one another. Hell, look at the kids in E.T. As a kid who was both ribbed and bullied, I always understood the difference. There are things your friends can do and say that others can’t. They get away with it because they’re your friends and at the end of the day, you know they’ve got your back regardless. They’re allowed certain privileges that other kids weren’t allowed. This also carries over into adulthood.

Ribbing was important for a young boy. In my case, it strengthened my bond with my friends and gave us a sense of camaraderie that we wouldn’t have had otherwise. Some of those bonds survived for a long time and some didn’t. However, those I ribbed the most and vice versa, are still my strongest allies in life.

Over the last few years, a lot of newer guys I’ve met and become friends with, don’t seem to understand the dynamic of ribbing. I really think that many of them don’t know what it is or that just poking some good-natured fun at them is bully behavior. Honestly, I don’t even know if they think that far. They just seem to be reactionary and big sourpusses about the whole thing. It’s as if you’re ruining their game or something, even if they aren’t anywhere near a lady they’re trying to swoon. It’s like adult males, over the years, have developed some sort of faux suave sense of self and if you just so happen to tease them, you’re throwing rocks at their house of cards. God forbid someone completely exposes them as something less than perfect and swashbuckingly debonaire.

There are also the other type of guys who are just so damn sensitive that they take the littlest jab to heart. “Oh my god, he called my beard “patchy”, everyone is going to laugh at me till the end of time!” “He pointed out that I’ve gained a little weight, I’ll never get laid again!” “He doesn’t like my new glasses, he’s not my friend!” These guys just need to man the fuck up.

With both groups of guys, I see two types of responses. The first is that they just shutdown and go back into their fear turtle shell to hide until you’re long gone. The other response is they usually up the ante and go way over the top with their ribbing response. They go somewhere mean-spirited and usually throw a hard uppercut in what should just be a sparring match. Usually, their response isn’t clever or funny, it’s just some dude bro dick-wagging talk that comes from a place of insecurity and anger.

For example, I could say, “Hey dude, what’s with the Beiber haircut?” The insecure ante-upper would then say something like, “Fuck you faggot, I fucked your stupid girlfriend in the ass!” Yeah, usually these guys think words like “faggot” and “homo” are the ultimate burns to men and don’t understand that they’re complete bigoted assholes for saying them. They also don’t understand that my comment was an indirect way of trying to give them advice on their girly haircut. I could be a bit nicer and more direct and say, “Hey dude, I think your hair is too effeminate for a straight guy trying to attract females.” The problem is, they’d still react like a sensitive pussy trying to hide behind some bullshit machismo shtick. It is their hyper-defensive way.

I notice this a lot more in the younger generation. It doesn’t mean that my generation is oblivious too it. I’ve come across many thirtysomething males that are completely taken off guard by a good rib. I also find those poor saps who always want to dish it out but can’t take it themselves. I have a few bosses who always want to be one of the guys and rib their co-workers and employees but if the gesture is returned, they act like toddlers who lost their teddy bear.

Maybe ribbing was just an art that has somehow started to vanish. Anti-bullying is big in our culture, as is political correctness and feminist single mothers training their boys to be more sensitive. I understand that these things are social responses to negative aspects of our past societal idiosyncrasies but as humans always do, our responses have gone too far in the other direction.

Well, at least I can still hang out with old dudes at the barber shop and participate in their classic O.G. style of ribbing. Unfortunately, old school barber shops are dying out too.

Retro Relpase: Hey There, Mr. Movember

RETRO RELAPSE is a series of older articles from various places where I used to write before Talking Pulp.

*Written in 2014.

It is just about that time of year again, where us bodaciously bearded man-beasts have to deal with some amateur wannabes trying their damnedest to attempt at being manly men for thirty days.

Let me start by saying that I’m all for supporting the right kind of causes. What Movember supports is a bit confusing as it is a collage of manly health issues. Honestly, it just seems like a disorganized clusterfuck that claims it is drawing attention to “man problems” while used as a smokescreen for some guys to actually fulfill two agendas.

One: it gives bitchmen the ability to feel like tough guys because they have charity as an excuse to grow really shitty mustaches that make them look like perverts.

Two: it gives bitchmen a reason to embrace other bitchmen because if women have their pinkie breast month in October, they should have their prepubescent middle schooler facial hair love fest to raise money for a multitude of random man things.

I’m all for bringing some much needed attention to the issues on an individual basis but it is hard to ascertain just what the fuck is going on when there is just a bunch of shit tossed into a basket. This just perpetuates the “fight for the cause” herd mentality that a lot of Americans have.

What I am talking about is how most people see a cause or hear about a cause and just jump on it and never actually look into it to see if it is really worthwhile and not a waste of time. Many people tend to be afflicted with a chronic guilty conscious and need to ease that guilt by feeling like they are doing something positive. They don’t really care if they are actually doing anything or not. As long as they participate in some way, they can pretend their guilt is gone – only for it to return with a lot more weight next time around.

I can’t count how many times I’ve seen some prepubescent pervert-looking jackass in November and asked, “So why are you attempting to grow a mustache?” Only to get a response like, “It’s for the cause, man!”

“Yeah? What cause?”
“You know, Movember!”
“What about it? What does this help?”
“I think it’s for cancer?”
“So you don’t know exactly? How is your mustache helping whatever the actual cause is?”
“It’s bringing awareness to it?”
“How? You don’t even know what it is actually bringing awareness to?”
“Yeah, dude! But it’s Movember, bra! Fuck the world, right?!”

This is a guy that owns a “Kony 2012” shirt because he thought that he would be a better choice for president than Barack Obama last election cycle. This guy also dumped a bunch of ice on his head two months ago because he thought it somehow raised awareness for.. I don’t know.. what was that thing again? ALS? American League Soccer?

I know that I am coming off as a complete dick. I’m fine with that. I just want to see people become aware and knowledgeable of what it is exactly that they are supporting. I’d prefer to live in a world where people don’t just jump on the bandwagon because some fucking celebrity and all their non-critical thinking friends are all trying to alleviate the guilt in their empty viral age souls.

If you believe in a cause, then fucking believe in it. It’s not some fun thing where you get to pretend you’re a manly man for thirty days only to countdown till December 1st, just so you can shave your lip because your false badge of manhood is too much for you to handle. And if you truly want to support the cause, you don’t grow a fucking mustache and call it a day. You donate money, raise money, volunteer your time and actually effect the cause in a tangible and positive way. People dying of ass cancer (and a bunch of other causes) isn’t just some reason to adopt a monthly mustache fad once a year. You’re a joiner and a sheep in a world where the shepherds themselves are blind.

If the cause is truly important to you, be a fucking leader. If it isn’t that important to you, don’t pretend that it is.

Additionally, real men who find these things important are doing their part. They don’t need to play dress up and look like they taped daddy’s shaved off whiskers to their face. In fact, most of these real men are probably sporting real beards and gnawing on a bison leg as they toss their hard-earned shillings into a bag and mail it off directly to the cause.

I’ve made it my personal mission not to just ignore the do-nothing pube faces, but I’ve also decided to really look at all the stuff that is included in this Movember collage, learn what each cause does and then look to see what they would do with my money and decide if it is worth sending them a personal check – directly and without third parties and marketing firms as middle men. And yes, I said “money”. Because you can’t pay for stuff by just growing out your girl ‘stache.

Maybe I will write about my findings at a later date, in an effort to shed some light on these various organizations out there trying to help the many men’s health issues.

At the end of the day, I always think about this though:

Why is there an organization for breast cancer, another for lung cancer, one for prostate cancer and others for every other type of cancer? Why don’t they all band together and put all their resources and money to use for one huge cause: CURING CANCER? All of it! Not ass cancer, titty cancer or lung cancer but CANCER!

The answer to this is simple, because each and every cause is a big business. While some may be ethical and ran with great intentions, many are not – even if they started out that way. That is why you really need to know how your dollar is being spent. But then, most people don’t even go that far because growing a few rat pubes on their lip is enough to make them feel like a hero until the next fad comes along in a month.

Retro Relapse: Juicing & Cigarettes

RETRO RELAPSE is a series of older articles from various places where I used to write before Talking Pulp.

*Written in 2014.

I’m going to try and keep this one short and sweet.

Juicing is a huge trend that is going on right now. After that Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead movie, everyone in America seems to be buying into the hype.

Granted, juicing has been around for decades but it has seen a big resurgence since that film came out a few years ago. I’ll admit, I watched it, I was touched about the guy’s struggle and how drinking 250 gallons of kale every day and never touching actual food helped him lose weight and all that. But then, starving yourself is probably going to lead to weight loss.

Personally, I tried juicing. Not as a complete meal replacement system where I did nothing but juice morning, noon and night. I just wanted to get some vitamins straight from the source in a quest to be healthier overall. I made some juices, drank them and then felt like I needed to puke. The aftertaste was disgusting, it was like a tree came to life and puked down my throat! In the end, I quit juicing pretty quickly and switched to taking a multivitamin and eating more vegetables: problem solved. Besides that, the more I read about juicing, the more I saw that it was a waste of time and pretty much crap, like all trendy diets, really. Here‘s Rational Wiki’s entry about juicing.

This post isn’t about my history with juicing, it is about hypocrisy and body image issues. This goes out to all the pretty girls I see walking out of Whole Foods sucking down their juice. Well, not all the pretty girls, just the ones who are violently puffing cigarettes between each sip of plant piss.

I don’t get the point. You juice religiously every day and yet you smoke cigarettes like a World War II sailor? You do understand that this is pretty counterproductive, right? You juice for super health but then you voluntarily suck down chemicals and smoke which are going to lead to some of the worst health problems that one can have.

I get it though, you hardcore bitches want to look good right now and juicing does that. However, the cigarette just enhances your hardcore bitchness and god forbid you don’t come off as hardcore. Well that, and you probably can’t quit smoking because it’s really hard.

You see, you’re motivated to take the steps to work on your outer beauty and perceived health but when it comes to what’s inside, you treat it like a chemical waste plant. But hey, no one can see what’s inside and it won’t prevent you from being viewed as a dynamite sex vixen. In fact, cigarettes are fucking sexy. They’ve been ingrained in pop culture material since the early 20th century, maybe even the 19th century. Old school classic chicks smoking these cancerous death sticks in black and white is a turn on, I’ll admit it. It is also fantasy. Movies aren’t real and marketing is pretty much a bunch of bullshit. Trust me, I’ve worked in marketing for well over a decade. I’ve also worked in the tobacco industry, so there’s that too.

What is it that makes you so obsessed with outer beauty and looks but makes you seemingly uncaring about what’s inside? You’re playing Russian roulette with your health but as long as you look hot on the outside for a few years before all the bad shit creeps up on you, I guess that’s okay, right?

I’m certainly not a pillar of health but I’ve made some drastic changes over the last year or so and it is about moving forward. It’s hard to completely change oneself overnight but take the right steps, if you truly do value your health. I drink bourbon, smoke cigars, eat fatty meats and all that other man shit but I have significantly cut back in the last few years because I realized that due to the fact that I love all that stuff, I’d like to live a lot longer and enjoy it for more years to come. That means moderation.

What moderation has taught me, is that I enjoy these things even more when I have them now because they’re more of a treat than just everyday things I do. They’ve regained their luster.

As for smoking cigarettes, I still do that sometimes when I’m drinking heavily and socially. But since I don’t drink too heavily anymore, I don’t think I’ve even had a cigarette in over a year.

If you’re going to buy into the myth that juicing is some magic fix-all, you should probably quit smoking outright.

Realistically, juicing isn’t a magic fix-all like most fad diets, which I plan to write about in a future article. Besides, juicing is already kind of gross, so why add smoking to it? I certainly don’t want to make out with a girl that tastes like tree farts, chemicals and soot.

Retro Relapse: Men Who Can’t Handle One Cocktail

RETRO RELAPSE is a series of older articles from various places where I used to write before Talking Pulp.

*Written in 2014.

There isn’t a night where I go out that I don’t run into at least a few dudes who can’t seem to handle just one cocktail. You know you’ve seen them too. Hell, for all I know, you, the reader, could be one of these 5-star party animals that finds themselves crashing and burning after one Jägerbomb or even worse, one bottle of Bud Lite Lime.

You are the Mike’s Hard Lemonade drinker. The Smirnoff Ice sommelier. The ’90s poster boy for Zima, who considers a classic cocktail to be some swill manufactured by Bartles & Jaymes. The guy that doesn’t understand why people roll their eyes when you show up to a B.Y.O.B. with just one six pack. You show up the most gung ho, the most ready to throw down and often times the most obnoxious. You argue with bouncers about your shorts and trucker hat outside of a nice establishment. You have just one bowling shirt that you think is sufficient for dressing up when taking your significant other to a fancy anniversary dinner of Jack Daniel’s ribs at T.G.I. Friday’s. You probably get drunk on those Jack Daniel’s ribs. Hell, you probably still own a Korn t-shirt. You’re a self-described animal of the night that can go the distance and turn any shindig into an ultimate rager. The fact of the matter is, you’re the first one to fall in a room full of more suave party people.

Now don’t get me wrong, you can be fun and entertaining but after one round of shots, it isn’t fun to be holding you up against the bar, as you drool like a sloppy baby yelling out your ex-girlfriend’s name in front of your current girlfriend. I appreciate you buying me whatever the hell sweet and disgusting shot that was and I thank you for it, as it is still alcohol of some sort, but your response to my gratitude shouldn’t be puking and pissing on me while I’m trying to sit you down in a chair. Frankly, despite your inability to hang with us professional alcoholics, I’d like to spend more than fifteen minutes with you before 6 oz. of Popov and cranberry effect you like a Floyd Mayweather uppercut.

You’re not a bad person, you’re just not doing it right. You need help. You really need to train. You need to step your game up and learn how to control your shit. Maybe your DNA isn’t wired for drinking and if that’s the case, just stick to beer. However, when I say “beer”, I’m referring to something respectable. Nothing flavored, nothing clear and god forbid nothing low calorie! If you’re going to drink, just fucking drink. That is, unless you’re some dainty white girl who finds herself sitting around the house munching on SnackWells cookies because you can eat more of those than you can E.L. Fudge.

If you are a cocktail drinker, put down the energy drink mixers, pick a better vodka and for fuck’s sake, get to know some good whiskeys. There are a ton of badass cocktails that you can drink that have a ton more flavor and character than your disgusting concoction of Goldschläger and O.J. Hell, I made a list of my Top 10 Classic Cocktails (link no longer available). You should read it and start there.

It doesn’t end there though. You need to learn how to go the distance. If you crash early, pace yourself. Don’t start with a wimpy shot that will knock you on your ass immediately. Order a decent beer or a decent cocktail and take it easy. You don’t have to slam the fucking thing.

When starting out my alcoholic training regiment, I suggest that you limit yourself to just one drink per hour. When you get to a point where you don’t want to pass out in a pile of vomit within that time, up your intake to two drinks per hour. To be honest, I very rarely ever go beyond two-to-three alcoholic beverages in an hour. This is how I pace myself, still get seriously buzzed but don’t find myself hitting the floor like a tranquilized hippopotamus.

Now this may take some time to master and to get the hang of but I’ve had well over a decade to practice and I’ve got my shit together. I used to find myself overdoing it and honestly, sometimes on a rare occasion, I still do but for the most part, I keep it together, have a good time, get moderately inebriated and don’t find myself making bad decisions or becoming the burden of the party.

Class up your shit. This isn’t just drinking advice, it’s life advice. Maybe it is time to grow up because dude bros in their mid-thirties who still carry themselves in public like freshmen frat boys at their first kegger are just embarrassing themselves. Plus, you’ll never make a good impression on a potential life mate if you’re in the fetal position, soaked in piss.

And definitely don’t drink in front of bosses or co-workers until you can handle more than one cocktail.

I’m just trying to do my part. You’re welcome, America.

Retro Relapse: The Offended Man

RETRO RELAPSE is a series of older articles from various places where I used to write before Talking Pulp.

*Written in 2014.

Since starting this website just weeks ago, I’ve gotten a lot of feedback from readers online, friends on Facebook, people on Twitter and friends and acquaintances in my personal life. What I’ve been finding is that my posts that fall into the realm of masculinity and relationship areas have been received differently from people of different sexes.

I’ve been finding great support from the female side of the coin, which is awesome, as a lot of my writings deal with men needing to man up and find their balls, for lack of a better descriptive term. Weirdly, it has been the men that have pushed back on this. Well, not all men but there have been several who have found some of my posts “offensive” and “sexist”. My, oh my… how the mighty have fallen.

My article “Ladies, I’m Not That Guy” seems to have upset a portion of the male Internet populace. Is it because I tell it like it is from my point-of-view or that I call men out for being pussies or because I seem to be indirectly calling for men to unite against militant third-wave feminism?

No, the reason why these dime store saps are offended is because they are the guys I mentioned in my article; the ones who are so indoctrinated with modern societal bullshit that they are placating to pussy that they are too timid to even try and claim. They’re not mad at me and my words, they are just trying to cover my mouth in an effort to not upset the herd. They are chronic apologists who feel the need to hush up all outspoken men who might be stepping out of some fictitious boundary of political correctness because embracing oneself is a crime if it just might offend someone else. Well, you sir, offend me.

These guys are so busy trying to do right after they’ve been told that their sex has done so much wrong. These offended men are male feminists. Really, they’re just pussy puppets who might as well have a hand up their ass because they’ll never get laid, at least not from a decent woman.

So why do most women seem to like what I’ve said? Well, they aren’t pussies. They like and respect the truth and a dude who isn’t just kissing their ass in a sad attempt to win them over. How’s that working out for you ass kissers, by the way? Women don’t want you to always agree with them and to bow down like a well-trained dog. They want you to get the fuck up off of the ground and stand for something real. Hell, challenge them on their bullshit.

No, I am not some chick magnet, but I do okay. I’m not the best looking guy but I don’t give a fuck. I am who I am and I carry myself the way I want to carry myself and that’s why I do alright for myself. There’s that old adage that says, “Just be yourself.” Well, it’s not bullshit. Just be your-fucking-self and stop being what you think women want you to be because it doesn’t work and you suck at it. You’re not fooling anyone but yourself. Seriously dude, get off your moral high horse because you look like Prince Charming’s crybaby little brother.

I hate to sound like a dick but ultimately, I am just trying to help you idiots. So I’ll say it again, man the fuck up.

Retro Relapse: National Food Days or National Fat Craze?

RETRO RELAPSE is a series of older articles from various places where I used to write before Talking Pulp.

*Written in 2014.

Today is National Doughnut Day. Which got me thinking about other foods that now have national days maybe not recognized by the United States government but recognized by billion dollar marketing firms. The United States alone currently has 172 nationally recognized food dates, be they days or weeks. The problem is, for every National Doughnut Day or National Pizza Day, there is a National Vinegar Day or a National Anisette Day. What the fuck are we doing to ourselves?

Some foods are iconic and a big part of our culture. I get why doughnuts and pizza have a special day once a year for their industries to celebrate and give out good deals: making boatloads of cash for the business. But why does everything deserve a special day? There are 172 in the calendar year of 365! I guess in America we don’t believe in moderation. I guess our not believing in moderation is probably why we need holidays to use as an excuse to gorge on high caloric and fatty foods. We can’t control ourselves.

Yes, I eat a lot of these things but I don’t need a special day for them and I can’t eat them all the time. Also, the vast majority of these things that have a special day, really don’t deserve them. Do we need days for mustard, spinach, zucchini, zucchini bread, trail mix, chocolate covered cherries, peanut clusters, blueberry popovers, oatmeal nut waffles, coconut tortes, chips and dip, clams on a half shell, cheese balls, pigs in a blanket, pretzels, shrimp scampi, candied orange peels, taffy, escargot, corn on the cob, yogurt, catfish, creative ice cream flavors, gingersnaps, beans, chocolate wafers, apple turnovers, bittersweet chocolate with almonds, sugar cookies, pina coladas, Grand Marnier, tapioca, gummy worms, corn fritters, peach ice cream, caviar, daiquiris, lollipops, penuche fudge, lasagna, raspberry cakes, watermelons, s’mores, spumoni, sponge cakes, popsicles, crackers, herbs, toasted marshmallows, macadamias, cheese pizza, acorn squash, hoagies, linguine, guacamole, apple dumplings, hot mulled cider, brandied fruits, bologna, candy corn, candy apples, caramel apples, fried clams, deviled eggs, nachos, Harvey Wallbanger, scrapples, vanilla cupcakes, sundaes, chicken soup, Indian pudding, spicy hermit cookies, baklava, breads, vichyssoise, carbonated beverages with caffeine, peanut butter fudge, stuffing, cranberry relish, cashews, cranberries, espresso, parfait, Bavarian cream pies, French toast, leftovers, mousse, red apples, ham salad, fruitcake, soda and champagne?

You see how ridiculous this has gotten? Those food and beverage items I just listed out aren’t even half of them. Hell, I don’t even know what some of them are. Many are even repeated multiple times throughout the year. There are multiple days for peanut butter, pizza, puddings and other stuff. Some of these “holidays” are also so specific. What’s next, a National Deep Fried Cajun Chitterlings Stuffed with Pickled Pigs Feet and Okra Day?

We’ve gotten way out of hand here, America.

Do I really need to say more on the subject?

Retro Relapse: The 25 Lessons of New Orleans

RETRO RELAPSE is a series of older articles from various places where I used to write before Talking Pulp.

*Written in 2015.

I did a similar list to this for Las Vegas a few years back after my first trip there. You can see that list here. I wrote that for another blog I used to run.

However, after my recent trip to New Orleans, which was my third, I figured that I could produce a list of the twenty-five lessons I learned while there. I have had experiences with this town before but having seen a lot of this neon glowing urban bayou, I knew that I still hadn’t seen shit and had to delve even deeper. I’ve never experienced New Orleans and not walked away with something new each time.

So let me get right fucking to it!

1. Walking places is always an adventure and you will always find a dozen or so things to pleasantly distract you on the way to wherever you are going. Never go by a clock (unless you have dinner reservations), just do your thing at your own pace and soak up everything around you. Besides, the city truly never sleeps. Well, maybe from like 6 a.m to 8 a.m.

2. The muffaletta is the greatest sandwich ever concocted. The best one I had was from the Cochon Butcher, which is right next to Cochon in the warehouse district. I was told about the legendary muffaletta at Central Grocery but they were closed the two times I went by.

3. If a person walks up to you with some sort of riddle, it is a scam. A large man walked up to me trying to display his psychic prowess regarding where I got my shoes. He told me that I got them on my feet and then sprayed a bunch of dish soap on them in an effort to hustle me for ten bucks. Fuck that guy. This is the New Orleans version of the New York City hobo who spritzes windshields with soapy water. If a motherfucker has a riddle, keep on walking – it isn’t worth the hassle of trying to be a good person and giving them the benefit of the doubt.

4. The craft beer scene in New Orleans is alive and well. My most notable stop was the Courtyard Brewery. There are a lot of other local Louisiana beers on tap all over the city as well. The Bulldog on Magazine Street and d.b.a. on Frenchman Street both have stellar selections.

5. Local girls are usually a lot of fun but some are too trusting with strangers. They need to be a bit more discriminatory with people they haven’t known for more than a few hours in a bar. I’m also assuming that the ones passing out in bars on Bourbon Street are new to town.

6. You have to look hard to find a bad meal in New Orleans. In ten days, I never had a bad meal. Well, except for hotel breakfast and that was only on one of the ten days.

7. Street musicians will heckle you. If you tip them, they will call you out for being cheap because apparently that is a way to shame people into giving out more money. White people are especially gullible.

8. Harrah’s built a giant casino in the middle of town and it seems like the most boring thing in New Orleans because the city’s nightlife and culture is so much greater than staring at cherries spinning on a slot machine.

9. Strippers go way out of their way to pull you into their sultry lair and then try to hustle you. It would almost work if their aggressiveness wasn’t so off-putting and their prices weren’t so astronomically high. Although a blind eye is turned to just about every activity in these sultry lairs.

10. The best oysters in the entire world are in New Orleans. Go to Drago’s and order the chargrilled oysters. Just don’t murder the chef afterwards like Johnny Depp from that Mexican movie. Also, every other restaurant claims they have better oysters than Drago’s. Motherfuckers are full of shit.

11. New Orleans has horrible cosplayers. Well, at least at the anime convention that was in town. I couldn’t tell what 90 percent of the people were. Although I should give props to that guy that was Jubei from Ninja Scroll because he looked like a total fucking boss. He was the only one though.

12. Fried chicken has not been experienced until it is experienced in New Orleans. In fact, experience as much of it as you can. And yes, Popeye’s even tastes better in New Orleans.

13. Cab drivers will sometimes just drive by, even if they are on duty and empty. They will also have a bloody duel with one another if they think one cut them in line while picking people up at a cab stand. Uber works great in New Orleans, however certain parishes have banned them from picking you up. Although you can be dropped off anywhere once in an Uber car.

14. Not as many people scream “Who dat!” as you would think. Also, it wasn’t football season, so my beloved Saints weren’t playing yet.

15. It is the most spontaneous city I have ever been too. At one point, a small brass band was playing on a street corner and out of the blue, the intersection became an impromptu block party and one of the greatest live musical experiences I ever encountered. There is a raw musical energy in New Orleans and it is beyond infectious.

16. Lots of people try to panhandle random shit. I bought a Miami Vice soundtrack on tape for five bucks from a crackhead, who then handed me his entire tape collection and then bolted down the street with my five dollar bill, never to be seen again.

17. Voodoo is alive and well and it is awesome.

18. Kermit Ruffins is an American icon and a true master of the trumpet. “The Sleeping Giant” James Winfield is a hidden gem. If you haven’t seen either of them live, you haven’t lived. To see them both together, on the same stage, is a life-altering experience.

19. Only assholes and tourists throw beads off of balconies when it isn’t Mardi Gras.

20. The New Orleans Pelicans have an alternate part-time mascot that is a giant king cake baby. It is the most frightening mascot in sports history. Seriously, Google it.

21. Frenchman Street may be my favorite street in the world. It has the entirety of New Orleans culture packed in tight on just a few blocks. Bourbon Street is really just for tourists and less authentic. Although Bourbon Street is still pretty damn fun.

22. A drag show in New Orleans is way more fabulous than anywhere else I have been.

23. The people of New Orleans love their city like no other local people I have encountered anywhere else. Good times or bad, they have unrelenting pride in their city and community.

24. Jazz and blues aren’t just music genres in New Orleans, they are a way of life. You can’t walk ten yards in New Orleans without passing a place billowing out amazing music. And every musician is talented. It is amazing how musically versed the people of New Orleans are.

25. I had a long talk with a Mardi Gras Indian over whiskey. He shared some awesome stories about what they do and why. He then talked about adjusting to life post-Katrina. I learned that Mardi Gras Indians are probably the coolest motherfuckers in town.